This past May, Gretta was notified by the Toronto Conference
of The United Church of Canada
that she would be required to submit to a review of her “effectiveness”. This review is intended to examine her theological beliefs as expressed at the time of her ordination. This is the first time that an ordained minister in the United Church has been subjected to this type of review and a special process was sought by the Conference from the General Secretary of the General Council
. Although the impetus for it is not fully clear, it appears to stem from a significant increase in recent media attention being paid to Gretta and West Hill United because she has publicly identified as an atheist
, a label which is consistent with her lack of belief in a theistic, interventionist, supernatural being called God.
Gretta speaks at Burlington Baptist
We find it troubling that no one representing any level of the church has been to visit West Hill in over a decade to see what we are doing or to discuss our ministry. No one has found the work we do at West Hill important enough for the wider church to suggest it be the focus of a conversation at Presbytery, Conference, or elsewhere.
Similarly, no one from any of the church courts has tried to engage Gretta in dialogue about her beliefs and ministry despite her accessibility and willingness to respond to any who inquire. The requirement to appear before a review committee is the first invitation to dialogue but it falls within the disciplinary structure of the denomination.
Despite the lack of invitation to dialogue on the part of the church, Gretta and her legal counsel asked the General Secretary and her team of advisors to enter into a conversation with a view to exploring an alternative to the normal judicial process. That request was denied. The response from the church continues to be no dialogue, no conversation.
During this time many of you have been asking “what can we do?” In the hopes that a conversation with the church would be forthcoming we kept saying……”stay tuned”. Now that the church has formally drawn that line in the sand we are asking for your assistance. There are a number of ways you can be involved and we are asking you to do that.
These are links to some of the ways you can get involved. If there is something else you would like to do and you have the know how and energy to do it, please be in touch (That's our special email address for this initiative) and let us know.
Thanks so much for becoming involved. We firmly believe, and have always believed, that this work is work that belongs within The United Church of Canada. Thank you for helping us make sure that it remains so.
Update on 2015-08-19 04:05 by West Hill United
Don't forget to spread the opportunity to share news of or support for Gretta and West Hill but posting to Facebook or Twitter or cotherwise sharing with your friends and contacts. If you are within a United Church, that night be ther perfect place to start! And thank you. Let usnknownifnyou have Andy further organizational needs, do connect with us,