Revelation by Dissenting Minority That United Church Minister Reverend Vosper’s Views Are Shared By “Many Ministers”
September 8, 2016: A majority report issued today by an interview committee (“the Committee”) of the United Church of Canada (“UCC”) found that Rev. Vosper is not suitable to continue as a minister in the United Church and recommended that Rev. Vosper undergo a formal hearing.
In a detailed dissenting report, four members of the Committee emphasized that: Rev. Vosper’s theological work, in particular her book “With or without God, is “on the syllabus of theological schools”; that Rev. Vosper’s belief in a non-theist God are shared by “many ministers”; and that Rev. Vosper’s “theological positions, while not in the mainstream, are not unique amongst the ministers and lay persons of the United Church.”
The Committee interviewed Rev. Vosper on June 29, 2016. The Committee’s report will be received and deliberated by the sub-Executive of the Toronto Conference next week on Thursday September 15, 2016.
Rev. Vosper is the Minister of West Hill United Church (“West Hill”), located in Scarborough and within the Toronto Conference of the UCC. Rev. Vosper is a self-described atheist who does not believe in a theistic god. Rev. Vosper defines god as that which is created between people in relationships based on the virtues of love, truth and courage. Rev. Vosper has openly applied her views throughout her ministry since 2001 and has the full support of her congregation.
Falconers LLP lawyers Julian Falconer and Akosua Matthews act as legal counsel for Rev. Vosper.
Report of Conference Interview Committee
Appendix A Rev. Vosper’s Written Submissions
Appendix B Written Submissions from West Hill United Church
Appendix C Questions Asked by the Conference Interview Committee
Appendix D Questions Asked in Response to Rev. Vosper’s Answers
In The News
Defrock Atheist Minister Gretta Vosper United Church Panel says Toronto Star, September 8, 2016
Avowed Atheist Minister Should Be Defrocked Globe and Mail, September 8, 2016