The Canadian Centre for Progressive Christianity is led by a Board of Directors elected annually from the Centre’s membership. The following nine individuals have been elected to the Board for the term October 2011 through October 2012.
Murray Gregory, Chair
Murray has been a career police officer, project manger in communication systems, and a stewardship consultant in the United Church of Canada. In the fall of each year he manages the Agricultural Show Office at the Royal Winter Fair.
As well Murray has been a teacher and superintendent of Sunday school, Chair of council, Convener of Mission and Outreach, and Stewardship committee. At the Presbytery level he was an active member of the Halton Presbytery Candidacy and Vocations Committee.
Murray, along with his wife Karen, have 15 years experience in presenting communication workshops for couples in committed relationships throughout Canada.
Murray believes that CCPC gives him the encouragement and confidence to tell his story and not be afraid of being put down or thought of as being less worthy. He believes that there are others on this same journey and some may even be in the same space that he is.
Gretta Vosper, Founder & Past Chair
Under the guidance and with the support of Jim Adams of The Center for Progressive Christianity in the States, Gretta Vosper founded the Canadian Centre for Progressive Christianity and served as its Chair since its inception through 2009. She continues to sit as a valued member of the Board as its Past Chair, offering her wisdom and experience. Gretta’s book With or Without God became a national bestseller within a week of publication and has stirred controversy across the church. She has been the subject of articles in the Globe and Mail, MacLean’s Magazine, the National Post, Calgary Herald, Vancouver Sun, the Toronto Star, and The United Church Observer. Bishop John Shelby Spong, who wrote the forward for her book, introduced Gretta to his readership as a guest columnist, calling her “one of the most exciting voices in 21st century Christianity.” She ministers with the congregation of West Hill United Church in east Toronto.
Laura Bowes, Treasurer
Laura is a Chartered Accountant with experience in public accounting, retail and not-for-profit organizations. She currently serves on the Board of Directors, and as President of Moorelands Community Services. She is a past board member of Cliffcrest Community Centre, and a past board chair of West Hill United Church. Laura lives in Markham, Ontario.
An ordained minister within the United Church of Canada for 23 years, Keith is passionate about the spiritual search and the quest to be relevant to where people are searching and questioning. He is interested in exploring the best of what Christianity has to offer – both historically and in current research and discovery – along with exploring the intersection of Christianity with many different spiritual paths. As a worship leader, he believes that all of us have a piece of the truth, and so together we “preach” the sermon. Originally from the Maritimes, Keith has served congregations in London Conference, Maritime Conference, and Hamilton Conference – where he has been at Parkminster, Waterloo since 2007. Keith currently writes a weekly email of spiritual guidance.
Keith also has a passion for the arts and how these bring us in touch with the sacred dimension of reality. It may be through the printed word in poetry or prose, or through drama or film, or in music or art. For many years, he wrote a weekly newspaper column on “Theology and the Arts.” Keith recently held a Merrill Fellowship at Harvard Divinity School, where he focused on spirituality in and through the arts. A multi-faceted musician, Keith’s special interest is the interface of music and spirituality.
Keith has degrees from Mount Allison University (BA – Philosophy and Religious Studies; BMus – Clarinet and Voice) and from Boston University (MDiv – Biblical Studies and History; MSM – Voice and Conducting).
Keith is the father of four daughters, age 1½ to 20. He shares his life with Nicole.
The grandson of a Mennonite bishop and the nephew of a Mennonite missionary, Fred has been active in the church and its related institutions most of his life. After attending Rockway Mennonite Collegiate and Conrad Grebel University College, he returned to serve on their boards as well as Mennonite Economic Development Associates and the Mennonite Church of Eastern Canada.
Career-wise, Fred worked briefly in the IT department of an insurance company (utilizing his Bachelor of Mathematics for at least three years), before focusing his efforts on the family business, a chain of yarn craft stores, and then managing a non-profit agency, the Independent Living Centre of Waterloo Region, assisting persons with disabilities to live independently. Currently semi-retired, he and his wife, Nancy, operate a small tax preparation business.
Since the mid-eighties, Fred has nurtured a growing interest in theology and interfaith dialogue and looks forward to contributing a non-United Church perspective to the work of the Canadian Centre for Progressive Christianity.
Cathi has been a member of the CCPC Board for 4 years. She has been privileged to explore many aspects of life’s sacredness with the members of the CCPC’s online book study group where she has served as Moderator of various studies. Cathi has now taken on the responsibility of moderating the entire website. Working with others, she hopes to make CCPC’s online presence a safe community for anyone wishing to question, explore and grow in their faith and humanity.
Howard is an active United Church member and chair of the Mission and Service Fund Committee in London Ontario. He enjoys reading and learning from bible scholars and writers who integrate current knowledge with spiritual traditions.
Since 1996 Howard developed his interest in bicycle touring into the internet based business “Bike On Tours”. He authored the “Ontario Bicycle Touring Atlas”, published annually since 2008.
Howard has a Masters in Environmental Studies from York University, a BA in Geography and Sociology from the University of Guelph and is a Presidents Honour Roll graduate of the Fund Development certificate program at Fanshawe College in London. From 2001 to 2004 Howard was employed in Personal Giving and Planned Giving positions with two large charitable organizations. He was previously employed for 21 years with the City of London as a manager and urban planner and manager with responsibility for housing policy, community renewal and heritage preservation.
After graduating from Queen’s University in 1959, Doug worked 12 years in Toronto before moving to Woodstock in 1971 as Chief Engineer of H. K. Porter (Canada). He started a freelance Engineering Consulting and Computer Programming business in 1976, before retiring in 2001.
Doug describes himself as “a very curious person” with an irrepressible passion for science as it proclaims the beauty and mystery of our universe. He views the world through eyes of wonder and is fiercely dedicated to sharing that perspective with others. His car licence, “I WONDER”, reflects his life journey and personality.
Doug’s progressive roots began more than 50 years ago and intensified in 1963 after reading Bishop Robinson’s book, “Honest to God”. Since then, Doug has wrestled with the dilemma of living as a progressive within a conservative faith community, while at the same time maintaining a nourishing and loving relationship with that same community.
Jordan has been an elementary school teacher, educator with the Canadian Mental Health Association, and has been employed at the General Council Office of The United Church of Canada since 2000. In her newest position at the national office she works as Partnership Animator for various church networks (camps, community & social justice ministries, campus ministries, etc.), and as assistant to the Gender Justice, Racial Justice, and Sexual Minorities portfolio. In 1999 Jordan completed her Masters in Religious Studies, at which time she was a member of Metropolitan Community Churches (UFMCC). Jordan identifies as a lesbian and is currently exploring her newly accepted identification as a transgender person. Raised as a conservative Seventh-day Adventist, Jordan’s journey has taken her through many changes in her theological and spiritual life. She has great respect for the freedom found within the United Church – the willingness to discuss difficult subjects, challenge our faith, and grow as spiritual people – and believes that the Canadian Centre for Progressive Christianity holds great potential for encouraging that ongoing freedom and spiritual growth.
Elaine is now retired after a career in education as a teacher in elementary schools in Manitoba and Ontario. She has supported the United Church of Canada in a variety of capacities over the years, in communities across Canada in Quebec, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Ontario. With her husband, Murray, Elaine facilitated couple communication workshops for over 20 years, and as well served on the National Board for “United in Marriage”. Elaine finds gardening to be a rewarding pastime, and in the winter months her interest in genealogy offers her the challenge of discovering and documenting her discoveries as they relate to their family history. Elaine is the mother of two grown children, and the grandmother of six.