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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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Entries in Affirming (2)

Friday
Dec012017

Affirming Service this Sunday

Join us for our Affirming Celebration this Sunday!

West Hill became an Affirming Congregation, officially welcoming LGBTQ2S people into leadership roles at West Hill, in 2009. In fact, we had included diverse sexualities and genders in congregational leadership for some years before but realized that, from the outside, it was hard to tell we were welcoming. Since our initial celebration, we've recognized our diversity every year on the first Sunday of December.

In the past WHU has hosted members of the LGBTQ community - George Smitherman, Kathleen Wynn, Kamal Al-Solaylee, EJ Kwandibens, and others. Irene Miller joined us when she was President of PFLAG.
This year we are welcoming Pascal Murphy and Sarah Jean Harrison who will share their inspirational story for those of us who wish to do more in our own communities as allies.

Pascal Murphy

Pascal is an award winning Instructor at Ryerson University who teaches in the areas of Homelessness, Disasters and Social and Environmental Justice. He was critical in the creation of the Social Justice and Peace Studies program at King’s University College at The University of Western Ontario and completed his degree in this program in 2004, followed by a Masters in Environmental Studies at York University in 2009. Today, Pascal is Board President for St. Clare’s Multifaith Housing Society, one of Toronto’s largest non-governmental/non-profit affordable and supportive housing providers. Pascal is a passionate advocate for social justice, a vocal advocate for the LGBTQ2S+ community and co-founder of Peace Flag House, a community-orientated creative agency in Toronto, Ontario focused on cultivating positive social and environmental change.

Sarah Jean Harrison

Sarah Jean Harrison is a social justice activist, educator, publicist and digital storyteller that believes in the power of a good story to change the world. She holds a BAH in Women’s Studies and a Masters in Environmental Studies. Sarah Jean has been an educator in the fields of social and environmental justice for over 12 years and is currently an Instructor at Ryerson University where she teaches on homelessness and poverty. Her educational approach draws upon the work of Paulo Freire and Popular Education, focusing on the notion of praxis – combining theory with practical action. Sarah Jean applies her educational approach to developing strategic communications for ethical and sustainable non-profits, businesses and lifestyle brands at Peace Flag House, a community-orientated creative agency she co-founded in Toronto, Ontario that focuses on cultivating positive social and environmental change. 
Saturday
Dec032016

Culture, Context, and Reconciliation

Seventh Annual Affirming Anniversary Celebration

 

West Hill became an Affirming Congregation, officially welcoming LGBTQ2S people into leadership roles at West Hill, in 2009. In fact, we had included diverse sexualities and genders in congregational leadership for some years before but realized that, from the outside, it was hard to tell we were welcoming. Since our initial celebration, we've recognized our diversity every year on the first Sunday of December.

This year, we are excited to be welcoming Ej Kwandibens, an indigenous gay man and cultural educator. Ej will illuminate the history and meaning of the indigenous term "Two Spirited". He will also bring his own experience and perspective to bear on the issues of sexuality in indigenous culture and the importance of reconciliation to the nurturing of healthy relationships in the community and organizations.

As we do on the first Sunday of each month, there will be a meal following the service. This month, the meal will be vegan and built around the Three Sisters Soup recipe which has its roots in indigenous communities. We look forward to breaking bread with Ej and with you!