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.

Based in Scarborough Ontario, we have supporters as close as our neighbourhood and all over the world.  You belong with us! Connect with us in person, on the web, or here. We look forward to the journey with you.

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.

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.

Thursday
Nov272014

Singing the Season: Sunday, December 14th, 7:15

Any who have joined West Hill for a Sunday Gathering will know that Scott's relationship with the piano is one of passion and . If they have heard him speak, they know he has a riveting presence and a delightful sense of humour.

Those who celebrate Christmas, even secularly, know it as a season that can inspire great acts of charity, and infuse whole communities with a sense of wellbeing and joy.

Singing the Season, West Hill's festive evening of sing along and solos, fuses the wonder of Scott with the beauty of Christmas. It is an evening of celebration, wistful memory, inspiration, and joy.  

Please join us for this signature event and invite your friends and family for a lovely taste of West Hill's unique perspective. 

Tuesday
Nov182014

Those were the days... a concert with Alan Ely and the Voices of Showtime!

We're delighted to be welcoming Alan Ely and the Voices of Showtime this weekend, Sunday, November 23rd, for a concert here at West Hill.  We enjoyed their Juke Box Saturday Night concert so much in the Spring that we asked them to come back to do a second concert with a new line-up.  They've added music from the '40s and are calling it "Some of the Greatest Songs of the War Years and Beyond," the music playing on the radios during World War II and as those soldiers came home, settled back in, and raised families.

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m., but come early for good seats!  Tickets are $20 and you can get one ahead of time this week in the office, but we will have tickets available at the door as well.

Check out the Showtime guys on youtube!

Monday
Nov172014

OMG!* Deb Pearce is coming!  

She’s Bold. She’s Funny. She’ll be here on December 7th for our Affirming Anniversary Celebration.

A vocal member of Toronto’s LGBTQ community, Deb got her start in entertainment as a drag king in the early 90's. She is also a singer, and a funny gal. Deb co-hosted season 5 of Bump! on Logo and OUT TV, and has been the morning host on 2 radio stations where she interviewed Lady Gaga, kd lang, Debbie Harry and more. She also hosted an award-winning television show 'foQus with Deb Pearce' on Rogers. Deb MC's hundreds of events throughout North America and has raised thousands of dollars for local  organizations that work with Breast Cancer research and people living with HIV/AIDS.

*Please note: At West Hill, a community of sceptics, freethinkers, agnostics, secular humanists, traditional believers, and atheists, using the OMG exclamation does not necessarily presume belief in the big G. Still, when Deb Pearce is coming, what else could we say?

Sunday
Nov092014

Christmas Bazaar This Weekend!

This coming Saturday, November 15, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., West Hill hosts our annual Christmas Bazaar!  Get the season started right, and maybe get your holiday shopping finished!  We're famous for our themed baskets, ready to gift to friends, family, teachers, service professionals, etc., but we also have a great rummage sale, baked goods, frozen entrees, and a cafe where you can have a nice lunch.  The frozen food alone is worth the trip over.  

Bring your family!  Bring your friends!

 

Tuesday
Oct282014

This Saturday! Anne Walker! In Concert!

We're thrilled to remind you that this Saturday, November 1, we have Anne Walker bringing her docu-musical, The Coulson Women's Institute, to West Hill.  Singer/songwriter Anne Walker returns to her roots with a multi-media presentation. Through the lens of the Women’s Institute, this docu-musical uses original songs, stories, vintage photographs, and historical documents, to trace the changing way of life in a rural Ontario village in the twentieth century.

Walker, whose familial roots run generations deep in the village of Coulson, celebrates and preserves the stories of a rural way of life that is disappearing. Walker has been able to capture the spirit and vernacular of the community. Here is history made relevant as she gathers up the characters, customs and culture of “old Oro” and weaves them into a new cloth with which to wrap our twenty-first century selves. Walker’s personal connections to the community and to the women of the WI-- including her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother-- make this performance a moving and intimate tribute. “The Coulson Women’s Institute” is a loving and deeply human historical document.

We're delighted to be welcoming Anne on Saturday, November 1, at 7:30 p.m. Our building is wheelchair accessible, nut-free, and we strive to be scent free as well. We have a large parking lot, but we are also accessible by TTC via the 86 bus from Kennedy Station.

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the door or in advance if you prefer.

Tuesday
Oct282014

Hiring a New Receptionist

We're pleased to announce that we're hiring a new receptionist.  We're a dynamic, growing, changing congregation with a lot of stuff going on, and we need a self-starter who can prioritize and juggle lots of things at once.  

Applications are due November 14.  Please refer to the attached job description for more details and information about how to apply.

Receptionist Job Description

Tuesday
Oct212014

Ever Wonder is POSTPONED

 

We are sorry to inform you that we have to cancel the Ever Wonder Conference scheduled for Oct 31 to Nov 2.  
Gretta's mother has become critically ill and will require gretta's full attention for the next few weeks; this family crisis will prevent us from creating and presenting the desired experience.  We plan to reschedule the conference, hopefully in the spring.  
We are currently in the process of issuing full refunds.  If you paid online through PayPal or by credit card, you should receive email notification of the refund within 1-2 days and the refund should be credited back to your account shortly thereafter.  If you paid by cheque, a refund cheque will be issued and mailed by the end of the week.
We hope we have not caused too much inconvenience with travel plans. We will let you know when we have a new date.  
If you have questions or concerns, or don't receive your refund, please contact us directly at finance@westhill.net or kelly@westhill.net

 

 

Friday
Sep122014

westhill.mississauga

Despite our small size, we're a congregation with chutzpah! So, because we've known for a long, long time that there are many people on the west side of the city who are interested in what we offer here on the east side, we're packing up the team and heading on over!  

