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. 

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The latest news, videos and perspectives from our community:

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Guest Speaker - May 6th & Visitors and Travellers Lunch

We are very pleased that Catherine Dunphy will join us on May 6th as our Guest Speaker.

Catherine is a communications professional, a writer and the secretary for the Board of Directors of the Clergy Project - a safe haven for active and former clergy who do not hold the supernatural beliefs of their religious traditions. Catherine will share her thoughts and views with us.

Please plan to join us for what will be a most interesting and inciteful service.

Following the service a light lunch will be available that fits well with the begining of our baseball season.


A Psalm of Love - an adaptation of the psalm of the shepherd

The reading on Sunday April 29th, was an adaptation of the psalm of the shepherd, one which has, for generations and generations, offered solace, guidance, and strength to those whose lives are rimmed with mountains of sorrow and fear. It is part of the Christian lectionary and was read before millions of our sisters and brothers in a great Sunday morning wave that sweot around the globe. We, too, are part of that wave and share an adaptation of the psalm, its essence distilled and offered here.

Watch Gretta's reflection on the Psalm.  The text of the reading is reproduced below.

A Psalm of Love - an adaptation of the psalm of the shepherd

With love as my guide, I shall not want.

It makes of my days a green pasture;
it leads me to ponder still waters;
it restores my soul.

Love offers me paths that bloom with its truths.

Even though I walk through the darkest valleys,
I fear no ill;
for love is with me;
its presence and strength -- they comfort me.

Love lays a table before me
that I might invite and serve my enemies;
it calms the anxiety of my mind
       with the sweet oil of the heart;
my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and mercy shall flow from me
       all the days of my life,
if I but build each one

with the words of love

my whole life long.

Offered as wisdom for the journey


Signed copies of Amen by Gretta Vosper now available

Signed copies of Amen are now available to order directly from West Hill United Church.  Just follow the link for all the details.


Walk for Peace, Respect and Friendship

Walk for Peace, Respect and Friendship is planned for Saturday April 28, 2012 at 2pm in Caledonia, including speeches, a potluck, live music, games, activities and discussions. 

For over 200 years, until the 2006 land reclamation or occupation at Douglas Creek Estates, in Caledonia, the Six Nations have pursued settlement of their grievances by conventional means only.  For seven generations the Six Nations have waited for the courts or negotiations to work.  To no avail.

The Walk for Peace, Respect and Friendship on April 28th, is an opportunity to show support for the Six Nations People by bringing our communities together in a peaceful call for our treaties to be honoured.  

Click here for more information and all the details.


49th Shelf Interview with Gretta

49th Shelf is a one of a kind resource for discovering, discussing and indulging Canadian books.

On March 21st they interviewed Gretta on spirituality vs. religion, prayer as a placebo and how to become an agent of change. In the interview you can sample a little of what Gretta has offered in her new book "Amen".  



Celebration of Gretta's New Book

Birth of the Book - A Celebration

On Sunday April 1, 2012, West Hill is pleased to celebrate with Gretta on the release of her latest book, Amen: What Prayer Can Mean in a World Beyond Belief.

Please join us at 10:30 am, West Hill United Church for a special celebration, book signing and reception.  


Purchase a copy of Amen through the West Hill Kiosk and win a gourmet dinner with Gretta. 

Pre-order your copy by March 11th by placing a $5 deposit (cost the book is $30, tax included) and you will receive a ballot for the contest and a signed copy of her book at the launch on April 1, 2012. 

Closing Date for preorders and contest: Sunday, March 11, 2012

Contest Draw Date: April 1, 2012 

Book Price: $30 (inc. tax) 

For more information, email the church office or call 416-282-8566.

Book Details:

Prayer is an essential part of the daily lives of many people. Some believe it connects them with God, a cosmic force, the universe or life itself, and that it can change circumstances or bring them comfort, protection and peace. Others engage in the act of prayer as a traditional ritual from which they neither demand nor expect results. Many who pray cannot imagine living without it. For many others, however, prayer has no significance in their lives at all. Having left a practice they once knew or matured without religious intervention or instruction, the idea of praying regularly might be considered by these individuals as nothing more than a waste of time. In Amen, Gretta Vosper, United Church minister and author of the controversial bestseller With or Without God, examines these diverse positions in the light of the harsh realities of unanswered prayer, the secular critique of supernatural intervention and the need for a deep sense of ownership for the suffering in the world. With characteristic honesty, she calls the reader to submit the tradition of prayer to the test of integrity. Can we draw from it useful principles for addressing human and global needs? Or is it safe, and maybe even more effective, to get up from our knees and live out the answers we seek?


Calvin Neufeld on Bullying

Calvin is a great friend of West Hill.  We were privileged to have him come speak to us a couple of years ago when we were undertaking a process of becoming an Affirming Ministry within the United Church.  Joining Affirm United means being fully recognized as a LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgendered, queer) ally.  We were honoured to have Calvin with us again as we celebrated becoming an Affirming ministry.    

If you're in the Perth area, you won't want to miss hearing him speak.

When: Saturday, March 10, 2012, 2:00 pm
Where: St. Paul's United Church, 25 Gore Street West, Perth, ON
Age: Appropriate for school age through to old age
Cost: Free
Why: Because!

To read the press release or to RSVP (optional, for your chance to win a handmade quilt), visit www.calvinneufeld.com


West'ill love the movies

Join us this Sunday February 26 as Gretta makes a gradual return to the work that she loves.  

We will be starting our Inspired by Hollywood series this Sunday as well.  Join us as we look for inspiration in this year’s Academy Award nominees for Best Picture. Watch the film beforehand; join us Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m. for the inspiration.

"The Tree of Life"  February 26

"The Artist"  March 4

"Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close"  March 11

"The Help"  March 18

"Moneyball"  March 25

Right click on the image below to view it full size. 




This United Church

Thanks to Jordan Sullivan who posted this link on Facebook, I'm able to draw your attention to the results of a survey recently completed that aimed to get a handle on the identity, values, and beliefs of people in The United Church of Canada.  There's lots in here to explore but a few interesting tidbits to get you going:

The survey results were coalesced into four groups: Pillars (38%), Observers (23%), Traditionalists (21%), and Progressives (17%).  Hmmm.  Which are you?  You'll have to read the descriptions to REALLY figure it out!

The average length of time someone had been associated with the United Church: 23 years

Respondents over 50 years of age: 82%

Respondents born in Canada: 86%

Respondents who said they'd be very comfortable with a gay, lesbian, or transgender minister: 50%

Respondents to said they'd be very comfortable with a transgender minister: 27%

(The following isn't from the report but I thought you'd find it interesting!)

Number of United Churches: 3362

Number that are members of Affirm United: 62 

Enjoy reading the rest of the report!  You'll find it here but you'll need to scroll down a bit to get to the actual links.


A Taste of Tolerance

Many in our community will remember Jaroslav.  Several people within our church community were instrumental in supporting the work of removing him from the immigration detention centre.  The United Church Observer has documented his story.