Atheist minister on speaking tour of NZ next month

The Reverend Gretta Vosper, a self described atheist minister and author, will be a keynote speaker at this year’s Sea of Faith Conference at Silverstream, near Wellington next month.

She will also be speaking also at St Luke’s, Remuera and at St Andrew’s on The Terrace in Wellington.

Vosper is the minister of the West Hill United Church in Toronto and has for years made no bones about her beliefs.

These include rejecting the notion of an interventionist, supernatural being on which much church doctrine is based.

Vosper gave up her belief in God within years of her ordination. The favourite teacher of Hazel her daughter died.

Hazel was furious at her mother who had recently taught her in Sunday school that if you prayed the right way, everyday, God would answer and he could heal.

So  for her, God become  a metaphor for goodness and a life lived with compassion and justice.

While her congregation consistently expresses loyalty to Vosper, church authorities are seeking her removal from office.

The Sea of Faith Network in New Zealand  “is a non-dogmatic forum for discussing options about the direction in which the ailing religious life of New Zealand might go in the light of revolutionary statements by innovators.”

Sir Lloyd Geering, Michael Benedikt and Geoff Troughton will also be speaking at the Sea of Faith Conference.

Benedikt is the author of ‘God is the Good We Do’.

Troughton, from Victoria University of Wellington, will advance ideas about “Community in a Post-Theistic Age”.


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