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.

Friday
Nov172017

Networked Change in Canada

The team at the Broadbent Institute are thrilled to share with you an opportunity to learn more about the strategies and practices that lie behind today’s most successful advocacy campaigns, based on Networked Change in Canada, a groundbreaking report Broadbent Institute published earlier this year. The report, based on a U.S. study by authors Jason Mogus and Tom Liacas, features Canadian case studies of campaign innovations in this country.

This participatory webinar will provide a deep dive into the principles outlined in the report and into one of the Canadian case studies profiled in the report. Our goal is to share a model that can be learned and replicated by other campaigners for how to blend grassroots participation and organizing with disciplined central planning to win. The webinar is an opportunity for you to learn more about how to put these ideas into practice.

 About the Presenters

Jason Mogus, NetChange

A digital pioneer for two decades, Jason Mogus is the principal strategist at NetChange Consulting (formerly Communicopia). He has led digital transformation projects and campaigns for some of the world’s most recognized social change organizations and movements. In 2012, he created the world’s first report on non-profit digital teams and in 2015 was named a fellow of the Broadbent Institute. His campaigns have won elections and Webby awards, raised millions of dollars, and transformed dozens of institutions, leaders and teams for the digital world.

 Logan McIntosh, Leadnow

Logan joined Leadnow in the spring of 2012, organizing national days of action on climate, democracy and a fair economy. She managed Leadnow’s national organizing program in the lead up to the 2015 federal election. Using a digitally-enabled, narrative-based, distributed organizing model, Leadnow engaged over 5,000 volunteers who had over 50,000 live conversations. Logan loves working with the Leadnow community and is committed to exploring how it can use digital tools to scale the impact of its organizing program, bring new people into the political process, and deliver impact on critical campaigns. Logan is now based in Toronto, but also calls Edmonton and Vancouver home.

 

The Webinar is scheduled for December 5th from 2:00- 2:45 pm.

CLICK HERE for more Information and registration.

Wednesday
Nov082017

Habitat for Humanity - Gingerbread Build

Hi ,

Who knew giving back can be so sweet!

Kick off your holidays with Habitat for Humanity GTA’s 15thAnnual Gingerbread Build.

Here's how you can get involved with this family friendly event:

  • Purchase your Habitat Sweet Home gingerbread kit online.
  • Pick up your kit at one of our three office locations; or 
  • Sign up online to join us at City Hall on December 2nd and decorate your gingerbread house together with other families.

There's no sweeter way for families and children of all ages to give back and make a difference this holiday season. It also makes for a great office team building activity, too!

All funds raised from gingerbread kits help build Habitat homes for families in need of decent, affordable housing.    

Thursday
Nov022017

Colloquy - November 2nd

 

CONVERSATIONS ... for building communities of faith

A Colloquium sponsored by Toronto Southeast Presbytery featuring conversations on Christian discipleship and how we build up the household of faith.

Featuring (among others) Gretta Vosper, Robin Wardlaw, Ellen Vesterdal, Brett Boyko, Tom Reynolds, Bronwyn Best, members of the West Hill congregation and other communities of faith.

Our purpose is to hear one another, make space for differences and build on common ground. 

Live streaming will be available for this conference.
Please visit the College Street United website on thursday morning to access the link. 
For those who'd like to email questions during the sessions, please do so and the facilitators will do their best to have them included and addressed. 


Thursday, Nov. 2nd, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
Keynote conversation: November 2nd - 7:30 pm

College Street United Church, 454 College

(northwest corner of College and Bathurst Streets)

Free admission (lunch is provided)

E-mail Chris for more information: chris.levan4@gmail.com

Conversation Agenda:
9:00 Introductions and welcoming
9:15 A background explanation of how we arrived at this point: Gretta Vosper
10:00 -10:45  Brett Boyko and  Gretta Vosper  Topic: At the beginning of my ministry what should I do to prepare myself…what are the big issues?
10:45 – 11:00 nutrition break
11:00  - 12:15  Robin Wardlaw and Gretta Vosper:Topic: At the end of my career, what have we accomplished and how do you see our community of faith  moving forward?

12:15 – 1:15 Lunch1:15 – 1:30 Current practice and hope: Gretta Vosper

1:30 – 2:30 Bronwyn Best and Gretta VosperTopic: How do we act justly and how do we know that we act justly in the new world we are facing…where do we find our ethical authority?
2:30- 3:00 Break3:00 - 4:00  Chris Levan and Gretta VosperTopic: Is it possible to believe without having an object for that belief?

7:30 – 7:45  The future, Gretta Vosper
7:45 – 8:30 Ellen Vesterdal, Topic: What is the future of Christian liturgy and music?
8:30 – 9:00 Chris Levam and Gretta  VosperTopic: When we die?

This Colloquium is sponsored by Toronto Southeast Presbytery featuring conversations on Christian discipleship and we are so grateful for it’s support.
Thank you to our community business partners for supporting WHU programs!

Thursday
Oct262017

The Observer - Living in Right Relationship

The work West Hill's members do toward establishing right relationship with its Indigenous sisters and brothers (we're all Treaty people) is featured in this month's Observer. Thanks to Kristy Woudstra for an excellent article. Check out "Real reconciliation means taking action" in this month's UC Observer Magazine.


Friday
Oct202017

Allied with the Community at Parkminster United Church

Parkminster United Church in Waterloo will look to artistically re-frame the graffiti left in front of their doors this week. This, just after posting a message on their sign board inviting the community to an LGBTQ and allies potluck dinner this Saturday. 

We want to add our voice to Meghan Gilholm when she says, ”Parkminster will not stand for this hate and neither will I.” Our rainbow flag will proudly welcome the community in West Hill to our Progressive dinner this Saturday evening and we'll be thinking of the folks at Parkminster as we sit down together.

Click here to read the article by Jeff Hicks for The Record.com


Listen as Mike Farwell of AM 570 chats with Rev. Joe and Rev. Heather about the graffiti found at the church. (12 minute mark in the recording)
Thursday
Oct192017

2018 Winter Book Study

Send us your suggestions for our Winter Book Study!!

The Winter session is scheduled to begin on Friday, January 12th.  
We are now asking folks to submit book titles for consideration. Please suggest what you would like the rest of us to read, with a short paragraph promoting each book.
Email your titles and blurbs to the team HERE

A bit abour the 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 have come to the first to still join us.  You can pop in mid-way through.  

 

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

Thursday
Oct192017

A Box of Chocolates - Another Layer

Please join us for a very special presentation On November 4th

The Friends of Gretta Vosper Association is pleased to once again bring you another very special concert by our good friend Alan Ely. Alan is a long-time friend of West Hill and has shared his musical gifts with us on a number of occasions.

Last year Alan offered us a musical Box of Chocolates. When asked about the concert, he referenced what Forest Gump once said, “Mama told me life was like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get.”

 

This year Alan has added another layer… with some of the old favourites and some brand new songs and stories delivered with Alan’s warmth and humour. So sit back, and get comfortable, as Alan entertains you with some country and soft rock, some jazz and pop, some chart toppers, Oscar winners, Grammies winners, and some Broadway,  not to mention favourites from the Silver Screen... you just never know!

It's just Alan, a stool, a mike, maybe a music stand, and another layer of the songs and stories that will bring back memories or carry you away.

Tickets on sale Sunday mornings at the WHU Kiosk, or call the office to hold tickets at the door. 416-282-8566


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"