What We Believe
The United Church affirms that gender and sexuality are gifts of God, and that all persons are made in the image of God. We welcome into full membership and ministry people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. The United Church is opposed to discrimination against any person on any basis by which a person is devalued (search “Commitment to Inclusion” on United Church Commons).
The struggle for justice against sexism and gender-based violence, and towards justice for people of all gender identities and sexual orientations, are fundamental ways in which the United Church seeks to transform structures and systems and be faithful to God's vision for humanity.
Even as we seek to eliminate sexism, misogyny, homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia, we know that we, too, are guilty of these forms of oppression. We acknowledge the roles that Christianity and religion in general play in such oppression. We hear the call to take action to end all forms of discrimination. We acknowledge that the work of justice is not just about how we treat people who enter the four walls of our church; what matters is how we treat people out in the world. We are committed to journeying to where all people live in justice and peace together.
What You Can Do
- Find a United Church Affirming Ministry near you.
- Plan a worship service or special celebration (for a full list of special Sundays and other international days see the resources under Downloads, below). You may wish to mark:
- Join the Thursdays in Black movement against sex- and gender-based violence.
- Participate in Iridesce: The Living Apology Project.
- Consider becoming an Affirming Ministry.
- Create trans inclusive spaces (see Celebrating Gender Diversity under Downloads, below).
- Sponsor a 2SLGBTQIA+ Refugee.
Learn more with resources such as Celebrating Gender Diversity and Moving Towards Full Inclusion, as well as the additional recommended resources and timelines available under Downloads, below. Note: Moving Towards Full Inclusion is available as a PDF in French on our French-language site or in Spanish or Korean by request. Please e-mail justice [at] united-church.ca with your request.
Other resources you may wish to explore:
- End Gender-based Violence
- Videos and webinars (see the resource charts under Downloads for more)
- The Iridesce Theatre Play performed at General Council 43 in 2018
- Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls webinar
- Celebrating Gender Diversity: Five Stories of United Church trans people of faith
- Alive! In Our Sexuality and Faith: a podcast from our full communion partner the United Church of Christ
- Being a Minister and a Minority Woman
- United Church social policies related to gender and sexuality, and policies related to Safe Spaces for Worship and Work
- Gender Justice and Partnership Guidelines (search “gender justice partnership guidelines” on the United Church Commons)
- The Transgender Advisory Group offers procedures for the replacement of historical documents, such as ordination, commissioning, recognition, confirmation, and baptismal certificates, when requested by an individual who claims a new gender identity and changes names. These procedures meet legal requirements, but more importantly give the church the ability to provide a pastoral and compassionate response to individuals in a gender transition.
Related Partners, Programs, and Groups
United Church Groups
- United Church Women is a national group with a presence in United Church regions and local faith communities. Learn more about Celebrating United Church Women.
- As One That Serves (AOTS) are men’s groups based in local communities of faith. AOTS is no longer a national organization; check with your local United Church about local groups.
- The United Church Trans Network is for trans people and allies. Send your request to join by e-mail to transgender [at] united-church.ca
- Affirm United/S’affirmer Ensemble
- Canadian Council of Churches (see Human Trafficking in Canada)
- Dignity Initiative
- Women’s Inter-Church Council of Canada (see Restore: Ending Violence Against Women)