News and media coverage, also timely announcements and opportunities from Iridesce.

Visit often as this page is updated frequently. If you have news or media clips to share, please be in touch. 

MEDIA: To contact our coordinator, please email

Vintage Media (1988-2015)
Recent Media

VINTAGE MEDIA (from 1988)

Toronto Telegram 1965

November 15 1965 • Toronto Telegram: 

"In the November 15 issue of The United Church Observer, Rev. Mervyn Dickinson, pastoral counsellor at two United Churches in Toronto, declared that the church should welcome homosexuals warmly and openly into all phases of its life. Dickinson's statement that the church should give its blessing to some homosexual relationships alarmed some other members of Toronto's clergy."

["Cleric Asks Church Help Homosexuals," Toronto Telegram, final ed., 15 November 1965, p. 34; Mervyn Dickinson, "The Church and the Homosexual," United Church Observer, n.s. 27, no. 16 (15 November 1965): 22-23.] Note: This newspaper cover is for context. This is the closest newspaper front page we could find from the 1965. 

Toronto Star, 1974

TORONTO STAR, March 9, 1974

"Rev. Bruce McLeod, moderator of the United Church of Canada, said in an interview that Christians should not prejudge homosexuals. 'Some of the great people in the earth's history from Michelangelo on have been homosexuals. We would all be poorer without them,' McLeod said."

["Don't Prejudge Homosexuals, Moderator Says," Toronto Star, Saturday ed., 9 March 1974, p. H4]. Note: this newspaper front page is meant to give context. The images is the closest image we could find to the date of the article.

"A Statement to the Church" endorsed by people from every Conference of The United Church of Canada. This two-page advertisement was published in the May 1988 issue of The Observer Magazine. 

Read the full statement HERE.

VIDEO: General Council 1988 Debate on Ordination (1988)

VIDEO: From 'Spirit Connection' of The United Church of Canada

"Excerpts from the 1988 General Council debate before the vote to remove sexual orientation as a barrier to ministry in The United Church of Canada. Note: colourization is caused by the aging of the original tape."

Click image to watch video, or go to this link:

Video: United Church Interview with Marion Best (1988)

VIDEO: 'Spirit Connection' interview with Marion Best (1988)

"Marion Best from British Columbia explains how the committee came to recommend that sexual orientation not be a barrier to becoming a United Church minister. Note: colourization is due to the age of the original footage."


Video: CBC Digital Archives (1988)

VIDEO: United church allows gay ministers (April 1988)

"Today at 12:40 a.m. council delegates of the United Church of Canada, exhausted from hours of emotional discussion, came to a final decision."

A video from CBC Digital Archives.

Click image to watch video, or go to this link:

Article: United Church allows gay ministers (1988)

From CBC Digital Archives (1988)

"Today at 12:40 a.m. council delegates of the United Church of Canada, exhausted from hours of emotional discussion, came to a final decision. The church will now officially consider gays and lesbians for ordination as ministers. At the meeting in Victoria, British Columbia last night..."

Link to page:

Video: CTV News (1987)

CTV News Coverage on United Church Ordination of Homosexual Ministers (1987)

"It is the most complex issue that has confronted the Canadian Parliament in 25 years", Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.


Video: CKVR on United Church Ordination of Homosexual Ministers (1988)

CKVR (CTV Barrie Ontario, 1988)


Article: The Washington Post (1988)


VICTORIA, B.C. -- The United Church of Canada's General Council ended Aug. 25 amid deep fears that its actions on homosexual ordination could split the church. Referring constantly to the "people back home," several delegates warned that many of the church's 863,000 members will not understand the subtleties of the council's action in opening full membership and ordination to all Christians "regardless of sexual orientation."...


Article: Washington Post (1989)

January 01, 2020

Uneasy Truce in Canada (1989)

"EDMONTON, ALBERTA -- An uneasy quiet has settled on the United Church of Canada, which was awash in controversy at this time last year because of a statement its General Council had approved on membership, ministry and homosexualtiy. About two dozen United Church ministers threatened to leave the denomination after the statement was approved, and almost every one of the church's more than 4,000 congregations is losing members." ...


Article: The UC Observer (2013)

United Church Observer (July 2013)

"1988: Twenty-five years ago, the United Church said yes to openly gay and lesbian ministers. Three people who were caught in the storm look back on the year that changed everything." By Various Writers

Link to article:

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Newsletter February 2019

February 16, 2019

Read and share our Newsletter, February 2019 edition. Featuring: 

  • inspiration from African theologians about lament and remembering

  • four inspiring stories shared with us

  • an update on "Iridesce 2.0" and our plan going forward

  • we're hiring: job descriptions

  • prayer request call out

  • and more

Link to read the newsletter in your web browser:

Iridesce Noted in E-ssentials Newsletter

July 24, 2018

Iridesce: The Living Apology Project offered a play at General Council, sharing stories from people affected by the United Church's 1988 decision to open ministry to all members. Watch a recording of the play. Aaron Miechkota speaks with Lauren Hodgson about Iridesce: The Living Apology Project, and how it is being presented at GC43. 

UC Observer: Article by Rev. Don Collett

July 25, 2018

For me, the landmark United Church vote on sexual orientation came at a high personal cost 

"Justice was served at General Council. Yes. And harm was also done," says Rev. Don Collett. Written by Don Collett

United Church press release about General Council 43 mentions Iridesce Project

July 19, 2018

What's this item about? What makes it interesting? Write a catchy description to grab your audience's attention...

