To love, support and defend.
A small but mighty group marched for the first time as representatives of McDougall United Church in the Calgary Pride Parade in September 2016. Nearly a year before then, nine members sat down for their first Affirming Committee meeting to set out a path for becoming a truly inclusive church.
Their goal was to further educate themselves on people of all colours, all backgrounds and all identities; and eventually share a vision with the congregation to welcome all people into McDougall’s spiritual community.
The year ahead would be marked with all-day workshops, meetings with social-profits and attending lunch and learns such as “Stories of Coming Out”. Members sat alongside community partners from Acadia Place, the Calgary Police Service and our friends in the United Church of Canada in forums made to better understand Calgary’s diverse communities. The Affirming Committee would also take those lessons to the congregation, in a series of events helping members learn more about people of all backgrounds, with the goal of gaining support for those who walk into this church.
On Sept. 25, 2016 McDougall members voted to become an affirming ministry, solidifying the church as a place that welcomes all people regardless of age, gender identity, gender expression, race, sexual orientation, differing abilities, religious or ethnic background. McDougall received its certificate in Affirm United during service on Dec. 11, 2016 and celebrated this milestone in the church’s more than 50-year history.
Today, McDougall continues to educate its congregation and make community connections with LGBTQ+ people, individuals of all socio-economic levels, people of different ethnicities and those from diverse cultural backgrounds, and people with differing abilities.