Many of our visitors over the years, have come from the west side of the city - Oakville, Mississauga, Parkdale, Hamilton. Rather than continue to disappoint them, we're starting a satellite community in Mississauga beginning October 19th. It will be an opportunity  to create a place that can nurture those interested in church who may not be interested in church doctrine. 

Every third Sunday of the month, Gretta, Scott, and Babette will drive over to 2067 Stanfield Road (map) where we have rented space in a lovely United Church facility. There we will provide an opportunity for folks to gather for the same kind of community we've created here at West Hill.  Theologically barrier-free, the emphasis will be on bringing diverse perspectives together and creating space in which they can engage with a view to learning more about one another and developing deep and lasting relationships. We hope to draw not only from those we have on record has having come from visit us at West Hill, but people who have never yet heard of a church without reference to Jesus or God before but who are searching for a community that can support them in the challenges of living a life of goodness.  After all, its what we do best. 

Already, talented individuals not currently engaged in the life of the congregation in West Hill have made it known that they are very interested in being part of the leadership of the satellite community. And we're excited about working with them! They have great ideas which, combined with those that emerge from the people who gather, will create a community that will have the same underlying precepts as West Hill but its own culture and flavour.  And we think that's pretty exciting!

As the new community develops there will be many ways that you can become involved. The Elements Committee has taken responsibility for packing a refreshments basket for the first gathering and we're delighted that they are pitching in!  Anything you'd like to do?  Speak with Gretta, Scott, Babette, or Karen and we'll make sure you are included.

We're feeling pretty good about sharing what West Hill is all about. You make us what we are! 

October 19th, 6:00p.m., 2067 Stanfield Road, Mississauga

 

 

Tuesday
Aug262014

FaithStreet features Gretta's ministry

The American based online journal known as FaithStreet, recently published an article on Gretta's unique ministry as an atheist.  

"Gretta Vosper describes herself as both a minister and an atheist. That may sound like an oxymoron to some, but her work and witness offer a model that speaks to those who no longer believe in the orthodox Christian concept of “God” but still seek the community present in church cultures." Read more

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Friday
Jul182014

JOSEPH BOYDEN, AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR OF “THE ORENDA” TO SPEAK AT WEST HILL UNITED CHURCH

Joseph Boyden, author of  “Three Day Road”, “Through Black Spruce”, “The Orenda” and winner of Canada Reads for 2014 will be the guest speaker on Wednesday September 24th, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. at West Hill United Church, 62 Orchard Pk. Drive at Kingston Road, Scarborough, On M1E 3T7.   This is a benefit for Camp Onakawana, a camp for kids in the far north, which is dear to Mr. Boyden’s heart.   A ‘meet and greet’ with the author and book signing will follow with light refreshments. Tickets are by donation, suggested minimum $20.00, in advance, from the church. Make cheques payable to: West Hill United Church. For more information call 416-282-8566.

The First Nations Study Group at West Hill United Church has been meeting for over 3 years. Through our group studies, the heartbreak of the ongoing tragedy of the suicides and attempted suicides amongst young people on reserves has been painfully brought home to us.   Joseph Boyden and his close friends are striving to make a difference in the lives of the young people in the far north, changing despair into self-reliance.  We hope that you will be able to join us on September 24th, to help make a difference, too! 

BUILDING SOMETHING, by Joseph Boyden

There’s a place in the wilderness of the northern lowlands, a paradise dotted by black spruce and poplar, tamarack and ash, the earth woven with rivers and pocked by muskeg.  It’s true bush, about 220 kilometers north of Cochrane, Ontario, and about 90 kilometers south of Moosonee and its northern reserve cousin, Moose Factory.

In recent years, these communities, and others very similar to them right across Canada’s north, have been devastated by waves of young people taking their own lives.  There are the theories: brutal socio-economic conditions, psycho-biological tendencies, the post-traumatic stress of a culture’s destruction.  Ultimately, though, no one is quite sure why the rate is often 100 times higher than the Canadian average.  All we know is that something desperately needs to be done.

So we’re doing something.  We are building a camp for kids there, where the Abitibi River meets another, much smaller river, the camp’s namesake, the Onakawana. 

We are working hard to change despair into self-reliance, of changing that frightening feeling of being lost into always knowing how to find home, of changing the belief that there isn’t much of a future into seeing that the world is your oyster, or should I say, your netted sturgeon, your beaded moccasin, your moose tenderloin, your sweat lodge, your eagle feather, your round dance in the wilderness, surrounded by your friends.  

And what makes me especially happy is that this camp, Onakawana, won’t be the only one.  It’s just the first in what will be camps for youth across Canada, where young people can get to learn and get to share, maybe get to find themselves a little bit. It’s a place where they are encouraged to simply become themselves.