573: REV. GRETTA VOSPER UNDER ATTACK IN TORONTO

“A warm welcome to Zingcreed, the Christian-atheist blog that queries all aspects of the Christian religion. I have often wondered what happened to Ms Gretta Vosper, a minister with the United Church of Canada, since I read her excellent book “With or without God”. I based several Zingcreed Posts on her writings, and I could see that her honesty and her unwillingness to shut up made her position within her church a precarious one. This week (25/4/16) The Guardian’s headline caught my eye “God forbid: atheist minister fights for right to take pulpit. United Church of Canada in turmoil over preacher’s rejection of the divine.” Yes, they were talking about her. Her position could be described as “Jesusite non-theist”. If that seems familiar, it could be because you have come across it in this blog. Yes, it is Zingcreed’s position too, so I feel a special affinity with this rebel.

I hope you too find this piece of history being made before our very eyes interesting. If you belong to the UCC, perhaps you could make your views known. She needs all the support she can get.

In solidarity,

Peter Turner, M.A., M.Sc.”

Rev. Gretta Vosper under attack in Toronto.

“I do not believe in a theistic supernatural being called God”, says the minister who has led West Hill United Church in Toronto since 1997. Instead, she sees God as a metaphor for goodness and a life lived with compassion and justice.

In her church services there are no bibles, no visible cross, no mention of God and no “Our Father” prayer. Instead there are moral teachings about war and peace and human rights all around the world. Her position has evolved, and everything has been discussed with her congregation.

Pressure is building up within this very progressive, tolerant denomination for her to leave. 11 months ago the Toronto branch of the UCC ordered that she be “reviewed” to determine whether she was being faithful to her ordination vows and whether she could continue as a minister.

In practice she is a standard bearer in a world wide conversation: many clergy privately share her view on God. This blog shares this view and will bring you more information as I hear it. In the meantime a second Zingcreed Post will shortly appear giving quotes from her writings and listing those earlier Zingcreed Posts based on her book.

Sources:
“God forbid” by Ashifa Kassam The Guardian p.14, 25/4/2016
Vosper, G “With or without God. Why the way we live is more important than what we believe” Harper Perennial (2008)

 

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One comment

  1. I’m pleased to say, that in my part of the world, Rev. Gretta Vosper’s position would be accepted in most of the mainline churches, even if only on a congregation by congregation basis. A recent survey, shows that almost 40% of Methodists don’t believe in the existence of a supernatural being/deity. Other churches are are not far behind, with the Baptists dragging the chain at only 10% not believing.

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