Urge the Sub-Executive of United Church, Toronto Conference to reject the recommendations of the Conference Interview Committee Re: Gretta Vosper

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Disheartened by the flawed and unfair process that led the Conference Interview Committee to conduct an unprecedented review of the suitability of Gretta Vosper for ministry in The United Church of Canada;

Recognizing the grave implications of creating a new disciplinary process without denomination wide study, consultation, debate and appropriate decision making;

Aware that the recommendations of the Conference Interview Committee, if implemented, have grave implications for Gretta Vosper, Westhill United Church, an unknown number of clergy within the denomination, many members of The United Church of Canada across the country, and the reputation of the denomination in the Canadian public;

Conscious that the repercussions of adopting the recommendations in the report include:
- silencing important conversations about our faith that have been stimulated by the ministry and writings of Gretta Vosper;
- disenfranchising many seekers who have found spiritual community within congregations of The United Church of Canada because of an emphasis on their values rather than beliefs;
- discouraging new candidates for ministry who seek to commit to life-long learning and evolving in their faith within an inclusive denomination without fear of recrimination;
- creating disunity for many progressive individuals and congregations who face the reality of no longer seeing a place for themselves within The United Church of Canada;

Valuing diversity (including theological diversity) within the United Church of Canada, honoring the important ministry of Gretta Vosper within this church and celebrating the unique and essential presence of Westhill United Church as a spiritual community within the large umbrella of the United Church of Canada;

Recognizing that there is a significant expression of dissent within the report and a significant expression of dissent across the church from the recommendations of the majority in the report;

Persuaded that the theological conversation Gretta Vosper has provoked is a matter for dialogue and not a matter for discipline;

We, the undersigned, urge the sub-Executive of Toronto Conference to reject the recommendations of the report of the Conference Interview Committee.

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