Welcome

West Hill is a people, a place, and an idea. We are a community living out a progressive faith, striving to make a positive difference in our own lives, the lives of others, and the world.

Our mission:

Moved by a reverence for life to pursue justice for all, we inspire one another to seek truth, live fully, care deeply and make a difference.

Over the past many months, we've been challenged to engage broadly about who we are and what we see the future of church can be. We'd be delighted to talk with you about it and have extended an invitation to congregations across the country to reach out if they are interested in having a conversation with us. It can be about what this "theologically non-exclusive" church is really like. It might be about the rise of the "Nones" and how we are engaging them. You might want to just talk about the review of our minister. Whatever your interest, we will find a way to engage. So be in touch and let's set a date. 

Support West Hill!  Learn more or donate now through CanadaHelps.


The latest news, videos and perspectives from our community:

Want to contribute?  Email the webmaster.

Tuesday
Apr242018

Food Sustainability - Welocme Sonia Faruqi

Thursday
Apr192018

Pub Night at West Hill - April 28th, 2018

Thursday
Apr192018

Lives In the Balance - June 2nd Conference

It's official.
Registration for Lives in the Balance conference is now open. The conference will be held on June 2, 2018 
at the Factory Theatre in Toronto.
Tickets are limited so reserve your seat early.

There are too many lives in the balance these days. Whether wavering on the frantic edges of poverty, wrestling with the backlash of simply identifying one’s gender or sexuality, remaining in relationships that are toxic and abusive, or expressing one’s own thoughts within entrenched regimes, people around the world risk their lives because of where they are, who they are, who controls their lives and bodies, and what it is they believe.

Lives in the Balance was imagined as a conference that would bring people together to raise awareness of persecution related to beliefs while raising funds for refugees fleeing their own countries because their lives are imperiled for that same reason.

To make our concerns disturbingly clear, we are bringing together some of the most bracing voices for change in the work of protecting freedom of expression around the world. In one day.

The day will be moderated by our minister, Gretta Vosper. 

THE SPEAKERS

  Gretta Vosper

Gretta Vosper has been irritating the church into the twenty-first century since founding the Canadian Centre for Progressive Christianity in 2004. Since that time, she’s written the best-selling With or Without God: Why the Way We Live is More Important than What We Believe; Amen; and Time or Too Late: Chasing the Dream of a Progressive Christian Faith. She has also identified her progressive beliefs as atheism. In 2015, her denomination, The United Church of Canada, began a heresy trial against her, arguing that her belief system, despite being deeply entrenched in the UCC’s social gospel roots and contemporary critical scholarship, was no longer acceptable. Vosper has continued to lead her United Church community throughout her trial which is not yet complete.

  Bonya Ahmed - Writer, Blogger, Activist

She survived machete attack carried out by AQ affiliated groups which took her husband writer and founder of Secular blog site MuktoMona.

  Alishba Zarmeen - Human Rights Activist

Working to educate and protect progressive Muslims who have dared to read the Koran and find it deeply disturbing.

  Raihan Abir - Writer, Blogger, Activist

Avijit’s co-author and now a landed immigrant in Canada.

  Ensaf Haider - Human Rights Activist

Wife of imprisoned Saudi, Raif Badawi, whose sentence included ten years of prison and one thousand lashes.

  Ali Rizvi - Human Rights Activist

Working to educate and protect progressive Muslims who have dared to read the Koran and find it deeply disturbing.

  Aruna Papp - Human Right Activist

A local activist who continues to expose the spectre of honour-beating that continues against girls in our own local high schools.

 

 

Friday
Mar302018

Dream Away: Easter Re-Imagined

Each year, West Hill's community gathers, along with all churches in the west (Eastern churches recognize other dates), to explore the great themes of death and resurrection. We don't, however, focus on a death and resurrection that took place two millennia ago. Rather, we explore these themes as they are relevant right now in our world, our relationships, and our lives. 

In a theologically barrier-free community, there will be those for whom the traditional Easter story has deep meaning and there will be those for whom the story seems anachronistic - completely irrational when viewed from a 21st century perspective. And so it is important to honour the tradition while doing so in language, metaphor, and symbol that can be interpreted by anyone to be meaningful regardless what worldview through which they are experiencing it. That's one of the things that West Hill does and struggles to do with more integrity each year. 

Join us at 10:30 this Sunday as we reach deep into the complexities and challenges that resonate with an ancient story but face us at this moment in time and seek within them the beauty of possibility and hope. 

