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Background

The Rev. Gretta Vosper is an ordained United Church minister serving West Hill United Church in Toronto, Ontario.

In recent years, Ms. Vosper has garnered considerable media attention by describing herself as an atheist. It is this declaration that led some people to ask why the United Church had not revoked Ms. Vosper’s credentials as a minister.

The initial decision to conduct a review of Ms. Vosper was made by the Executive of Toronto Conference in April 2015. Subsequently Ms. Vosper appealed the process to be used for the review. Her appeal was rejected by the Executive of the The United Church of Canada’s Judicial Committee in March 2016, and Toronto Conference’s Sub-Executive then reinstated the process for the review.

It was this decision, to proceed with the review, that West Hill United Church wanted reversed. Delegates attending the May 2016 annual meeting of Toronto Conference voted against the West Hill proposal, and Toronto Conference Interview Committee proceeded with a review of Ms. Vosper on June 29, 2016.

On Thursday, September 8, 2016, the Toronto Conference Interview Committee released its report and recommendations. Their conclusion was:
“We have concluded that if Gretta Vosper were before us today, seeking to be ordained, the Toronto Conference Interview Committee would not recommend her. In our opinion, she is not suitable to continue in ordained ministry because she does not believe in God, Jesus Christ or the Holy Spirit. Ms. Vosper does not recognize the primacy of scripture, she will not conduct the sacraments, and she is no longer in essential agreement with the statement of doctrine of The United Church of Canada.”

The Toronto Conference Sub-Executive will meet on Thursday, September 15, 2016 to deliberate and decide about the Interview Committee’s report and recommendations.

Edited October 25, 2016

See the message from the Sub-Executive and related documents are listed in the minutes