Cover image of Gretta Vosper

Gretta Vosper

15 Podcast Episodes

Latest 7 Nov 2021 | Updated Daily

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

Episode artwork

052 - Atheist Pastor Gretta Vosper

Godless Heathens Podcast

On this episode, after months of idle threats, we welcome as our special guest, "Honorary Heathen", Friend of the Pod, and Atheist Pastor Gretta Vosper. Jeff and Gretta have been friends for years. After Jeff reminds Gretta about an experience she has tried to forget, (when they first met) we have a conversation about who she is and how she came to be an atheist who happens to be the Pastor of a United Church of Canada congregation in Toronto. We talk about her work with Oasis in Toronto and building communities. We also dig into the story of her "Heresy Trial" and where she is today in it's aftermath. Recommendations: Jeff's Recommendation: William Barr: https://youtu.be/IM87WMsrCWM Jerry's Recommendations: Chris Hayes WITH: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/msnbc/why-is-this-happening/e/63798921 German Techno Marching Band: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCY3cAFsquIk7VGMuk-V8S3g Don's Recommendation: https://www.secularsurvey.org/survey Email - Godlessheathens@yahoo.com Twitter - @godlesspodcast Facebook Discussion Group - https://www.facebook.com/228801104333716 Patreon - https://www.patreon.comGodlessHeathens - Any help is greatly appreciated

1hr 26mins

27 Oct 2019

Episode artwork

Catholic vs. Other - 2018-12-28 - Gretta Vosper

CVS Podcast

Gretta Vosper is a best-selling author and an atheist minister at West Hill United Church. She envisions an all-inclusive religion where people of different worldviews can build right relationships with themselves, the environment and other humans. I enjoyed our chat.


28 Jun 2019

Similar People

Episode artwork

WMC Live #283: Gretta Vosper. (Original Airdate 4/21/2019)

Women's Media Center Live with Robin Morgan

Robin on the Islamic State’s “leftover” women, Easter’s real meaning, remembering the Watergate women, downtrends in US religiosity, and the gender gap on perceiving progress. Guest: Rev. Gretta Vosper, the atheist minister who “deconstructed God.”


21 Apr 2019

Episode artwork

410: Insights of an openly atheist minister, with Gretta Vosper

Humanize Me

Gretta Vosper is an ordained minister of the United Church of Canada who, as a self-professed atheist, has survived an official review from her denomination and continues to serve as the pastor of her congregation.In this conversation, Bart Campolo talks with Gretta about the story of the last few years, why she stays in her church, what her congregation believes about a supernatural God (Gretta doesn't think it matters), whether the foundational narrative underlying the good morality Gretta is teaching is important or not, the differences between the United States and Canada and whether the social safety net has an effect on the amount of religiosity, and their shared mission.Gretta Vosper's website can be found at GrettaVosper.ca.—Follow this podcast to stay up-to-date:Twitter: @HumanizeMePodInstagram: @HumanizeMePodcastFacebook Group: Facebook.com/HumanizeMeNot a supporter on Patreon yet? Join up at Patreon.com/HumanizeMe and get extra content for it!Got a question for Bart to answer in a future show? Call the ‘Q Line’ at (424) 291-2092.Humanize Me is hosted by Bart Campolo and is produced by John Wright at JuxMedia.com.

