Note: Your patience is appreciated as we update the website to reflect decisions made at the 2021 General Assembly to adopt the Remits B and C regarding marriage and ordination of LGBTQI people. Read more here.

For the past several decades, The Presbyterian Church in Canada has studied and discussed questions related to sexuality, particularly questions related to same-sex marriage and the roles of LGBTQI people in ministry. During the 2021 General Assembly, The Presbyterian Church in Canada agreed to make changes to its theology and practice regarding marriage, permitting people to choose to define marriage either as a covenant relationship between a man and a woman or as a covenant relationship between two adult people. These decisions provide Presbyterian ministers with liberty of conscience and the freedom to choose to officiate or not officiate at the marriages of same-sex couples. Additionally, the church agreed that LGBTQI people (whether married or single) can be ordained and are welcome to serve as ministers and ruling elders.

In 1994, the church recognized that we are called to be a welcoming, nurturing, loving and supportive community, a true church family, and to repent of homophobia and hypocrisy. In 2017, the church formed a special committee (also known as the Rainbow Communion) to listen to the stories of LGBTQI people and others related to harms done due to homophobia, transphobia, hypocrisy and/or heterosexism to them within and by the church and to share their stories of God’s grace experienced by them and Christian ministry. The Rev. Peter Bush, Moderator of the 2017 General Assembly, wrote a letter of repentance to LGBTQI people  and reminding the church of God’s call to be a community where we welcome one another as Christ has welcomed us.

In 2021, General Assembly adopted the final report and recommendations of the Rainbow Communion, which outline ways for the church to acknowledge harm to LGBTQI people through public confession and apology, as well as necessary policies and programs that will help the church include LGBTQI people more fully in all aspects of ministry. A fund will also be established to support psychotherapy/counselling for those who have experienced harm done by homophobia, hypocrisy, transphobia and heterosexism in the denomination.

The pages below provide links to decisions and statements the church has made regarding sexuality, resources for study and discussion, and pastoral care resources. If you have any questions or would like to request further resources, contact Carragh Erhardt, Program Coordinator – Sexuality and Inclusion.

Reports and Decisions
Discussion and Study Resources
Pastoral Care & Liturgical Resources

Click here for resources that provide appropriate support to the church in developing models of pastoral care and mutual support and care for those who have been harmed by homophobia, transphobia, heterosexism and hypocrisy.

Respectful Conversations

Listening Circles Group Guidelines
Covenantal Pledges for Discussions About Issues of Sexuality
Some Ways to Create Sufficiently Safe Spaces

Join the Conversation

Ideas for how to use Body, Mind and Soul
The Necessity and Problem of Language
Tracing Different Pathways
Join the Conversation: LMA Study Guide for Sexuality Overtures
Presbyterians Are Talking About... Sexuality
Overtures re sexual orientation - prayers (from 2015 ga)

Reflections

Sunday Sermon at GA by the Rev. Dr. Patricia Dutcher-Walls
Love Out of Bounds - Patricia Dutcher-Walls

Body, Mind and Soul – Study Guide on Human Sexuality

The complete Study Guide consists of the main document and supplemental handouts. Both the main document and supplemental handouts are combined in one PDF that is available below to download and print. Alternatively, print copies are available to order online through the PCC Resource Ordering Portal or the online order form. You can also send an email or call 1-800-619-7301 ext. 331. The cost for a printed publication is $11.50 for the Study Guide (main document) and $3.45 for the Booklet (supplemental handouts).

In 2015 the General Assembly adopted the following motion:

Recommendation No. 5: That the Committee on Church Doctrine and the Life and Mission Agency (Justice Ministries) prepare a joint study guide on the topics of human sexuality, sexual orientation and other related matters raised in the overtures to be posted on the church’s website by the end of October, 2015 and that congregations, sessions, presbyteries and synods be invited to share the result of their conversation with both the Committee on Church Doctrine and Life and Mission Agency (Justice Ministries) prior to March 31, 2016.

To accomplish the General Assembly’s resolution, a Design Team was established with members representing the Committee on Church Doctrine and the Life and Mission Agency (Justice Ministries) to serve as an editorial body for the writer of the study guide, Body, Mind and Soul – Study Guide on Human Sexuality. The terms of the Design Team are found below.

Terms of Reference for Design Team

The Study Guide is not a doctrinal statement. Its purpose is to promote and facilitate informed conversation about the topic of human sexuality and sexual orientation in The Presbyterian Church in Canada. In addition, the Study Guide is intended to help people understand what the PCC currently says about the topic, drawn from Acts and Proceedings and approved documents such as The Social Action Handbook. Thirdly, the Study Guide is designed to invite people and groups through the PCC into prayerful consideration of the matters before us regarding sexuality and sexual orientation.

Body Mind and Soul Study Guide
Body Mind and Soul Study Guide – Supplement
Is Body, Mind and Soul an official report of The Presbyterian Church in Canada?

Special Committee re: LGBTQI Listening (also known as Rainbow Communion)

In 2017, the General Assembly formed a special committee to create a safe and respectful environment in which confidentiality is assured and to encourage people to share their stories of harm done due to homophobia, transphobia, hypocrisy and/or heterosexism to them within and by the church and to share their stories of God’s grace experienced by them and Christian ministry. For more information, visit the Listening Committee web page.