Following General Synod in 2019 and the failure of the marriage canon to be affirmed at the National Level, St. Paul's hosted a Pride service which included the diocesan youth representative - Sydney Brouillard-Coyle - talking about the experience of being a Queer youth at General Synod. This created a sense of awareness of the harm these ongoing conversations about whether to include 2SLGBTQ+ individuals in all of the sacraments can have on those who identify as 2SLGBTQ+. St. Paul's responded by choosing to fly the Pride Flag in support.
Choosing to fly the Pride flag resulted in comments made over social media and even a letter to the rector protesting the action. Someone actually stole our pride flag (twice to date). Each time we encounter this opposition, we were reminded that if people are willing to treat a church this way because of a decision to support the 2SLGBTQ+ community, what are they willing to say and do to the 2SLGBTQ+ community itself.
This led us to engage even more with the 2SLGBTQ+ community hoping to show by our actions that all are valid, all are valued, all are loved. We fly the Pride and Trans flags in our sanctuary. Include multiple Pride flags in our Fun with Flags ministry. Host Pride services and Trans Day of Remembrance Service. Sponsor a Pride Flag raising at Town Hall and host a BBQ following.
We have worked with Trans Wellness Ontario to assess the spiritual needs of the Queer and Trans community and explore ways to provide support. Our rector is currently available to provide spiritual care to those in the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. This work has inspired the development of Rainbow: Allyship Training & Motivational Speakers which provides educational programming for churches and others on how to better support the Queer and Trans community.
St. Paul's is also coordinating the work of a local Affirming Ministerial, that includes clergy from multiple denominations and aims to provide 2SLGBTQIA+ affirming opportunities throughout the year.
St. Paul's is a community of faith. One of the ways we embody our faith is through worship. To honour the blessings and struggles of the Queer and Trans community, we offer worship specific to 2SLGBTQIA+ themes throughout the year. Online worship is provided here. Live Streamed worship (e.g., Trans Day of Remembrance 2021) can be accessed through our Facebook page. Watch our events page for upcoming worship services.