An atheist pastor won support from a Christian church that’s allowing her to keep preaching to her congregation despite the surrounding outcry.
Rev. Gretta Vosper had faced removal from her ministership at the United Church of Canada after a 2016 church committee ruled 19-4 that she was “not suitable” due to her professed atheism.
“In our opinion, she is not suitable to continue in ordained ministry because she does not believe in God, Jesus Christ or the Holy Spirit,” the committee stated.
“Although The United Church of Canada is a big tent, welcoming a diversity of theological beliefs, Ms. Vosper is so far from center of what holds us together as a united church that we have concluded that she is not suitable to continue as an ordained minister in our Church.”
Since the ruling, however, the church has decided to allow Vosper to keep preaching.
“It’s going to be wonderful,” Vosper told the Canadian Press. “We’ll be out from underneath that heavy cloud. Now we’ll be able to really fly.”
“There have been times of elation when I have felt the incredible support and energy of that support and love and affirmation from my congregation and across the country and around the world,” she added.
Vosper, who founded the Canadian Centre for Progressive Christianity, advocates “faith without God” and believes human wisdom can replace God as a source, agent and promise.