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
Oct172017

Celebrated Lives Service

Celebrated Lives Service

 Please join us for this special service on November 5th.

On this day, we will celebrate the lives of love ones we have lost and hold them in the hearts of our community. During the service we will read the names you offer, as we light candles and hold each other in community no matter how far. 

You may contact the office to offer names for remembrance here.

Please message us by Thursday Nov. 2nd.

 

 

Tuesday
Oct172017

Once Again, Putting Everything On the Table

Serious Spiritual Business

Putting everything on the Table

 

Over the past few years, West Hill United Church has been profoundly challenged to engage the nature of their Christian and denominational identity and to imagine what their emerging future church can be. You are invited to join with

 

People of West Hill United Church Toronto

and their minister, The Rev. Gretta Vosper

in conversation with

The Christian Church of 2017

 Wednesday October 25th, 7 – 9 pm

Westmount Park United Church

4695 boul de maisonneuve oust,

Westmount, Quebec

 

West Hill is a people, a place, an idea, 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.

 We have invited congregations from across the country to have a conversation with us. We are delighted to have this opportunity to talk with you, in Montreal, about our experience with the rise of “Nones” in culture and how we are engaging them effectively; to answer questions such as, What does it mean to be a theologically non-exclusive church?; and to share our response to The United Church of Canada’s review of our minister.”

  

Questions about this serious spiritual business of putting everything on the table may arise such as the rise of post-Christendom Church communities, Progressive Christian communities, the difference between non-theist and atheist, can there be a Christian Church without Jesus? 

Can there be a church without God?

 

We gather to meet, to listen, to hear, to share, to part with understanding.

 

 Westmount Park United & Beaconsfield United Churches are pleased to host this evening’s presentation and dialogue for persons of all denominations and none, who are passionately committed to an authentic and  responsible engagement of the theological and ecclesial transformational journey of this millennium.

 

For information please connect with us at 514-937-1146

westmountparkuc@videotron.ca

Saturday
Oct142017

Welcome Ali Rizvi

Meet Ali Rizvi this Sunday as he offers his Perspective(s) on"Grief without belief: How do atheists deal with death?"

 Ali A. Rizvi grew up in Libya, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan before moving to Canada and the United States when he was 24. He has been writing extensively about secularism in the Muslim world for several years, working as a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and being published on major media outlets like CNN.
His book, The Atheist Muslim, follows Ali as he finds himself caught between two narrative voices he cannot relate to: extreme Islam and anti-Muslim bigotry in a post-9/11 world.  It is emotionally and intellectually compelling; a personal story that outlines the challenges of modern Islam and the factors that could help lead it toward a substantive, progressive reformation.
We hope you will join us in Welcoming Ali to West Hill United! 
MORE about "The Atheist Muslim"
Saturday
Oct142017

Losing Our Religion Documentary

"Losing Our Religion" will play on the Documentary Channel across Canada Sunday, October 15 at 9 p.m. ET & 10 pm PT 

"Losing Our Religion is a feature length documentary about preachers who are not believers, and what atheists do when they miss church. Allowed access to the 600 members of The Clergy Project – a safe haven for preachers from all faiths who no longer believe – the documentary follows ex-members and clergy who are still undercover.
They are not just losing their religion, for many they are losing their friends, community and even family. As well as their job.
As events unfold that change lives forever, their stories also connect with secular communities that are growing in surprising places. New groups are experimenting in ways to have church without god, and asking the same question as unbelieving clergy - "what's next?"
Losing Our Religion is a documentary about community, acceptance, and a view inside the complicated lives of clergy who are stranded in the rising tide of non-believers." - www.losingourreligion.ca

Watch the trailer HERE

 

Tuesday
Sep262017

West Hill Wants to Talk! - Maritime Conference

Folks from West Hill United, alongside Gretta, continue the dialogue in the Maritime Conference:

Commitment to Community, With or Without God:

Promoting Respectful Dialogue As we look to the Future of The United Church of Canada with Gretta Vosper and members of West Hill United Church.

