In short, many groups have been singled out by society, and sometimes particularly by the Christian church, for discrimination and hatred. It is appropriate in terms of confession and repentance to specifically name the groups that were hurt and show a commitment to repentance and changed ways. This guides our Social Justice Program's education on anti-racism, our congregational ties to local Indigenous leaders and participation regularly in Reconciliation activities, and the need to be public and explicit about our affirming attitude toward Queer people.
The Affirming process is about following God’s calling and Jesus’ example to love our neighbours. This is a concrete way we can do this. This openness and acceptance has resulted in growth: all of the members of the new SHIFT ministry are either Queer or close allies of Queer loved ones. These new members have been active in the congregation by sitting on the Board, starting new ministry opportunities, chairing committees, supporting our transition to online church technologically, and coordinating our Social Justice Program, as well as contributing financially.
“Many Queer people have been so alienated from the church that we feel we have to choose between our true identity and our faith in Christ. This is the church that I’ve found in Langley where Queer people are welcome not only to sit in the pews and hide, but to openly participate in leadership as our whole selves.” Bex O