Affirm Trinity

Welcome to Affirm Trinity 

Trinity’s Mission Statement calls us to be an inspiring, Spirit-filled community, reaching out to all and welcoming diversity.  As an Affirming congregation, the church welcomes, recognizes and encourages the full participation of all persons inclusive of age, gender-identity, sexual orientation, differing abilities, ethnicity, or economic circumstance.  Trinity United is a Christian church, and in Christ’s church, God’s love embraces and welcomes all.

At our annual meeting in February, 2024, Trinity members voted overwhelmingly to become an affirming church. We are now in the process of aligning this declaration of acceptance with our actions, policies and procedures.

This page includes educational information, updates on Affirm Trinity’s progress, and links to additional resources.

The first question that is often asked is “Why do we need to become an Affirming congregation? Our Mission Statement already says that we welcome diversity.”

Becoming an Affirming Congregation is more than merely welcoming people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. They understand that the church is not a private club where we have the power to extend a welcome to marginalized groups. The church belongs to God who has already welcomed everyone, including gender and sexual minorities.

An affirming congregation acknowledges the hurt and pain that has been part of the church experience for many people because of their identity or sexuality. It seeks to listen to the experiences of their members and strive to be a community of nurture and support for LGBTQ people. It makes its stance public and builds a church community where people—whose gender identities and sexual orientations make them feel marginalized—can celebrate life, love God, and serve others.

Voices of condemnation, exclusion and hatred are loud and persistent within the church and society. An Affirming ministry makes a public statement about who they are as a community and what they believe. It is important to be a public witness and role model for other ministries. 

Most marginalized people spend their lives surrounded by messages of hatred, judgement and negativity about themselves and their relationships. These messages come from their loved ones, co-workers, friends and/or faith communities. Some churches still are, and many have been, the loudest and most vitriolic in their messages of hatred and condemnation.  Such messages, spoken in the name of Christianity, lead many LGBTQ people to believe that all Christians think this way. 

Therefore, Christians and congregations who value inclusion and justice for people of diverse genders and sexualities need to speak up about love and compassion. We cannot assume that newcomers or people in our community will know what we believe unless we tell them, so we have to be explicit. 

The Affirm Trinity group invites you to visit Open Hearts: Resources for Affirming Ministries available at under Resources. There you will find more detailed information about this subject.

The November edition of Broadview has an excellent article about how hollow the words “All are Welcome” can be in some Christian churches. It is the story of Junia Joplin who was the lead pastor at Lorne Park Baptist Church in Mississauga. She was fired by the congregation because she spoke honestly about her feeling that she was transgendered. Please read this article to learn how well hidden and damaging discrimination can be.

One of the most powerful tools in the world is language. Words can be used for good, to build a world of understanding, love, empathy, and respect. They can build bridges between individuals and nations. They can soothe the soul, express our innermost thoughts and feelings, and connect us as no other tool can.  However, words can also destroy. They can be used to express hate, bigotry, and exclusion, attacking individuals or nations with the sole purpose of belittling, insulting, or demeaning.

Language has a powerful impact on how we live with respect in God’s creation. The United Church believes gender and sexuality are God’s gifts – with all persons being made in the image of God. To be inclusive, it is important to understand the language used with respect to the LGBTQ community. Heterosexuals understand what it means to identify as male or female. For the LGBTQ community, there is a continuum of human sexuality with a host of labels to define their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

Our journey of affirmation dictates that we understand the language that describes the experiences of all people. Times have changed and the range of descriptive labels has grown over the years and continues to change. It is important to remember that if there is any doubt, simply ask people what words they prefer to use to describe themselves and their experience.

We encourage you to read about “What does LGBTQ mean” found on pg. 3, About Language, in Open Hearts, Resources for Affirming Ministries.
​The link is: Open-Hearts-AUSE_Final_May192020.pdf

When we begin to examine what is written in the Bible about “homosexuality” it is important to consider asking: Who were the people it was written to? Where did they live? When it was written? Why was it written?

And then — How is it understood by most biblical scholars, who now have access to many researched sources that were unavailable in times past?

When the practice of biblical interpretation is grounded in a literal “word for word” interpretation of the Bible, these biblical references are used by church related groups (e.g. Fundamentalists) to judge and discriminate against those who identify as other than heterosexual. Most modern biblical scholars have agreed that none of these biblical references were referring to same gender, loving, relationships.

Today, when we read the few verses in the Old and New Testaments that seem to refer to homosexual practice, we need to remember that they were written to a people who lived in cultures in which sexual expression was often used in “cultic” worship of many gods. It was a culture in which young children, men, women, and slaves, were prostituted (and worse), for the temple worship of pagan gods, and were also used (i.e. abused) by other persons in power. Some of the god idols were specifically sexual “fertility” symbols and the worshipping of them required all sorts of sexual practices that we would find horrifying (examples of this can be found by a Google search of “Sexuality in the Roman Empire”).

If you would like further information related to this topic, a very good and thorough presentation can be found on YouTube where the Rev. Dr. Brant Hawke gave a lecture called “Homosexuality and The Bible.” He begins with some general, background information and then continues with an examination of what he identifies as the eight sets of verses in the Bible which some religious traditions have used to condemn homosexuality. Although his lecture is rather long, it is very informative and thorough. (The whole lecture is well worth listening to, but the part where he begins to deal specifically with the Bible verses that seem to deal with homosexuality begins at about minute 57.)

Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes, C.M. is an LGBTQ rights activist, Pastor Emeritus of the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto (MCC Toronto), where he served for 40 years, and the founder of Rainbow Faith & Freedom.

The International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia was created in 2004 to draw attention to the violence and discrimination experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex people and all other people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions, and sex characteristics.

The date of May 17th was specifically chosen to commemorate the World Health Organization’s decision in 1990 to declassify homosexually as a mental health disorder.  This Day represents a major global annual landmark to draw the attention of decision makers, the media, the public, corporations, opinion leaders, local authorities etc. to the alarming situation faced by people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions, and sex characteristics.

May 17th is now celebrated in more than 130 countries, including 37 where same-sex acts are illegal. Thousands of initiatives, big and small, are reported throughout the planet. Celebrating this day allows for a widespread amalgamation of different self-identified expressions coming together to share pride in oneself, happiness, and love with others.

The Progress Pride flag is full of symbolism representing many marginalized groups of people.

The background is made up of 6 horizontal stripes, representing:

Life (Red)
Healing (Orange)
Sunlight (Yellow)
Nature (Green)
Harmony/Peace (Blue)
Spirit (Purple)

The Chevron points forward, representing progress, but is on the left, indicating more is to be done. The chevron is made of 5 stripes and represents:

Trans and non-binary (light blue, pink, white)
Marginalized People of Colour (Brown and Black)
People living with HIV/AIDS, those marginalized by it and those who have died from it (Black)

This design forces the viewer to reflect on their own feelings toward the original flag design and its meaning, as well as the differing opinions on what the flag really represents, while also bringing into focus the current needs within our community.

The flag was designed by Daniel Quasar, a non-binary artist/designer and musician with a focus on multimedia, retro-futurism and with minimalist leanings.