1hr 1min

19 Mar 2019

Most Popular

Episode artwork

Episode 188 Gretta Vosper

Everyone's Agnostic Podcast

Cass Midgley and Bob Pondillo interview another Canadian guest, 2 weeks in a row. A guest we talked to back in October of 2015 on episode 67, Gretta Vosper.  Gretta is an ordained minister of the United Church of Canada who is an atheist. Her latest book is titled, "Time or Too Late: Chasing the Dream of a Progressive Christian Faith. Her other books include the best-selling "With or Without God: Why The Way We Live is More Important Than What We Believe," and "Amen: What Prayer Can Mean in a World Beyond Belief in 2012." She has also published three books of poetry and prayers.Vosper is a graduate of Mount Allison University, and received her Master of Divinity degree from Queen's Theological College in 1990 with ordination in 1992. She has been a minister with West Hill United Church in Toronto since 1997. Gretta Vosper is also founder of the Canadian Centre for Progressive Christianity.Despite a finding in September 2016 by the church's Toronto Conference Review Committee that her atheism made her "not suitable to continue in ordained ministry", her congregation has remained staunchly supportive. The matter has been referred to the church's General Council for a decision that could have her defrocked. As of September 2017, the matter remains unresolved.Her work bridges progressive Christianity and atheism exploring beyond the boundaries of Christian thought. Her website indicates, "In 2001, I made it clear that I did not believe in a supernatural, interventionist, divine being. At first, I identified as a non-theist as I do in my first book published in 2008. Then, in my second book, I felt the need to further distinguish myself from those who used the term non-theist but retained a belief in the supernatural aspects of god; there, I identified as a theological non-realist. In 2013, I embraced the term atheist which means, literally, no belief in a theistic, supernatural being." I've met Gretta. She's a very impressive, powerful woman. One thing I love about Gretta and her work is the level of honesty she exudes and in fact personifies. Having graduated from Vanderbilt Divinity school, my professors and my fellow classmates looked at things honestly and each found their own unique measure of faith in the supernatural that could remain true to the facts and the truth in front of them. This goes on in academia every day. And yet, these clergy, ministers, and pastors graduate and are ordained and get into their congregations and their pulpits...and they can't say to these poor people in their pews what they just learned in their seminaries. In fact, whole Bible Colleges have been erected to teach people how to REALLY tell the people what they want to hear and our proud to do so. But for those with a conscience, with values and moral integrity who've become scholars in theology find themselves having to be disingenuous from their pulpits if they're going to keep people coming. Enter Gretta Vosper...and David Dark...and Stan Mitchell...and all the many ministers who are walking that tight rope of theology and honesty and integrity and love and trying to find this tiny little space that the Christian narrative and reality share. And there are those that just can't give up the ghost of Jesus but aren't willing to sell their souls, bury their heads in the sand, and hang on to that which they know is only embraced because they need it to be true. Bob and I really enjoy talking to Gretta and I think you will enjoy this conversation too. We enjoy talking to all our guests and helping people through this difficult journey of life, feel less alone. Religion, like any other drug or alcohol can make some people's life easier and destroy others. And one thing you're doing by trying to stay honest, and maintain your agency and freedom as a thinking human being is truly be the steward of your own happiness and not make the values and priorities that work for you the measuring stick of what everyone else should believe. And that can be hard sometime because your epiphanies have brought you so much joy that you want to share them with others. In that way it can feel like your loving them, but when it infringes on their freedom and agency to think for themselves it ceases to be love. That reminds me of a story from my life. During my high school years I lettered in varsity basketball and I had multiple coaches but this is the tale of two coaches. The first was a guy who was really just a dick. He was insecure. He didn't like himself and so in order to save himself from drowning in his own self-loathing he would elevate himself by lowering others. So when he was critical of your playing or dribbling or shooting, the undertone was judgment, condemnation, and spiteful. Another coach I had later was Jeff Levitzow. I remember his name because a made a wholesome impression on my life. He loved us and we all knew it. He believed in us. He never said as much but you could just feel it. He smiled a lot. We could tell he really enjoyed being with us and teaching us and encouraging us to be the best players we could be in the short time we had together. Certainly he would also critique our playing but it was assessment and evaluation and feedback from an expert. The last thing he wanted to do was crush us or diminish our confidence. Quite the opposite. So that's my tale of two coaches. We, as a team, had no incentive to play hard for our coach or even listen to him, and we sucked. And didn't care. Conversely, we all love playing for Levitzow, we wanted to hustle, he motivated us to excellence. And under his leadership, we made it to the State playoffs for the first time in decades at that little rural Oklahoma high school. So when we're critiquing others or offering feedback, first of all, make sure it's solicited feedback, and secondly, check your heart to make sure you love that person just as they are and not who you wish they were. We taped the following conversation with Joy Hopper on January 27th, 2018. We interview people you don’t know, about a subject no one wants to talk about. We hope to encourage people in the process of deconstructing their faith and help curb the loneliness that accompanies it. We think the world is a better place when more people live by sight, not by faith. Please subscribe to our podcast, and leave a review wherever you listen to podcasts. Also, we offer these podcasts freely. And your support truly makes a difference. You can support us monetarily in two easy ways: you can pledge a monthly donation through Patreon. that’s www.patreon.com/eapodcast, or leave a lump-sum donation through PayPal at our website, www.everyonesagnostic.com. Credits:"Towering Mountain of Ignorance" intro by Hank Green https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3v3S82TuxU Intro bumper "Never Know" by Jack JohnsonThe segue music on this episode is "Lost in You" by Dirty Loops The GoFundMe for Gretta Friends of Gretta Vosper Foundation on FB

