Posts Tagged ‘christianity’
The Globe and Mail carries Michelle McQuigge’s Canadian Press article looking at the efforts of non-believing United Church minister Gretta Vosper to set up a branch of a secular community movement in Toronto. I think this makes sense; I think she would be better off doing this than she would be in occupying a leadership role in a religious movement she is fundamentally opposed to.
A minister deemed unsuitable by the United Church for declaring herself an atheist is now at the heart of an effort to establish a type of church-style, secular community in Canada.
Gretta Vosper is one of about 10 founding members of Toronto’s Oasis Network, believed to be the first of its kind in Canada and due to launch in February.
Oasis communities, which have sprung up in several locations across the United States, are non-faith-based groups that try to draw people together based on five broad-based principles.
Among them are notions that reality is best understood through reason rather than religious insight, and that the world’s problems are best addressed by people rather than divine intervention.
Vosper sees setting up the community in Toronto as a natural extension of the work she’s already doing at one of the city’s churches.
The United Church criticized Vosper for declaring herself an atheist and will hold an ecclesiastical hearing in late 2017 to determine whether or not she will be defrocked as a minister.
[URBAN NOTE] “Cathedraltown rejoices as Cathedral of Transfiguration opens its doors after nearly a decade”
The Toronto Star‘s Noor Javed reports on how the Cathedral of Transfiguration, which gave the Markham town of Cathedraltown its name, is now finally open for worship. It’s good that this building is finally going to be put to some use.
For residents of Cathedraltown, the news was nothing short of a Christmas miracle.
After nearly a decade of seeing the towering Slovak Cathedral of Transfiguration in Markham closed to the public, local resident Mayrose Gregorios couldn’t believe it when she heard the news from two men doing cleanup work on the property one morning: the church would be open for weekend mass.
For as long as Gregorios had lived in Cathedraltown, a quiet subdivision near Major Mackenzie Dr., and Highway 404, whose name was inspired by the adjacent European-style cathedral, the empty building had cast a dark shadow on the community. The last service in the cathedral, which broke ground more than three decades ago, took place in 2006.
The reasons for the closure are believed to be twofold: The first, a decade-old dispute between the developer Helen Roman-Barber and the Eparchy for Catholic Slovaks of the Byzantine Rite in Canada, over the title to the land, left the cathedral without a congregation.
But in recent years, Roman-Barber, head of King David Inc., told residents the cathedral, with its magnificent 14-storey bell towers and cupolas plated in 22-karat gold, was closed so that the numerous detailed mosaics planned for the inside could be completed. An anticipated deadline of December 2015, set by Roman-Barber in a Markham staff report, came and passed. Residents stopped hoping for good news.
So two weeks ago, Gregorios woke up early and waited for the 18-tonne bronze church bells, built at the prestigious Paccard Foundry in France, to ring and announce the momentous occasion. When she didn’t hear them toll that day, she walked over to the cathedral, saw people streaming in and joined them.
“They said it was a private mass, but couldn’t stop anyone who wanted to worship,” she said, adding there were about 200 people in attendance. “It was a beautiful moment: the mass, the singing, the spirit of it all,” said Gregorios, who said the mass was in Arabic and English.