Safe and Respectful
Rainbow Communion has worked very hard to ensure that confidential, safe, affirming and respectful spaces were created for people to share their experiences. The Committee will present its final report to the 2020 General Assembly which will include recommendations for for the Church to address and respond to homophobia, hypocrisy, heterosexism and transphobia by and within the Church. The name “Rainbow Communion” was selected by the committee to intentionally reflect its mandate and purpose.
*Rainbow: as a symbol of God’s promise, has its origin in the biblical covenant with Noah and his family. It is also a term or symbol often used to represent the inclusion of the full diversity of people and emphasizing the inclusion of persons who identify as sexual and/or gender minorities.
Communion: is central to our life as Christians and in a broader sense reflects the sharing or exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings, especially when the exchange is on a mental or spiritual level.
LGBTQI is an acronym used to refer to people whose sexual orientation is not heterosexual and/or whose gender identity does not conform either to binary male/female categories or the “assigned” gender at birth. LGBTQI is an acronym for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning, Intersex.
The Committee wishes to thank all those who have graciously and generously shared their stories and have put their trust in the process established by Rainbow Communion so that the Church may better identify and understand its homophobia, transphobia, heterosexism and hypocrisy and continue to work towards healing and reconciliation in the future. Many storytellers have referenced the Moderator’s Letter of Repentance written in February 2018 to have been an encouragement to tell their stories and have found great hope in it as a starting point to build toward an honest, just and welcoming relationship with LGBTQI people in The Presbyterian Church in Canada.
These stories are at the heart of the mandate of Rainbow Communion and the call of The Presbyterian Church in Canada to repent of its homophobia, transphobia, heterosexism and hypocrisy. We have heard stories from coast to coast, from people ranging in age from youth to seniors, from different ethnicities and theologies, and representing a spectrum of gender and sexual identities.
The Special Committee is made up of members drawn from across the church reflecting the diversity of the denomination and includes two members who identify as LGBTQI.
Co-Conveners: The Rev. Dr. Bob Faris (Toronto, ON), Ms. Sue Senior (Waterloo, ON)
Members: The Rev. Michael Veenema (Canning, NS), Mr. Robert Hayashi (Aurora), the Rev. Dr. Jean Morris (Calgary, AB), Ms. Sydney O’Brien (Oakville, ON)
Read about the Rainbow Communion in the Presbyterian Connection newspaper, Issue 10
Read about the Rainbow Communion in the Presbyterian Connection newspaper, Issue 5
Rainbow Communion Bulletin Insert
Rainbow Communion Full Report – 2019 Book of Reports
Rainbow Communion General Assembly Summary – 2019 Book of Reports
Rainbow Communion Full Report – 2018 Book of Reports
Rainbow Communion General Assembly Summary – 2018 Book of Reports
Visit the Sexuality web page
Video Clip: Understanding Terminology related to Gender
Full video “Belonging in the Body: Transgender Journeys in Faith” available at – https://gumroad.com/l/belonging_in_the_body