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September 22, 2016:  Release of Decisions of the Toronto Conference Sub-Executive
Regarding the Rev. Gretta Vosper

Many of you have been watching as Toronto Conference conducted a review of the Rev. Gretta Vosper.  The decisions of the Conference’s Sub-Executive were released today and can be found as the first story on the home page at www.torontoconference.ca.

This is clearly a time when many people will have a variety of emotions as they read the message from the Sub-Executive.  Please feel free to share the information and the accompanying documents to anyone who would like to see them.

And please remember in your prayers all the people who are affected by these decisions.

September 14, 2016:   Update on the review of the ministry of the Rev. Gretta Vosper

Many of you will have already heard from various media reports that on Thursday, September 8, the Toronto Conference Interview Committee (TCIC) released its report and recommendations from the review of the ministry of the Rev. Gretta Vosper.  Both a summary of the report’s recommendations and the full report can be accessed on the Toronto Conference website: https://torontoconference.ca/2016/09/review-rev-gretta-vosper/.  For insight into the proceedings and deliberations of the TCIC, reading the full report is recommended.  The Toronto Conference sub-Executive will meet on Thursday, September 15, to consider the report and recommendations.

The report and recommendations will likely give rise to a myriad of feelings for those who have been anticipating the outcome of this review – from anxiety to relief to disappointment to bewilderment and more.  May we hold in love and care those who share our views and feelings, and those who do not.

In particular, there are many people who are in need of our prayers and compassion: the Rev. Vosper and the West Hill United Church congregation; the members of the TCIC; the members of the Toronto Conference sub-Executive; the members of Toronto Southeast Presbytery who will offer support to the West Hill congregation; the many people who love and respect the Rev. Vosper; and, those who have been calling for action to be taken.

Whatever our thoughts and feelings about the TCIC report and recommendations, there has been a renewed interest within our denomination – and beyond – in conversations about faith and belief, love and justice, ministry and calling.  This is in keeping with our UCC tradition to “state [our faith] afresh in terms of the thought of [our] own age and with the emphasis [our] age needs… always aware that no statement of ours can express the whole truth of God.”  (A Statement of Faith 1940)  It is timely, then, that the SK Conference Faith Formation Network has planned Progressive and Expansive Christianity on the Prairies (Nov. 26 at Davidson U.C.), for respectful listening and conversational space that will explore how and why Christianity and church are both changing and rooted here on the Prairies.

May all the conversations engendered by the TCIC report be respectful, faithful, and rooted in our Christian calling to love one another as we have been loved.  May we remember to hold each other, our United Church, and all who are affected by the TCIC report in prayer.

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