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.
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.
The latest news, videos and perspectives from our community:
Want to contribute? Email the webmaster.
This Tuesday, February 4th, at 7 p.m., please come out for our congregational annual meeting. This is a moment to look backwards and forwards, recognizing the growth and challenge we've experienced in the last year and looking ahead with hope and commitment. We'll celebrate the leadership that people have offered and affirm the new leaders stepping forward. And we'll have fun while we're at it!
Please let us know if you require childcare during the meeting.
As seasons change and darkness wanes,
for thousands of years
we have welcomed back the light through
communal gatherings, personal sighs of relief,
and a growing anticipation of the world adorned with verdant green.
Yet the light that shines upon us
is nothing compared to that which can shine from within us.
Join us on February 2nd at 7:00 in the evening
as we celebrate & embolden ourselves for the lighting of the world.
The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America, by Thomas King, is the subject of our Winter Book Study this year, suggested by Ruth Gill, coordinator of West Hill's First Nations Study Group. Ruth convinced those gathered to choose the book for this year's study that King's book warranted their attention by sharing her own perceptions of it; "It is highly entertaining, devastatingly truthful, and makes one feel ashamed at times at the actions of our forefathers. It raises questions in our minds as to what our present day governments are about. It opens our eyes ... It is a must read for anyone who is even lightly interested in learning more about and understanding native people and the relationship between First Nations and Europeans... It is an outstanding read!"
From the opening chapter, "About fifteen years back, a bunch of us got together to form a drum group. John Samosi, one of our lead singers, suggested we call ourselves 'The Pesky Redskins.' Since we couldn't sing all that well, John argued, we needed a name that would make people smile and encourage them to overlook our musical deficiences. ...
"I had forgotten about 'Pesky Redskins' but it must have been kicking around in my brain because, when I went looking for a title for this book, something with a bit of irony to it, there it was.
"PeskyRedskins: A Curious History of Indians in North America.
"Problem was, no one else liked the title. Several people I trust told me that Pesky Redskins sounded too flip and, in the end, I had to agree. Native people haven't been so much pesky as we've been ... inconvenient.
"So I changed the title to The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious History of Native People in North America, at which point my partner, Helen Hoy, who teaches English at the University of Guelph, weighed in, cautioning that "history" might be too grand a word for what I was attempting. Benjamin, who is finishing a Ph.D. in History at Stanford, agreed with his mother and pointed out that if I was going to call the book a history, I would be obliged to pay attention to the demands of scholarship and work within an organized and clearly delineated chronology.
"Now, it's not that I think such things as chronologies are a bad idea, but I'm somewhat attached to the Ezra Pound School of History. While not suscribing to his political beliefs, I do agree with Pound that 'We do NOT know the past in chronological sequence. It may be convenient to lay it out anesthetized on the table with dates pasted on here and there, but what we know we know by ripples and spirals eddying out from us and from our own time.'
"There's nothing like a good quotation to help a body escape an onerous task.
So I tweaked the title one more time, swapped the word 'history' for 'account,' and settled on The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America. Mind you, there is a great deal in The Inconvenient Indian that is history. I'm just not the historian you had in mind."
Join us at 7:30 at the church every other Friday (with a few changes of dates due to other calendar obligations - call the office to make sure of dates) beginning on January 10th. It's going to be a great read!
A ten-week program that will engage you in the practice of mindfulness using a variety of exercises. Starting with an introduction to Tai Chi and few simple foundation exercises, the program will take you through an introduction to Yoga, Qigong, Mindfulness mediation and finally, Walking Meditation (labyrinth). Each week will also feature a discussion topic or two related to the activities. Our Mindfulness Way facilitator is Rollie Cormier. Tuesdays, beginning January 14th; 7 pm - 9 pm. Participation is limited. Fees are $80. Please contact the office to register.
Due to the horrifically slippery weather out there, our Sunday service this morning is cancelled! Stay home, stay safe, keep warm, and keep in touch.
Keep in mind that we do not have services on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, so the next service will be Sunday, December 29th.
Sorry for the late notice, but the parking lot at West Hill is definitely not safe to drive or walk on!
The Longest Night service, which in many ways is the pinnacle of our church year, is less than two weeks away! Saturday, December 21, the night of the Winter Solstice, we celebrate the heritage of our tradition by gathering together on the longest night of the year to celebrate the contradictions of the season, the turning of time, and the paradox of light in darkness and warmth in the winter cold. This service is followed by a firelit labyrinth walk.
You won't want to miss this one, and this is another great chance to invite people who may be curious about our community to come on out. Postcards are available to take to your neighbourhood coffeeshop, yoga studio, or bulletin board to help get the word out about this wonderful service!
Please watch the website for updates--the Longest Night service has had to be postponed due to the sheet of ice covering everything from the roads to our parking lot and steps.
The weather isn't planning to be the friend of four West Hill members on their way to Ottawa with our End the Disparity petition. Still, the excitement continues to grow and Matthew Behrens has helped the Caravan get some attention in Ottawa Valley. Here is an article in this week's edition of Inside Ottawa Valley.
Sunday December 1st will mark four years since we first celebrated becoming an Affirming Ministry with the United Church. This year, we will be joined by guest speaker Irene Miller, the president of Toronto PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays). It's our chance to recommit to the work of solidarity and celebrate the gifts of having a diversity of sexual orientations and gender expressions in our community, so please attend if you can! It will be followed by a Visitors and Travelers Lunch.