affirming

At Red Deer Lake United Church, we choose to be a community of compassion and inclusion.

We affirm God’s unconditional love and acceptance of all people by welcoming individuals of any ethnic/cultural diversity, age, sexual orientation, socio-economic or marital status, gender identity and expression, mental health, or physical ability to all aspects of our life together.

We seek to create supportive spaces and programs that are inviting and nurturing for all.

We understand that attending church can be challenging and intimidating. By embracing everyone with open hearts and open minds, we hope to bring comfort and acceptance to those with doubts or questions, those who are new to this church, and those who are exploring what faith and spirituality mean.

Relying on God’s love and grace for guidance, we open our doors to all to celebrate our diversity and join our spiritual journey.

 

what is affirming?

“Affirming” is an official designation from our denomination, the United Church of Canada, that signifies we have spent an intentional period of time (one year) exploring our inclusivity; it’s a time when we ask whether we are going to just say or embody those radically inclusive words of “welcome, wanted and accepted,” and not only towards each other but to people for whom ‘church’ is not an easy place to be. An “Affirming Church” is a church that recognizes being welcoming and hospitable takes more than politely shaking hands, but does the hard, vulnerable and intentional work of creating a space where all are made to feel welcome, wanted and accepted. There are 10 other United Churches in Calgary that are ‘Affirming’ and many more around the country. You can find more information about it here.

why affirming?

First and foremost, because it’s what our faith and spirituality are about. At the heart of what Jesus is about is revealing a God who loves and accepts everyone and creating a just, peaceful, and colourful world where everyone has enough and everyone has a place. Jesus called this world ‘the Kingdom of God’ and invited us to join him in creating it. The Affirming process invites us embody and practice this through helping us explore, become and be a radically hospitable and extravagantly welcoming community of Jesus, a place where people are seen, heard, and loved just. as. they. are. It helps us be the kind of Church that God is calling us to be: a people who, out of love and kindness, make room for others because room was made for them.