By REV. GREG DALY
As we enter Pride Month in Toronto, Beach United Church begins a new leg in our journey as a faith community.
On June 4 we celebrated becoming an Affirming Community of Faith.
For us that means being public, intentional, and explicit in our welcome of diversity and inclusiveness.
It also means that we are committed to more than hanging a Pride Flag in the window (although that is important too).
As we live into our mission and values of “Exploring Faith and Building Relationships with God, People, and the Earth,” Beach United is committed to intentional welcome and inclusion of all people in every aspect of the leadership, life, and work of our Community of Faith, honouring and affirming each person’s uniqueness.
Here is our Affirming Commitment:
We celebrate diversity by embracing people of many identities: gender identities, sexual orientations, culture, colour, age, race, differing abilities, social or economic circumstances, ethnicities, marital status, family composition, or previous faith or no-faith experience.
With open minds, open arms, and open hearts we seek to be good stewards of God’s world by committing to walk a path of mutuality, equity, and respect. Our action is guided by Jesus’ teaching and ministry: nurturing relationship and seeking justice, as we stand in solidarity with people at the margins.
As a Christian Community, we believe that what is at the core of who we are is love.
We embrace this core by learning to love self, each other, and creation with abandon, with radical welcome. This kind of love is generous, humble, and committed. It does not require grand gestures; indeed, it is often best understood in simple acts of kindness: from picking up garbage on the street as a sign of faith in community to using a person’s identified pronouns to honour their sense of self.
Being deliberate in creating spaces that are safe(r) and welcoming to diverse people sets us on a public course that models’ ways for all of us to be good neighbours.
In a world that does not always welcome diversity, we encourage the Beach Community to walk this journey with us; and what better time than Pride Month to take up that call!
You can learn more about our Affirming commitment at https://beachunitedchurch.com/ministry/affirming-ministry/
Happy Pride everyone!
— Rev. Greg Daly is the minister of Beach United Church on Wineva Avenue.