In 2021, The Presbyterian Church in Canada adopted the final report of the Rainbow Communion. The report draws on the stories of 139 people who shared their experiences of harm due to homophobia, hypocrisy, transphobia and heterosexism in the church. In recognition of the harm the church has caused, funds are available to provide financial assistance for accessing counseling or psychotherapy to help support healing.
What is the fund for?
The fund provides financial assistance to support psychotherapy or counselling for those who have experienced harm done by homophobia, hypocrisy, transphobia and heterosexism in The Presbyterian Church in Canada.
Financial assistance provided through this fund may be used for an array of therapeutic options. Requests may be submitted A) to reimburse costs incurred for past counseling or psychotherapy sessions and/or B) to cover the cost of ongoing counseling or psychotherapy sessions.
Who is eligible to receive funding?
People who have experienced harm done by homophobia, hypocrisy, transphobia and heterosexism in The Presbyterian Church in Canada are eligible to be considered for financial support.
People enquiring about funds will be asked to relate their story and describe how homophobia or transphobia in The Presbyterian Church in Canada has negatively impacted them, but they do not necessarily need to disclose their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Who reviews requests for funding?
Requests will be considered promptly by a small committee. There is no annual or quarterly deadline to submit a request. All requests are kept strictly confidential.
The review committee is comprised of the Program Coordinator, Sexuality and Inclusion; the General Secretary, Life and Mission Agency and the Principal Clerk, General Assembly.
The work of the review committee is confidential and only pertinent details are shared with the full review committee. Questions about this process and its composition can be discussed when speaking with one of the members of the committee about applying for funds.
What can individuals do if they want to inquire about the fund but are reluctant to contact the denomination’s offices directly?
People who have experienced harm in the church may be hesitant to contact the church’s national office. In such cases, individuals may choose to ask a trusted person to contact a member of the review committee on their behalf to seek additional information about the process. A trusted third party might be a family member, friend, minister, church elder, or mental health professional. The review committee would not require a third party to disclose the name of the person who asked them to inquire about the fund.
How can requests be submitted?
Individuals inquiring about the fund or who are interested in requesting support from it may call 1-800-619-7301 and speak with:
Carragh Erhardt (Program Coordinator, Sexuality and Inclusion) ext. 278
The Rev. Ian Ross-McDonald (General Secretary, Life and Mission Agency) ext. 289
The Rev. Victor Kim (Principal Clerk, General Assembly) ext. 227