Feature Article in Mandate Magazine (Spring 2018)

May 01, 2018

A feature article about Iridesce: The Living Apology Project written for Mandate Magazine, by Iridesce Coordinator, Aaron Miechkota


Brandon Sun Newspaper

May 10, 2018

The Brandon Sun newspaper and online news source features an article as Knox United Church (Brandon) hosts a weekend of activities, workshops and worship related to Iridesce: The Living Apology Project. 


"Let us into the story" on United Church Round Table Blog

April 04, 2018

A poem to the United Church, contributed by an Iridesce: The Living Apology Project participant.


UC Observer: Very Rev. Gary Paterson weighs in on Trudeau's apology to LGBTQ Canadians

March 01, 2018

Very Rev. Gary Paterson weighs in on Trudeau's apology to LGBTQ Canadians

When Prime Minister Trudeau apologized to LGBTQ Canadians back in November 2017, Very Rev. Gary Paterson was one of 11 people asked to be on the advisory council for feedback. Here's what he has to say. 

By Alison Brooks-Starks

Article in UC OBSERVER, MARCH 2018

March 01, 2018

New project invites people to share memories of 1988 United Church decision. On the thirtieth anniversary of the United Church vote to include LGBTQ ministers, a new project invites people to share their stories of the decision. By Alison Brooks-Starks


Article in Mandate Magazine, November 2017 issue

November 01, 2017

Iridesce: The Living Apology Project contributed a full-page article to Manadate Magazine. This article outlines the importance of this project and how to participate.

Printable PDF: click here

Moderator Jordan Cantwell Invites the Church to participate in Iridesce

December 04, 2017

Moderator Jordan Cantwell invites all people affected by The United Church of Canada’s 1988 decision to share their stories. The whole church is invited to participate, no matter how they identify—as straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, Two-Spirit, and more. 



November 13, 2017

Iridesce participated in a 5 minute interview on CBC Yukon morning radio show in Whitehorse. 

"Sharing our Stories", Iridesce ON UNITED CHURCH ROUND TABLE BLOG

September 22, 2017

This "Living Apology Project" holds the potential for healing and may allow us to move forward into the church God wants us to be.…


United Church launches IRIDESCE: The Living apology Project

September 21, 2017

A national project of story-sharing with all people affected by the church's 1988 decision… 


WHO "OWNS" This Project? AN OPEN LETTER, FROM IRIDESCE: The Living apology Project

September 18, 2017

Dear United Church, When I first received the news that I would be the Project Coordinator of Iridesce, a number of my peers conveyed this concern to me: “Are we asking LGBTQ2+ people to do the work of this Project, which may effectively be an apology… to themselves?” From this valid question, I decided to work seriously to address this concern and this perception in concrete and positive ways, and in ways… Continue reading

Affirm united/S'affirmer ensemble welcomes project coordinator

May 01, 2017

United Church of Canada Introduces Project Coordinator

May 02, 2017


August 01, 2017

United Church of Canada approves 'living apology' to LGBT people, by Nathaniel Christopher

Link to online article:

Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance

August 17, 2012

Detailed history leading up to, during, and after the United Church's 1988 vote: 

"We describe events leading up to the 1988 decision in some detail, because a similar sequence it is likely to be repeated in other religious organizations in the future..."

Copyright © 1999 to 2012 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2012-AUG-17. Author: B.A. Robinson

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Call Open Until August 30, 2019

Local Workshop Facilitators will begin by building intentional relationships with individuals or communities in their geographical area, with whom the Iridesce Project has not yet connected. These communities include:

  • LGBTQIA+ people who are willing to engage in courageous and respectful conversation who are racialized, Indigenous, Two-Spirt, and/or disabled, and are often marginalized within the LGBTQIA2S+ community in the United Church and wider society.

  • communities of faith who are willing to engage in courageous and respectful conversation, who have not yet become an Affirming Ministry, who may have been opposed to the 1988 decision or have never engaged the issue, and/or may feel isolated from those in the church who are engaging these issues.

For full job description, please click on the photo at left to download the PDF.


February 18, 2019

Opening/Closing Date: February 18 to March 10, 2019

The National Facilitator will provide coaching electronically or by phone, to individuals wishing to engage with the self-guided workshop or the Iridesce Theatre Play in their community of faith. They may also engage in conversation/relationship building that leads to collection/ sharing of stories but does not lead to the use of the workshop template.

For full job description, please click on the photo at left to download the PDF.


February 18, 2019

Opening/Closing Date: February 18 to March 10, 2019

The Researcher will carry out research to gather and document as full and complete a picture as possible about LGBTQIA2S+ history and theology within The United Church.

For full job description, please click on the photo at left to download the PDF.

Casting Call for Iridesce Theatre Play

April 26, 2018

Iridesce is seeking actors, stage-hands and volunteers to bring to life a theatre play like no other. To be presented at the 43rd General Council, July 2018, in Oshawa, Ontario. No experience necessary, all are welcome to apply. To participate, please contact our coordinator. 

Please share this invitation widely. Click the image below for a JPEG to send by email. 

Invitation to Write a Hymn or Song for Iridesce

April 19, 2018

The Iridesce Project has received original song lyrics that need a melody. This is an open invitation to song-writers and hymn-writers to create an original song, hymn or other musical arrangement based on these lyrics. (Facebook)

Iridesce Launches Monthly Email Newsletter for Subscribers

April 05, 2018

Iridesce: The Living Apology Project is happy to offer a monthly newsletter. Each newsletter will feature stories, events and news related to this project of our church. To subscribe, click here or find the sign-up box at the bottom of this page. 

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@2017-2020 Affirm United/S'affirmer ensemble.

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