My name is Aaron Miechkota, and I’m writing as the Project Coordinator of Iridesce: The Living Apology Project.  You may be aware that at the General Council 42, the Church voted to have a national project originally named “The Living Apology Project”. This motion called for story­ sharing and dialogue to gather a collection of stories and artifacts from people affected by the Church’s 1988 decision. These stories would then help the church to discern if, and how, it might live into an apology to the church’s LGBTQ and Two-Spirit people.

As this project comes to realization, it has been renamed “Iridesce: The Living Apology Project”. The word iridesce expresses a vision of infusing the colours of the rainbow flag with the love and light of God… into iridescent colours that seem to transform when seen from different perspectives. This is a Project of Affirm United in partnership with The United Church of Canada, including the General Council Office.

…a faith-filled, collaborative journey with people of diverse genders and sexual identities and expressions, that is not just geared toward LGBTQ folks but that is whole-church oriented, with intentional focus on the intersectionalities of our lives, and with special orientation toward those at the margins of our communities including trans people, people of colour and people in rural areas, through:
1. Regional workshops for dialogue, story-sharing and hopefully healing;
2. Resources for worship & spirituality;
3. Online and social media presence;
4. An evolving collaborative art project, symbolic of our journey together;
5. Potential recommendations at the church policy level discerned in community; and,
6. Resources for ongoing “living” commitment and reconciliation.
To be presented to GC43 (2018): Worship, Art, Communication Pieces, potential Church Policy Action, Resources for Living Commitment, and the Summation of Project.

This is a big call! The process and leadership of this Project are still emerging. To build momentum and interest in IRIDESCE, our first two months have been about building an online foundation, via our website, social media presence and engaging volunteers. I am sure that IRIDESCE will be greatly enriched by the many voices that are adding to the conversation. I am hoping that through volunteer help and church leadership, we can reach the diversity of people that the church seeks to have participate.

IRIDESCE visited the Manitou Conference at its AGM in early June with wonderful feedback and sharing. This summer, we were at SpiritPride (Vancouver), Skylight Festival (Paris, ON), Rendezvous Youth Event (Montreal). We are currently planning Fall and Winter events which include Whitehorse.

I hope to have your participation by introducing me (as Project Coordinator) to people in your Conference who may be interested to collaborate. Together we will create day or weekend events in your region. Events will focus on story-sharing about people’s experiences before 1988, during “The Issue Years”, up to today… in ways that are relevant to the history, culture and needs of your Conference or Circle. Of course, people are welcome to share their stories outside of organized events, too! Please see the next page for a diagram of how the Project is organized.

Through this Project, I trust that the Spirit will guide our church, step by step, following Christ’s Way toward mutually transformative friendship as ones loved and valued by God!

Thank you for reading about what is emerging as an exciting and historic ministry of our church, and one that I am honoured to facilitate. I look forward to connecting with you and your Conference.

With every blessing to you,
Aaron Miechkota Project Coordinator
Iridesce: The Living Apology Project
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