Our family had not lived in the community for very long, and had only occasionally attended this United Church. That Sunday morning in November 1988, my seven year old daughter wanted to go to Sunday School, and I took her.
The church was full; well over 200 people were there. I don’t remember anything much about that service, except there was no sermon. The minister talked at length about making choices, and about decisions made at General Council which had met earlier that year. The minister concluded the speech, and asked for those in the congregation who agreed to leave the sanctuary and the United Church of Canada as the minister was going to do, right then and there.
People all around me stood and left, many with tears falling. Some encouraged me to go with them. But I did not. As I looked around, there were a few others that I recognized sitting firmly in their seats. I was told later that only about 20 people stayed. I left the sanctuary somewhat in disbelief.
That following Sunday we were a small group that gathered to worship, but in the following weeks others joined us. Over the years our numbers have fluctuated as with many churches, but we are now an Affirming Congregation, and all are welcome.
My daughter and I, with our spouses, continue to attend this amazing church.
[Shared with full permission. This writer wishes to remain anonymous.]