AFFIRM RIVERSIDEIn May 2017, Riverside United Church voted in favour of becoming an Affirming Congregation within the United Church of Canada. As a community of faith, we adopted to the following vision statement:
We the people of Riverside United Church publicly declare our commitment toward being an open, innovative, Christian community. We strive to be a place where all people, regardless of age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, differing abilities, ethnic background or economic circumstance are welcome to seek communion with God. Everyone is invited to find their own place in the life of the church through worship, membership and leadership, and to participate fully in the celebration of all of life's milestones including baptism, confirmation, and marriage. We celebrate the richness that diversity brings to our church. We believe that diversity makes us stronger and better equipped to do God's work in the world. We ask for God's spirit to guide us as we work for right relationships and justice for all people in both church and society.
Watch the video created by our Affirm working group:
Our Marriage Policy (Revised February 2012)We believe that marriage is a sacred gift through which two persons make a covenant. In marriage, we offer one another the promise of lifelong companionship, rich expression of human affections and sexuality, and nurture for the children. Marriage as an institution can undergird each relationship and provide stability for society. We affirm the value of marriage and that the church must work to care for the institution and to support those entering into a covenant relationship with each other. We acknowledge that marriage can also be destructive and that persons may need to leave the marriage relationship.
We believe that this unity is greater than the two individuals. It creates holy ground on which the two, and all others, must walk carefully and gently, yet forthrightly and with courage. It has boundaries, between them, and with others, that may not be trespassed. It takes precedence over other relationships. It calls for caring which heals hurt and tends growth.
We support and encourage the preparation for marriage as deemed reasonable by the Minister. We believe that the Sacred is all encompassing and that all locations inside and beyond the church building, deemed reasonable by the Minister, are suitable sites for the celebration of marriage vows. We proclaim our acceptance of all human beings as persons made in the image of God regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. We affirm the eligibility for marriage of any two persons who may legally marry, and that the suitability of persons for marriage shall be at the discretion of the Minister.