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.


The Blanket Exercise

West Hill United has been invited to join Rabbi Denise Handlarski, spiritual leader and Program Director of the Oraynu Congregation for Humanistic Judaism, as they lead a
Blanket Exercise.
We plan to meet at the Borochov Cultural Centre in North York on Sunday June 25th at 4 p.m. MAP Spots are limited due to the venue; please let us know you'd like to attend so we can RSVP on your behalf.


"The KAIROS Blanket Exercise is an interactive learning experience that teaches the Indigenous rights history we’re rarely taught. Developed in response to the 1996 Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples—which recommended education on Canadian-Indigenous history as one of the key steps to reconciliation, the Blanket Exercise covers over 500 years of history in a one and a half hour participatory workshop.

Blanket Exercise participants take on the roles of Indigenous peoples in Canada. Standing on blankets that represent the land, they walk through pre-contact, treaty-making, colonization and resistance. They are directed by facilitators representing a narrator (or narrators) and the European colonizers. Participants are drawn into the experience by reading scrolls and carrying cards which ultimately determine their outcomes. By engaging on an emotional and intellectual level, the Blanket Exercise effectively educates and increases empathy. Ideally, the exercise is followed by a debriefing session in which participants have the opportunity to discuss the experience as a group. This often takes the form of a talking circle." - Kairos

Watch Video HERE



Social Innovation challenge

Now is the time

Develop your concept, discover new partners, and compete for a chance to win start-up funding!  Focusing on proposals that have financial sustainability, positive social impact, an environmentally friendly focus, or are spiritually grounded, the winning ideas will have the support of mentors from across the business world, receive start-up funding, receive ongoing support, and create connections with many other like-minded people from around the local community.

The Social Innovation Challenge Details.

Read more about the Toronto Event here.



Women's group returning this spring.

In syn●the●sis, women gather to celebrate life, explore its many beautiful but often ravaged elements and weave them together into a whole. Creating an atmosphere of intimacy and support, syn●the●sis encourages engagement on many levels, bringing to the fore the layered depths of our being that sometimes take a back seat to the many demands on our time.

Here, we can unwind, discover, share, create, consider, and become known – to ourselves as much as to the others gathered with us.

Getting it all together is a start. 
Keeping it together is an art. 
syn●the●sis provides a place where wholeness can happen.

Please hold time to join us this spring. Our six week program will run alternating Thursday and Friday mornings from 10 a.m.-noon.

Detailed Schedule:

May 26th, June 1st, 9th, 15th, 23rd, and 29th.




Kairos Event

How do indigenous, immigrant and settler people connect?

Join the coordinators at Kairos for an information session that speaks to the themes detailed in the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action recommendations # 93 & 94.

Thursday April 27th, 6:30-8:30

Christian Resource Centre, 40 Oak Street

Carpooling will be arranged. If interested please contact Marion at 416-284-6696




Annual Wayne Crossley Memorial Golf Tournament



Contact Terry Repol at trepol@rogers.com
OR Mel Crossley at wmcross@rogers.com



Dream Away: Palm Sunday and 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 on the mornings of April 9th and 16th 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. 


If you want dialogue ...