1hr 39mins

2 Feb 2018

Episode artwork

094 Gretta Vosper Bridging The Space Between Religion And Secularism

The Oasis Network Podcast

Gretta Vosper has served West Hill United, a congregation of The United Church of Canada located in Scarborough, Ontario, for nearly two decades. With the leadership of the congregation, she has transitioned West Hill beyond doctrine and created a theologically barrier-free community known around the world for its groundbreaking work. West Hill is featured in the documentary Godless and the upcoming film Losing Our Religion, by Zoot Media.In an act of solidarity with secular Bangladeshi bloggers identified as atheists, arrested and threatened with execution, Gretta identified as an atheist in 2013. Recently, the United Church has initiated a review of Gretta’s effectiveness as a minister based on her atheistic beliefs. A hearing of her beliefs took place in June 2016; Gretta was found to be “Unsuitable for ministry in the UCC” and has been recommended for dismissal.Gretta is the author of the national bestseller With or Without God: Why the Way We Live is More Important that What We Believe, and Amen: What Prayer Can Mean in a World Beyond Belief, an exploration of prayer stripped of supernatural expectations. Additionally, she has published three collections of poetry and continues to write new lyrics to traditional hymns. Nonexclusive inspirational liturgical and music resources prepared for use at West Hill – where those who hold traditional beliefs share the pews with others who don’t – are used internationally.Gretta serves on the board of The Oasis Network, a growing network of secular communities. In the past she has served as a director and officer of The Clergy Project, an international network for clergy who no longer believe, and founded the Canadian Centre for Progressive Christianity. Gretta also serves as a vice-chair of the Board of Governors of Centennial College.You can learn more about her at www.grettavosper.ca.


18 Jun 2017

Episode artwork

Creating Communities of Conscience: Gretta Vosper

Freedom Loves Company

Progressive Spirit is now one hour! (Technically 54 minutes to accommodate top of the hour news). Ask your local public radio station to carry Progressive Spirit!I am thrilled to have my conversation with Gretta Vosper be the first show in the now expanded Progressive Spirit!Gretta Vosper is an atheist minister in the United Church of Canada. She is the author of 'With or Without God: Why The Way We Live is More Important Than What We Believe'' and 'Amen: What Prayer Can Mean In A World Beyond Belief.'She is the leader of an exciting community in Toronto, West Hill United Church, that has been under fire from its larger institution for moving beyond the language of the church.Gretta discusses the work of this community and her own struggles with the larger institution. Because of her theological views she was reviewed and declared to be "unsuitable" for ministry.Is there a larger story, though? Gretta also talks about how the liberal United Church in order to grow has accepted into its clergy pentecostals and fundamentalists without examining their theology. The result, according to Gretta, is a church that is losing its progressive principles in order to increase its numbers.In this interview she discusses her review process with the denomination, what she means by "atheist", the doublespeak of clergy who use the word "God" but do not mean it the way it is commonly understood, and the need for communities who want the ethical and spiritual vitality of a community without the archaic language of theism.


20 Mar 2017

Episode artwork

047 - SPECIAL UPDATE with Gretta Vosper

Life After God

In this special update I speak with Gretta Vosper about the decision that just came down last week, declaring that she is "unfit for ministry in the United Church of Canada." This decision has come after a year and half of investigation into Gretta's beliefs after she said publicly that she does not believe in a theistic God.For more background on Vosper's work at West Hill United Church in Toronto and the United Church of Canada's investigation into her fitness for ministry, please listen to Episode 2: http://www.spreaker.com/user/lifeaftergod/2-interview-with-gretta-vosper"Flock sticks with atheist United Church minister," Toronto Star, Sept. 11, 2016https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2016/09/11/flock-sticks-with-atheist-united-church-minister.htmlGretta's personal website: http://www.grettavosper.caWest Hill United Church's website: http://www.westhill.net


13 Sep 2016

Episode artwork

19: Reverend Gretta Vosper


In the 19th episode of NEOHUMAN, Agah is chatting with Reverend Gretta Vosper. Gretta is the Atheist minister of United Church of Canada and the author of the best selling book, With or Without God. They talk about wide range of subjects, including religion, Atheism, how the United Church is moving away from Progressive Humanist values, the dogma of Evangelical Christians, Democracy, and separation of church and state. Links:  Gretta Vosper West Hill United Church The Clergy Project Atheist Minister Fights to Keep Her Place in the United Church The End of White Christian America Ways to Subscribe to Neohuman Podcast: Subscribe via iTunes Subscribe via RSS The post 19: Reverend Gretta Vosper appeared first on LIVE IN LIMBO.


11 Aug 2016

Episode artwork

Gretta Vosper

The Drew Marshall Show

Named one of 2009's Most Compelling Women in Canada by More Magazine, Gretta Vosper is the author of the national bestseller, With or Without God: Why the Way We Live is More Important that What We Believe, and Amen: What Prayer Can Mean in a World Beyond Belief, an exploration of prayer stripped of supernatural expectations. Gretta continues to lead West Hill United, a congregation of The United Church of Canada located in Scarborough, Ontario.


24 Oct 2015