The Rev. Bronwyn Corlett reflects on the experience of Maritime Conference becoming an Affirming Conference. What does it mean to be inclusive? What does it mean to love your neighbour as yourself? What do you do with your concerns when you disagree with your neighbour? How do you live in a community with varying beliefs, understandings, and practices? And what happens when the rules change?
At the 2015 Annual General Meeting of Maritime Conference, a series of votes were passed making Maritime Conference the fourth Conference to become Affirming. As a visitor at the meeting, it was an honour to witness such thoughtful preparation from those making the motions and those raising questions and concerns. It was an honour to witness such respectful and sincere conversations. It was an honour to witness the way the youth and young adults were determined to have their voices heard, and how eager the court was to listen. It was an honour to witness the court’s desire to expand and ensure that youth and young adult voices would be heard in the future. It was an honour to witness how the Affirming process opened up new conversations about what inclusion really means. It was an honour to experience the joy of the court when the work was done and the singing began. It was an honour and a privilege to witness God’s people at work.
We are thankful for our gifts for Mission & Service that support Affirm United and the Affirming process. Please join me in making Mission & Service giving a regular part of your life of faith. Loving God, we are called to be your colours in the world, to walk with each other, to share in love through our gifts for Mission & Service. Guide us to shine brightly in the world. Amen