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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. 

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Thursday
Apr192018

Lives In the Balance - June 2nd Conference

It's official.
Registration for Lives in the Balance conference is now open. The conference will be held on June 2, 2018 
at the Factory Theatre in Toronto.
Tickets are limited so reserve your seat early.

There are too many lives in the balance these days. Whether wavering on the frantic edges of poverty, wrestling with the backlash of simply identifying one’s gender or sexuality, remaining in relationships that are toxic and abusive, or expressing one’s own thoughts within entrenched regimes, people around the world risk their lives because of where they are, who they are, who controls their lives and bodies, and what it is they believe.

Lives in the Balance was imagined as a conference that would bring people together to raise awareness of persecution related to beliefs while raising funds for refugees fleeing their own countries because their lives are imperiled for that same reason.

To make our concerns disturbingly clear, we are bringing together some of the most bracing voices for change in the work of protecting freedom of expression around the world. In one day.

The day will be moderated by our minister, Gretta Vosper. 

THE SPEAKERS

  Gretta Vosper

Gretta Vosper has been irritating the church into the twenty-first century since founding the Canadian Centre for Progressive Christianity in 2004. Since that time, she’s written the best-selling With or Without God: Why the Way We Live is More Important than What We Believe; Amen; and Time or Too Late: Chasing the Dream of a Progressive Christian Faith. She has also identified her progressive beliefs as atheism. In 2015, her denomination, The United Church of Canada, began a heresy trial against her, arguing that her belief system, despite being deeply entrenched in the UCC’s social gospel roots and contemporary critical scholarship, was no longer acceptable. Vosper has continued to lead her United Church community throughout her trial which is not yet complete.

  Bonya Ahmed - Writer, Blogger, Activist

She survived machete attack carried out by AQ affiliated groups which took her husband writer and founder of Secular blog site MuktoMona.

  Alishba Zarmeen - Human Rights Activist

Working to educate and protect progressive Muslims who have dared to read the Koran and find it deeply disturbing.

  Raihan Abir - Writer, Blogger, Activist

Avijit’s co-author and now a landed immigrant in Canada.

  Ensaf Haider - Human Rights Activist

Wife of imprisoned Saudi, Raif Badawi, whose sentence included ten years of prison and one thousand lashes.

  Ali Rizvi - Human Rights Activist

Working to educate and protect progressive Muslims who have dared to read the Koran and find it deeply disturbing.

  Aruna Papp - Human Right Activist

A local activist who continues to expose the spectre of honour-beating that continues against girls in our own local high schools.

 

 

Friday
Mar302018

Dream Away: 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 this Sunday 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. 

Friday
Mar022018

Women ROCK! Service - March 4th, 2018

Special Service this Sunday, MARCH 4th
Women ROCK!
If you're a woman, this means you....
If you're a man, this means you, too ....
This Sunday March 4th will be our Women Rock service, an opportunity to pay tribute to all those women who have and continue to influence our lives. 
We've been know to toss a rock or two at this signature West Hill service...not to worry, we'll provide the rocks!
In celebration of International Women's Day on March 8th, we will be concluding our Inspired by Hollywood service series with inspiration drawn from the film Hidden Figures. 

#PressforProgress
"With the World Economic Forum's 2017 Global Gender Gap Report findings telling us that gender parity is over 200 years away - there has never been a more important time to keep motivated and #PressforProgress. And with global activism for women's equality fuelled by movements like #MeToo, #TimesUp and more - there is a strong global momentum striving for gender parity."

And while we know that gender parity won't happen overnight, the good news is that across the world women are making positive gains day by day. Plus, there's indeed a very strong and growing global movement of advocacy, activism and support.  - www.internationalwomensday.com

MORE

Friday
Mar022018

43rd General Council Meeting

Risking Faith
Daring Hope
July 21 - July 27

The 43rd General Council of The United Church of Canada will be held in July 2018 at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, in Oshawa, Ontario. The theme will be "Risking Faith, Daring Hope."
New in 2018, there will also be a Festival of Faith held in conjunction with General Council.
All are welcome!

For the latest information and full details visit: GeneralCouncil43.ca

Thursday
Feb152018

Inspired by Hollywood - February 18th

Inspired by Hollywood
For six weeks each winter, our Sunday gathering draws inspiration from Hollywood, bringing the innovation, challenges, and provocation of the silver screen into our Perspective(s). It is a wonderful way to engage newcomers so don't hesitate to bring your friends to explore and discuss these amazing films. 
In January, we began our annual exploration of Academy Award "Best Picture" nominees through the ages. If you missed us last week or would like to catch up on any service from this series, feel free to listen to our 
West Hill United Podcast.

This Sunday we will take a look at the 1994 Best Picture nominee, The Shawshank Redemption
"Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) is sentenced to two consecutive life terms in prison for the murders of his wife and her lover and is sentenced to a tough prison. However, Andy maintains he didn't commit the crimes. While there, he forms a friendship with Red (Morgan Freeman), experiences brutality of prison life, adapts, helps the warden, etc., all in 19 years." - Google movies
Be sure to watch the film beforehand, and we'll see you Sunday morning, 10:30, for the inspiration!
Click here to watch the movie trailer.

