Friday, August 14, 2009

The United Church's uncertain future - Holy Post

The United Church's uncertain future - Holy Post

It’s not the only religious organization in Canada to suffer from a lack of interest. But more than others, perhaps, the United Church has tried to find relevance and attract attention by offering what many complain is an all-inclusive, interpretive and “watered-down” brand of faith.

“People are leaving in droves because of it,” says Geoff Wilkins, a United Church member and reformist who lives in North Vancouver. “We have to get back to a church of substance. Essentially, what the church is saying now is come and join us, you can believe anything you like.”

At least one church has become a virtual no-God zone.

Gretta Vosper is the minister at West Hill United Church in Toronto and author of With or Without God: Why the way we live is more important than what we believe. She explains that she doesn’t refer to God anymore “because there is no single meaning for the word.”

The question is often raised: Why is Rev. Vosper, a self-described “non-theist,” in the United Church? Its leaders don’t consider her views as heresy. Perhaps not even strange.