What do we mean by progressive?
When we say "progressive," we're using the term to define ourselves, not others. What we mean is that we're moving in what we consider to be a forward direction, one step at a time. That is what progression is: a forward movement. For us, that progression has included all of the issues that have come before the United Church during our 55 years of ministry - the ordination of divorced persons, abortion, sexuality, the interpretation of scripture. Through debate, discussion, consensus decision-making, we have moved from one position a step or two in what we have believed is a forward direction - we've progressed.
And, we continue to do so.
But it is more than just that. If it were only that, we'd probably never really have to move on anything but the most trivial of issues. Real progress happens anywhere, in any field, at any time, because a progressive perspective. We try to remind ourselves of that whenever we feel the challenge to look at things a bit differently, or worse, not bother to look at them at all. Without movement, direction doesn't really matter.
A progressive perspective is:
Canadian Centre for Progressive Christianity
The Canadian Centre for Progressive Christianity was born in the lounge at West Hill United early in 2004 when a group of interested persons gathered there at the invitation of Gretta Vosper to consider starting a network for progressive Christians in Canada. Gretta had been asked by Jim Adams, Founder and then-President of The Center for Progressive Christianity in the States to work toward creating such a network. Launched in the late fall of that same year, the Centre has been at the forefront of progressive thought in the international church ever since.
The Canadian Centre for Progressive Christianity exists to:
• provide a national network for the promotion of Progressive Christianity;
• provide support for individuals and organizations in the exploration and development of:
• spiritual thought relevant to contemporary needs
• spiritual principles/values meaningful to contemporary humanity
• spiritual resources for worship and nurture inspiring to contemporary seekers;
• provide mutual encouragement and fellowship to those engaged in this endeavour.