Since early May, 2015, West Hill United Church has been wanting to talk. That’s when Toronto
Conference’s sub-Executive Committee met and decided to review our minister, Gretta Vosper, for
her effectiveness. We wanted to talk with them about how that review came about. We wanted to
talk with our Presbytery about why our perspective wasn’t being considered. We wanted to talk with
the congregation whose letter had been used to trigger our minister’s review. We wanted to talk.
Almost everywhere we turned, we met with silence or dismissal. We reached out to Metropolitan
United Church to invite them to a conversation, with dessert and coffee, but they didn’t get back to
us. We started an online petition asking that we be heard in the review and gathered 343 signatures
within days, 270 of which included comments. (These comments rested on the table at Gretta’s
interview, brought there by Randy Bowes, the Chair of West Hill, who accompanied Gretta as her
silent support person.) We presented an affidavit to the appeal of the General Secretary’s ruling
which had allowed Gretta’s review and argued that, since we were in covenant with her, the
process, which excluded us, was not within United Church polity. Our concerns were dismissed. The
submission included pages of letters we had received both in favour of defrocking Gretta and
opposed to the process that would allow defrocking. The response of the General Council’s counsel
suggested that the letters had not been thoroughly read. We sought the wisdom of the Presbytery
about a plan to invite all presbyters to West Hill for an evening of conversation and were told that
wouldn’t be a good idea. So we reached out to the Congregational Health Team (CHT) instead and
welcomed four of its members to a lively conversation one evening in May, 2016, only to watch the
CHT share their work at the next Presbytery meeting without even telling presbyters they had met with
us. There is no record of our conversation in their official minutes. We approached Toronto
Conference and asked if we could book a room at its Annual Meeting, as other congregations do, to
engage with any who wished to come and speak with us about our ministry, ask us questions, or tell
us how they feel. We were denied. We asked if we could put some pamphlets on Conference tables
and Conference directed us not to. So fifty of us showed up at the meeting anyway, engaging only
individuals who approached us. Even limiting ourselves in that way, we still had some amazing,
“unofficial” conversations! We asked that our Chair, Randy Bowes, be permitted to speak at the
meeting of the Ministry Personnel Review Committee last June when Gretta was interviewed by
them. Our request was denied even though Ministry Personnel Review procedures require the
committee to hear anyone the Ministry Personnel wants it to hear.
After all this official silence, we were invited to make a fifteen-minute presentation to the Toronto
Conference sub-Executive which, according to media reports, had the potential to turn the entire
situation around. Our compiled congregational statements failed to sway the sub-Executive. We
invited Presbytery Executive to meet with us at their premises in November and that has yet to be
arranged. We want to talk.
We have learned over these many months and so many official rejections, however, that United
Church people want to talk. Shortly after the review was ordered, two conferences, Hamilton and
Toronto, voted overwhelmingly in favour of proposals asking the 42nd General Council, meeting that
summer in Cornerbrook, to launch a discussion about the questions of ordination to ensure they were
relevant and could be used for the purposes to which they were being put. Toronto’s proposal was
defeated by fifty-one percent. Forty-three percent of General Council Commissioners voted to have
that conversation but when Hamilton’s proposal hit the table at the General Council Executive
meeting in April 2016, despite the chair of the Theology, Inter-Church, and Interfaith Committee
asking, at the GCE’s previous meeting, to do the work, the GCE declined to listen to the request of
almost half its Commissioners to hold a conversation. Following the Ministry Personnel Review
Committee finding that Gretta was unsuitable to be a minister in the UCC, over thirteen hundred
people signed a petition initiated by Southminster-Steinhauer United Church in Edmonton, urging the
sub-Executive of Toronto Conference to reject that finding. Over seven hundred people who signed
the petition added passionate comments, mostly about concerns regarding the process. Over two
dozen clergy from Maritime Conference asked for a conversation across the church to take place
before any decision be taken regarding our minister. General Council staff stated that such a
conversation was out of order. One of those signatories subsequently placed her own name on the
Discontinued Service List as an act of solidarity and protest. Twelve clergy from Edmonton also asked
for a stay in the proceedings and a conversation across the church; they received the same
negative response. Wascana Presbytery sent a proposal through Saskatchewan Conference, with
the latter’s approval, asking the General Council Executive to stay the proceedings to allow for a
conversation about theology to take place across the Church. The GCE, after General Council Staff
argued that it would be too problematic for the General Council Executive to overturn a decision
made by its sub-Executive – a committee that is accountable to it – voted not to change course.
Immediately, another motion was put on the floor of the same meeting asking that a wide
consultation be struck regarding the General Secretary’s ruling and its “denominational-shaping”
influence, the result of which would be discussed at the 43rd General Council meeting to be held in
2018. That motion was also defeated.
We want to talk. You want to talk. The official church doesn’t want to talk. So, let’s get together
without them.
Throughout 2017, West Hill United is committed to having conversations with you. About the review
process, beliefs, doctrine, church beyond theological barriers, non-exclusive language – or anything
else. Whether you invite us to join you where you are or engage us in a virtual coffee hour, we know
this conversation needs to happen and we’re willing to make it happen. We believe The United
Church of Canada will be better for it. Ask us. We’re ready to talk. In fact, we’re more than ready.
To arrange for a conversation with members of West Hill United Church, contact Annie DiPede at
westhillunited@gmail.com. Conversations already in the works: Victoria, BC, January 26, 2017.
Edmonton, September, 2017. Fredericton. Montreal.

Putting Everything on the Table


The serious spiritual business of putting everything on the table may lead us to consider

  • The rise of post-Christendom Church communities.

  • Progressive Christian communities.

  • What theists, non-theists and atheists have in common.

  • 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.

A presentation of the Christian Education and Spiritual Formation Committee of

Chalmers United Church

212 Barrie Street Kingston ON K7L 3K3

p 613-546-3263  f 613-546-3340  <info@chalmersunitedchurch.com>




TRAINWRECK at West Hill's 3rd Annual Pub Night

West Hill welcomes TRAINWRECK back to our stage on Saturday April 29th 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 now through the West Hill Kiosk, or call the office to reserve. 416-282-8566






Seeing Through My Eyes - A Blog

Ecumenical Accompanier - First Hand Reporting

A member of Toronto Southeast Presbytery is overseas doing ecumenical accompaniment alongside vulnerable people (name withheld for security reasons). If you would like to follow their blog, please sign up using the following link:


Until they return, no name is being attached to the blog for security reasons.