Friday
Mar022018

Women ROCK! Service - March 4th, 2018

Special Service this Sunday, MARCH 4th
Women ROCK!
If you're a woman, this means you....
If you're a man, this means you, too ....
This Sunday March 4th will be our Women Rock service, an opportunity to pay tribute to all those women who have and continue to influence our lives. 
We've been know to toss a rock or two at this signature West Hill service...not to worry, we'll provide the rocks!
In celebration of International Women's Day on March 8th, we will be concluding our Inspired by Hollywood service series with inspiration drawn from the film Hidden Figures. 

#PressforProgress
"With the World Economic Forum's 2017 Global Gender Gap Report findings telling us that gender parity is over 200 years away - there has never been a more important time to keep motivated and #PressforProgress. And with global activism for women's equality fuelled by movements like #MeToo, #TimesUp and more - there is a strong global momentum striving for gender parity."

And while we know that gender parity won't happen overnight, the good news is that across the world women are making positive gains day by day. Plus, there's indeed a very strong and growing global movement of advocacy, activism and support.  - www.internationalwomensday.com

MORE

Friday
Mar022018

43rd General Council Meeting

Risking Faith
Daring Hope
July 21 - July 27

The 43rd General Council of The United Church of Canada will be held in July 2018 at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, in Oshawa, Ontario. The theme will be "Risking Faith, Daring Hope."
New in 2018, there will also be a Festival of Faith held in conjunction with General Council.
All are welcome!

For the latest information and full details visit: GeneralCouncil43.ca

Thursday
Feb152018

Annual Congregational Meeting

West Hill's Annual Congregational Meeting is this Wednesday, February 21st.
This Wednesday we come together to review the wonderful, if challenging, year we've shared in 2017 and to reflect on events, hurdles and growth and opportinities shared during our time together. We invite you join us as we present the Annual Report, and share highlights from the teams and groups that worked so hard, and with great success, to engage us and our community.
Doors open at 6:30 for Pot-Luck desserts, the meeting commences at 7 pm.

Thursday
Feb152018

Inspired by Hollywood - February 18th

Inspired by Hollywood
For six weeks each winter, our Sunday gathering draws inspiration from Hollywood, bringing the innovation, challenges, and provocation of the silver screen into our Perspective(s). It is a wonderful way to engage newcomers so don't hesitate to bring your friends to explore and discuss these amazing films. 
In January, we began our annual exploration of Academy Award "Best Picture" nominees through the ages. If you missed us last week or would like to catch up on any service from this series, feel free to listen to our 
West Hill United Podcast.

This Sunday we will take a look at the 1994 Best Picture nominee, The Shawshank Redemption
"Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) is sentenced to two consecutive life terms in prison for the murders of his wife and her lover and is sentenced to a tough prison. However, Andy maintains he didn't commit the crimes. While there, he forms a friendship with Red (Morgan Freeman), experiences brutality of prison life, adapts, helps the warden, etc., all in 19 years." - Google movies
Be sure to watch the film beforehand, and we'll see you Sunday morning, 10:30, for the inspiration!
Click here to watch the movie trailer.

Thursday
Feb152018

TRAINWRECK at West Hill's 4th Annual Pub Night

West Hill welcomes TRAINWRECK back to our stage on Saturday April 28th at our annual Pub Night.

Grab a couple of friends, bring your dancing shoes and join our indoor street party!
TRAINWRECK features a talented ensemble of East End Toronto musicians who play pretty much anything to shake the house down. They specialize in uptempo rock, pop and soul covers. From Elvis (Presley) to Elvis (Costello), from ABBA to ZAPPA, they aim to delight and surprise with every song they play.
A guaranteed 'wrecking' good time! 

Check out the band HERE

Tickets on sale soon through the West Hill Kiosk.

 

 

 

Thursday
Feb152018

2018 Winter Book Study

2018 Winter Book Study

For over twenty-five years, between January and May of each year, on alternating Friday evenings, a group of enthusiastic learners has gathered in the lounge of West Hill United Church to uncover the kernels of wisdom found in that year's chosen book.  Because each book has had a provocative edge to it, the Book Study Group has been the crucible within which much of the theological shift that the congregation has seen over those twenty years has taken place.

Participants are not always West Hill congregants and the Book Study is always open to new voices who are interested in respectfully engaging the many ways we are challenged to live radically ethical lives. Please do join us for an intriguing and animated discussion. 

The book study takes place in the lounge at West Hill at 7:30 on alternating Fridays.  You don't need to attend all meetings or necessarily be up to date with the chapters, we know the conversation will be richer for having you with us, even if you just pop in when you are able.

Check out our BLOG for the 2018 Winter Book Study at WHU!

 

Thank you to our community partner for support of our programming at WHUC!