On August 6, 2012, AFFIRM UNITED/S’AFFIRMER ENSEMBLE presented the 2012 MINISTRY PROGRAMMING AWARD to the 10 X ’10 Action Group of Bay of Quinte Conference
The All Welcome sign often belies long held prejudice and ignorance, and is simply not sufficient to reassure one of differing sexual orientation that they will be fully accepted and integrated into the life of that ministry. Nor will an equal marriage policy alone guarantee an atmosphere free of discrimination. The affirmation must be public, active and ongoing before one can be deemed Affirming.
In October 2007, the Mission, Outreach and Advocacy (MOA) division of Bay of Quinte Conference formed an action group called 10 x ’10 whose goal was to have 10 Affirming ministries in process or certified by 2010. That goal was met with 8 Congregations, 1 Presbytery and the Conference itself involved in discernment around this objective.
As of July 2013, this has resulted in 4 new church congregations, 2 Presbyteries and Bay of Quinte Conference actually certified, and 7 more congregations in process. The momentum from this activity has resulted in a much higher level of awareness of GLBT issues in the church and the community, with other congregations now actively seeking information on how to get started.
This 11 member group from across the Conference has created and led a series of full day and mini workshops in various locations around the Conference, where participants learned about homophobia, heterosexism and through stories from panelists, the church’s role in the still ongoing exclusion, marginalization or, indeed, harassment of GLBT folk, both lay and clergy in some congregations.
Members have been coaches and suppliers of resources, and conduits to the national Affirming Ministries program, part of panel discussions, speakers at worship services, presenters at various presbytery meetings & most Conference Annual meetings. There have been information booths at every Conference Annual Meeting and the group participates in the annual MOA advance to plan for the next year’s activities.