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(Photo: Hugh Wesley)

Gretta Vosper decision released

Toronto Conference, Vosper and West Hill United Church released a short statement on the hearing.

By Emma Prestwich

Atheist Toronto United Church minister Gretta Vosper will be allowed to keep her job.

Toronto Conference, Vosper and West Hill United Church said in a joint statement Wednesday that the parties had "settled all outstanding issues between them."

The General Council of the United Church of Canada had started proceedings in a formal hearing to decide whether to place the ordained minister on the Discontinued Service List (Disciplinary).

Vosper said that she and conference reached an agreement Tuesday that the hearing committee accepted. 

"It has been a long three and a half years. I'm both exhausted, relieved, and deeply grateful that this whole process is finally all over with," she said.

"The United Church is my home and I am thoroughly committed to it and to the work we do together."  

After the statement was released on the United Church of Canada website, the church put out a second one on behalf of the denomination to stress that the decision "doesn’t alter in any way the belief of The United Church of Canada in God, a God most fully revealed to us as Christians in and through Jesus Christ" and that they would hold all three parties in prayer.

A Toronto Conference interview committee said in a September 2016 report that it had found Vosper unsuitable for ministry, because she was no longer in "essential agreement" with the church's statement of doctrine and was "unwilling and unable" to reaffirm the vows she made when she was ordained in 1993. 

The General Council hearing to determine her status as an ordained minister was scheduled for this month and December.

Vosper and her supporters had used the hashtag #heresytrial to describe the hearings.

However, not everyone was pleased about the announcement.

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