Rev. Michael Caveney sits in the sanctuary at St. Aidan’s United Church

St. Aidan’s embraces the rainbow; officially welcomes LGBT people to congregation

“Very often a congregation will say that these are the values, but by going through the process, it’s highlighting,” said Rev. Caveney. “Many congregations say that they are inclusive, and yet, for example, lesbians cannot be fully involved or ordained in those churches.”

Of all the symbolic items inside St. Aidan’s United Church, there is one attracting the most attention as of late.

A rainbow hangs outside Rev. Michael Caveney’s office door – a symbol of the church’s official public welcome of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.

On Sept. 25, St. Aidan’s will celebrate becoming the second United church on Vancouver Island to complete the Affirming Congregation Program under the United Church of Canada. This program studies the issues of inclusion and states that the congregation welcomes all peoples.

The congregation, led by Rev. Caveney went through a year-long educational process based on materials from the United Church of Canada, and voted in favour of becoming an affirming congregation.

“Very often a congregation will say that these are the values, but by going through the process, it’s highlighting,” said Rev. Caveney. “Many congregations say that they are inclusive, and yet, for example, lesbians cannot be fully involved or ordained in those churches.”

The Comox and Salt Spring Island United Churches have also gone through the process.

Laurissa Chapple, media and communications co-ordinator with the Victoria Pride Society calls the move “awesome,” but one that’s been a long time coming.

“As everything in our movement has, it’s taken time and it’s another milestone to certainly celebrate,” Chapple said. “It’s a testament to Canada. It’s a testament to our growth as a movement. It’s certainly not afforded internationally in a lot of places.”

The church, located at 3703 St. Aidan’s St., will host a service marking the occasion at 10 a.m. on Sept. 25. Will Sparks of the Northwood United Church in Surrey, educator in the affirming process, will lead the service.

“For us, it’s almost a public witness that this is what we believe and that everyone is welcomed,” Rev. Caveney said.

nnorth@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Last remaining Victoria Legion faces $100,000 property tax bill

The Trafalgar/ Pro Patria Branch can’t afford to operate with such high taxes

Downtown Victoria sees 10-fold increase in condo units since 2016

A report by the Downtown Victoria Business Association details ongoing construction trends

Saanich farm hosts birthday party as wetland turns 10

The Urban Biodiversity Enhancement and Restoration Project invites community to 10th birthday for wetland

Soul Shakers kick off free outdoor concerts in Oak Bay

Music fills the air at Willows Beach Park for series of concerts this summer

Sunset Cinema brings free family film under the stars in Colwood

Sunset Cinema hosts events on the Island from July 23 to 27

Astronaut David Saint-Jacques returns to Earth, sets Canadian space record

Native of Saint-Lambert, Que., set a record for longest single spaceflight by a Canadian at 204 days

Thieves steal two $40K chairs featuring gold serpents from Vancouver furniture store

Chairs believed to be the only two of its kind in Canada, police said

Poll: Rising gas prices force B.C. residents rethink summer road trips

63 per cent of respondents reported gas prices are impacting their day-to-day finances

PHOTO: Moose cow and calf relax in Williams Lake flower garden

The homeowners got a surprise when they checked their most recent surveillance footage

Two in hospital after plane crashes in Okanagan Lake

RCMP say wheels left down caused landing plane to overturn on lake

The world’s Indigenous speakers gather in B.C.’s capital to revitalize languages

Organizers estimate about 1,000 delegates from 20 countries will be at the conference

Join talks on international treaty: B.C. First Nations mark ‘historic moment’

Representatives of the Ktunaxa, Syilx/Okanagan and Secwepemc Nations participated

Companies need clearer rules on workplace relationships, study suggests

One-third of Canadians have been in love at work, and half say no policy on the matter exists

WITH VIDEO: Two endangered marmots released on Vancouver Island

With three new pups born in May, two more Vancouver Island Marmots… Continue reading

Most Read