The United Church of Canada is in a time of radical transition. Membership is in steep decline and its future is uncertain. The congregation of West Hill United Church and their minister, Gretta Vosper, with a vision of what the church might become for another generation, have radically redefined what it means to them to be a United Church Community. They have done so, even as Vosper’s life-time involvement with this denomination has taken her to a place where she now self-identifies as an atheist. That has led many to conclude that she has disqualified herself from ministry. Her congregation continues to affirm her ministry. We have invited them to tell their story and share their experience. This is another of those challenging moments in the life of our denomination. We face it at a time when civil discourse is hard to come by; when the tactics of the politics of polarization have affected us all. In this environment it is easier to find echo chambers for our own opinions than it is to engage those with whom we disagree. The need to find common ground and common cause has never been greater. When people will not speak with one another, there is slim hope for finding that common ground. So we invite you, whether traditionalist or atheist or somewhere in between, to join us with your questions and concerns. The aim of this time together is to hear and to understand one another. In an atmosphere of trust we hope to consider whether and how the United Church might provide space for all of us.

Two Options:

Monday, September 25

Afternoon and Evening Sessions begin 1:00 PM and 7:00 PM

Trinity United Church 36 St John St, Shelburne, Nova Scotia

To Register: Contact Joanne McFadden tuc.shelburne@ns.sympatico.ca 1 (902) 875-2943

OR

Wednesday, September 27 A full day of sessions:  10:00 AM, 1:00 PM and 7:00 PM

Forest Hill United Church 45 Kimble Court Fredericton, New Brunswick

To Register: Contact Murray McFarlane murrayfmcfarlane@gmail.com 1 (506) 461-1579

 

Registration Information

  Please connect with the contact persons by email (preferred) or telephone with: - your name, address, email & phone contact information.

The registration fee will be yours to determine - a free-will offering - either in advance of our time together or upon your arrival. Please be generous in support of this important exploration.

All are welcome, please invite the committed and the curious to come with you!

Saturday
Sep232017

Fall Clean-up

The building and grounds at West Hill will be given our TLC on Saturday October 14th and we'd love for you to join us in the gardens! All hands, hearts, gardening tools and supplies would be greatly appreciated as we get set to tidy, weed and get ready for the coming season.

Donations of bulbs, or yard waste bags would be wonderful!

9AM-3PM  Pot luck lunch planned!


If you'd prefer to lend a hand inside, we'd also appreciate help sorting and organizing some storage areas, and possibly an office or two. 

Please sign up in the lobby or contact he office if you'd like to lend a hand.


 

Saturday
Sep232017

Holiday Bazaar 2017

WE ARE GETTING READY, feel free to bring your bazaar donations to the church. Sunday mornings are best but Tues. -Thurs. drop offs can be arranged with the office.

This years's bazaar will feature: Our fabulous lunch room and coffee house, baked goods and preserves, WHU Signature Specialties – gingerbread houses and cookies, cranberry sauces, shortbreads, carrot cake, lemon squares, antipasto, brownies, preserves and more!

Nearly New Fashion Boutique featuring gently-used seasonal clothing, a free draw for a seasonal plant with a donation to our community food basket.

Looks pretty exciting! Lots planned and lots to do...help wanted!

 Donate

- white elephant items/attic treasures worthy of a second home, including clean, gently-used seasonal family fashions

- items for our raffle or a gift basket

- books in good condition

- houseplants and garden supplies

- home baking, preserves and other treats

- your time and energy and enthusiasm

Create

- a gift basket, perhaps with a friend. Choose a theme. Look for bargains. Please include a list of contents and approximate value.

- knitted or sewn items

- painted or wooden items

Join

-the Crafty Ladies that meets Tuesdays at 1 pm in the lounge. If you can design, cut, glue, paint, tie, hammer, knit or sew, we need you!

- the groups making antipasto and other home-made kitchen/frozen creations (watch for further details)

-the volunteers needed before, during and after the Bazaar. Volunteer Sign-up sheets are in the lobby.