Thursday
Feb152018

TRAINWRECK at West Hill's 4th Annual Pub Night

West Hill welcomes TRAINWRECK back to our stage on Saturday April 28th 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 soon through the West Hill Kiosk.

 

 

 

Wednesday
Feb142018

A Box of Chocolates - Another Layer

Please join us for a very special presentation On March 24th

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


Wednesday
Feb142018

Second Harvest Soup Luncheon - March 4th, 2018

JOIN US FOR LUNCH!

West hill has a tradition of supporting Second Harvest, a group that rescues surplus food to create meals for those in need. Let's help bridge the gap between surplus food and hungry people. Our outreach committee will host our annual soup lunch on March 4th and we hope you’ll join us following the service.

Enjoy homemade soup and fresh bread. For every $10 we raise, WHU can help Second Harvest to provide 20 meals for the hungry.

A Little Goes a Long Way!

Each month, over 100,000 hungry Torontonians depend on Second Harvest for healthy meals.
We are very glad to once again offer support though participation in the HERO campaign, raising money that will prvide 2 meals for every $1 raised.
Join the Outreach Committee for our Annual Bread and Soup Luncheon on March 6th.

Food Rescue & Delivery

The Food Rescue & Delivery Program is the core of Second Harvest's work. With seven trucks and a van on the road, it connects excess food with those in need. The program runs seven days a week and provides food to its network of over 220 social service agencies. This year, Second Harvest's goal is to rescue and deliver 8.5 million pounds of food.

Harvest Kitchens

The Harvest Kitchens program trains adults and youth with barriers to employment in food preparation, while providing healthy, prepared meals to Torontonians in need through our agency network. 

 

Thank you to our community business partners for supporting our programs and events!

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

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

Located in the Highland Creek Plaza, 376 Old Kingston Road. O pen SEVEN days a week.  

Friday
Feb092018

40 days of Action - Let's Go GREEN!

40 Days of Lenten Action to Live with Respect in Creation (A modified initiative of Toronto Southeast Presbytery)
Let’s Go Green in 2018
We invite you to participate in this challenge, Feb 14 – Mar 25 by focusing on a new suggestion each day of Lent and then, incorporating these practices into your daily routine.

Here are the top 10 to get you started, but don't forget to click on the full list below!

1. Run the laundry washing machine on cold/cold setting and during off peak times.

2. Unplug electronics that are not in use. Many electronics draw power when off (it’s called
“phantom power” and can account for up to 10% of a household’s energy use). Place
electronics on a power strip and turn it off in between uses.

3. Drink tap water or install a water filter at home (e.g. Brita filter) instead of buying
bottled water. Bottled water produces more than 1000 times more carbon emissions than
tap water (mainly from packaging and transport) and creates unnecessary plastic waste. Of
the total energy use and greenhouse- gas emissions produced by a single load of laundry,
approximately 75% of it comes from warming the water itself.

4. Check the tire pressure on your car. Under inflated tires lower fuel efficiency.You can improve your gas mileage by 0.6% on average—up to 3% in some cases—by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure.

5. Consider skipping the dryer when you wash your clothes. If you run the dryer 200 times
per year you could save nearly half a ton of carbon emissions by hanging clothes to dry
instead.

6. Are you separating your waste properly? Check out the City of Toronto guide at
https://www.toronto.ca/services- payments/recycling-organics-garbage/houses/what-goesin-
my- blue-bin/. Do a test check of your recycling and green bins.

7. When driving, obey the speed limit. Higher speeds use up more energy and are more
dangerous. Most vehicles operate at the highest fuel efficiency when travelling between 50
and 80 km/h. Above this range, vehicles consume increasingly more fuel the faster they go.
At 120 km/h, a vehicle uses about 20% more fuel than at 100 km/h.

8. Try a meatless Monday. Lowering meat consumption to within accepted health
guidelines could reduce global food-related emissions by nearly a third by 2050. Widespread
adoption of a vegetarian diet could cut emissions by 63%.

9. Turn down your thermostat by at least 1 degree. This can reduce your energy bill by 1-
3%. Lowering it by 5-10 degrees overnight can lead to even more significant savings of 10-
15%.

10. Take a break from the TV and internet. Unplug your wifi, go for a walk, play a game, read a book.

Full list of 40 actionable items to kick-start the change we long to see in becoming active stewards for the planet.


 

Saturday
Jan132018

Women ROCK!

Once again, we are getting ready to set the stage for Women ROCK! 
In celebration of International Womens' Day,
on March 8th, we would like to welcome the Women of West Hill to sing back-up with our favourite band TRAINWRECK.

Here is your program:
April 4th - Introduction                                   
April 11th - Musical Direction                                
April 18th - Choreography                                      
April 25th - Independent Rehearsal                                              
April 28th - Sound check, and SHOWTIME!

Spots are limited, please call the office to reserve.
The program fee is $50 . Consider how much fun it would be to grab a friend or two for a duo or trio!
The cut-off date to sign up is March 1st, we need 6 women to run the program.