As an exemplar of what an affirming ministry truly means we have been blessed by the leadership of Rev. Sue Woods.
She has elevated the message of what it means to create a safe haven, a place where all are not just welcomed but affirmed.
Through the guidance of Affirm United (www.ause.ca) we have worked with the resource kit ‘Open Hearts’ and have gone deeper into our faith to understand the real difference between welcoming and affirming.
In our learning process, guest speakers have framed their experiences and made us think about social justice. They have helped us become not just welcoming, but affirming to every new person who crosses our church threshold.
It is in our vision statement that we make our inclusivity explicit.
Bala United Vision Statement
Bala United strives to welcome, include and celebrate the diversity of God’s people in a safe and nurturing environment.
Therefore, our vision is to include as Jesus did, all people into the life, membership, ministry and leadership of our church.
We value diversity as it enriches our congregation.
Regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, age, race, differing physical or mental abilities and economic positions, each person is a beloved child of God.
Our church is committed to pursue social justice and where injustice
occurs, we will make our voices heard!
On November 26th, Bala United Church voted unanimously to become an Affirming congregation. We celebrated with Port Carling United Church in a beautiful and moving joint service and party on Dec. 10th, 2017. We were honoured to have become, with our sister church the first Affirming Pastoral charge in Muskoka.
We have connected with the Muskoka LGBTQ community and our Affirming journey continues. As of January 2018, the two churches combined their Affirm committees into one joint committee.
The members are: Sandra Albon, Sydney Clarke,Beth Croft, Ted Daglish, Dianne Davidson, Brenda Glass, Lois Miller, Carol Mitchell, Bill Niess, Enid Powell, and Rev. Sue Woods.