As a progressive congregation, West Hill has been a place of non-exclusivity and welcoming of diversity for many many years.
But declaring that we are an Affirming ministry is much more than receiving recognition for the openness that currently exists. In making a public declaration, West Hill joined Affirm to stand alongside and in solidarity with those who have been marginalized by sexual diversity or those who advocate for them. And to mitigate the effects of religious communities who have marginalized and continue to marginalize those who have walked the path of difference.
Part of that advocacy includes not remaining silent in the face of injustice. Below are organizations that advocate for and offer support to LGBTQ. As allies, please consider how you might offer your voice, either through these organizations or others.
On Sunday December 6, 2009 we celebrated becoming an Affirming Ministry within the United Church of Canada. One of about 50 ministries that have joined Affirm United in support and in celebration of the LGBTQ, West Hill took this step after a year of exploration and following a unanimous vote supporting the motion at our June 2009 Annual Congregational meeting.
Info and links for LGBTQ teens at Kids Help Phone
PFLAG Toronto is a great resource for LGBT people, their friends and family. It offfers support and provides education about ending discrimination and promoting equality for LGBT folks.
The ItGetsBetterProject. Many LGBT youth can't picture what their lives might be like as openly gay adults. They can't imagine a future for themselves. This project shows them that it does get better.
The Trevor Project's mandate is to end suicide among LGBTQ youth by providing life-saving and life-affirming resources including a 24/7 crisis intervention lifeline (U.S. based), digital community and advocacy/educational programs that create a safe, supportive and positive environment for everyone.
Rainbow Health Ontario aims to provide access to services and promote health to LGBTQ Ontarians.
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