United Church of Canada Atheist Minister to Remain Ordained While Denomination Continues Process of Possible Defrocking

(PHOTO: BILL BURDICK) Gretta Vosper, minister with the United Church of Canada, at an event in Coral Gables, Florida in February 2015.

(PHOTO: BILL BURDICK)
Gretta Vosper, minister with the United Church of Canada, at an event in Coral Gables, Florida in February 2015.

A United Church of Canada minister who is also a self-avowed atheist will remain ordained while the denomination continues its process of possibly defrocking her.

The Rev. Gretta Vosper, an openly atheist minister, is presently undergoing an investigation by the Church to determine if she can remain an ordained clergy or will be put on the UCC’s Discontinued Service List (Disciplinary), which is tantamount to being defrocked.

In keeping with a recommendation from a Church committee, the sub-Executive of Toronto Conference of the United Church of Canada announced on Thursday that the General Council will hold a formal hearing on Vosper.

“Ms. Vosper may remain in ministry at West Hill United Church, Toronto Southeast Presbytery, until the results of the formal hearing are known,”noted the sub-executive.

“… until the results of the formal hearing are known, no call, appointment, or transfer for Ms. Vosper will be approved by Toronto Conference [and] no further restrictions will be placed on Ms. Vosper’s functioning at this time.”

In their released statement, the sub-Executive acknowledged that “this is not the decision that some people had wanted.”

“Some will be disappointed and angry that this action has been taken, believing that the United Church may be turning its back on a history of openness and inclusivity,” continued the sub-executive.

“Others have been frustrated that the United Church has allowed someone to be a minister in a Christian church while disavowing the major aspects of the Christian faith.”

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SOURCE: The Christian Post
Michael Gryboski

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