Shuck and Jive

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Gretta Vosper is "Unsuitable"

The Toronto Conference of the United Church of Canada submitted a 39 page report concluding that Rev. Gretta Vosper is "unsuitable" for ministry. The last few pages of the report include a dissenting report from a minority of the committee.  The Global News reported on the decision with the title:

United Church panel wants Toronto atheist minister Rev. Gretta Vosper to be defrocked

Here is a bit more in-depth piece in The Toronto Star.

Earlier this year, Gretta issued her own statement in defense of her theological growth.   I think I am going to use these two documents in a class entitled, "Whither Christianity?"

For what it is worth, I am an atheist as well.  My beliefs vary little from Gretta's.  In fact, there are many ministers in a similar position.  So what now, witch hunts?  Thanks, Canada.

I thought you were supposed to be more enlightened up there?

It is a sad day for Gretta, West Hill United Church, the United Church of Canada, and church in general.   Yet, this is what it takes to move ahead.

We appreciate you, Gretta, and West Hill United Church.

For the back story, here are some of my posts on the topic.

Gretta Vosper: Can't We Talk About It?

In Support of Gretta Vosper



  1. For 90 years the United Church has been a beacon of light in its pursuit of social justice and its diversity and acceptance of disparate theological views. But in its 91st year it seems to be throwing that all away as it slams the doors on those who have come to it to escape the conservative thinking of so much of the rest of Christianity.

    I have been a proud member of this church for nearly 90% of its 91 year history. This past year however has left me sad and disillusioned as the forces of conservatism seem to be dragging it down. This is the church that launched its ground breaking “New Curriculum” in the 1960’s despite the conservative voices raised against it. This curriculum focused on bringing modern biblical scholarship from the pulpit to the pew. This is the church that embraced the queer community in 1988 because it knew it was the right thing to do despite knowing full well it would lose conservative members.

    But as membership shrinks is the United Church paying more attention to its survival than to the prophetic voices that bring it new ideas and challenge it to find new ways to cope with a world that is leaving it behind? I implore the church to open itself once again to make a place for those of us who are trying to find new ways to live out our faith in this modern world.

    John, when you start your class based on Gretta's response to the questions she was asked and on the United Church report let me know, because I want to lead a similar study group here in Woodstock Ontario.

    By the way, wasn't the minority report brilliant (at the end of the main report)?

  2. Thanks, Doug! Yes, I will do this class. The minority report spoke the truth in this instance! It was right on.

  3. From the Toronto Star: "Vosper.. does not believe in an interventionist, supernatural God. She preaches instead about love, kindness and human connection." And this is going to get her canned? Love, kindness and human connection is not enough?