Invite

- your friends and family to visit our Bazaar on Saturday November 19. They can enjoy a coffee and a pastry, do their Christmas shopping, sit down to a quiet lunch and pick up some baking or other WHU specialties.

 

Wednesday
Sep202017

Rooted In Peace

 

This Thursday is the International Day for Peace. West Hill will be joining thousands of other communities around the world as we watch the acclaimed film, "Rooted in Peace". Join us or join Films for the Planet so that you, too, can stream the video for free and share the event with some friends. We are the way to peace or the way to violence. Choose peace this Thursday. Film starts at 7:30. 

Click here to watch the trailer.

 

Thank you to our comminuty business partners for supporting our events!

Please check out our website for our class schedule, rates and more information: 

 www.inthespirityoga.com or email us at letsconnect@inthespirityoga.com

We’re in Highland Creek Plaza, 376 Old Kingston Road and we’re open SEVEN days a week.  Namaste!

 

Friday
Sep152017

Communion Sunday and Welcome to New Members

Earlier this spring, we opened our arms and welcomed people into our extraordinary space and the inspirational community that enlivens it. In fact, we do that every Sunday.
On October 1st, we will celebrate once again with a special communion service that will offer a pledge to be present to everyone who, on that special day, chooses to become a member of our congregation and, through it, of The United Church of Canada.
 
While we, as a community, make that pledge to the individuals choosing to make West Hill their church home, they, too, make a pledge to us. In so doing, they are making it known that the principles by which West Hill guides itself are those they wish to use to guide their own lives. And they commit to helping us do that as a community.

 

In his ground-breaking book, The Exceptional 7 Percent: Nine Secrets of the World’s Happiest Couples, Gary Popcak presents his analysis of the most successful marriages. Noting that when each partner can identify what he or she wants to be when she or he dies, in other words, the most important ideals or goals in that person’s life, Popcak argues that the best marriages are those in which the partners commit to helping one another meet those goals. And that’s what we’re doing when we embrace new members; we’re committing to help them as they become the people they want to be and they are committing to help us become the church we want to be. It is a beautiful moment in time and one to celebrate. 

If you would like to join West Hill on Communion Sunday, October 1st, please let gretta know by emailing or phoning the office.

Wednesday
Aug022017

Heart and Vision Award Recipients

Council's 9th annual Heart & Vision Awards concert on May 15 was an unforgettable evening focused on reconciliation between First Nations and Canadians of settler heritage. Dr. Cindy Blackstock and the Very Rev. Stan McKay were honoured for their advocacy for First Nations peoples and the concert raised over $9,000 for Council's Community Relief Fund. Watch our youtube channel to see the full length award acceptance speeches.

Dr. Cindy Blackstock

"Executive Director, First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada, and Professor, School of Social Work, McGill University

A member of the Gitksan First Nation, Cindy has 25 years of social work experience in child protection and Indigenous children’s rights. 

Her promotion of culturally based equity for First Nations children and families and engaging children in reconciliation has been recognized by the Nobel Women’s Initiative, the Aboriginal Achievement Foundation, Frontline Defenders and many others." - First Nations Child & Family Caring Society of Cananda

 

Rev. Dr. Stan McKay

"Stan McKay, a member of the Fisher River Cree Nation in Manitoba, is a spiritual leader, teacher, and activist. In 1971, he was ordained by the United Church, and between 1992 and 1994, he served as its first Aboriginal moderator. Stan is the recipient of numerous awards, including a National Aboriginal Achievement Award, and he has honorary doctorates conferred by the University of Waterloo, and Winnipeg, and United Theological College of McGill University. He was director of the Dr. Jessie Saulteaux Resource Centre in Beausejour, Manitoba, a theological school that respects both Christian and Aboriginal spiritual traditions. Along with fellow members of the National Native Council of the United Church, Stan successfully advocated for the Church’s apology, issued in 1986, for its role in cultural oppression of First Nations peoples." - speakingmytruth.ca