Index Page
With or Without God - by Gretta Vosper
why the way we live is more important than what we believe
"Whether non-theistic religious gatherings can thrive and survive is anyone's guess. We are in the midst of a great experiement. I fervently believe that we need to see that experiment through to the end, giving our all to the creation of communities of "faith" that celebrate the communal nature of life and challenge us to engage in right relationship with self, others, and the planet." ... p356

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1 Oct 08
An Internet References Page for this 21st Holy Manners Bookstudy, will be kept with this study. Check it out frequently. For those of you unable to come to the Monday night sessions, we invite you to these internet pages, and especially to share these further resources. Please share your own links.

  Course Outline and Links to the 10 Session Pages 
Material is added steadily through the course.   As it is found and presented and written, blue links will appear below.
1 Sep
Introductory Evening. Introductions. Video of Gretta Vosper speaking to the Toronto chapter of the Centre for Inquiry where she reviews her spiritual path and the reasons for writing this book.
2 Sep
Ch. 1. It's time - The Freedom and Responsibility to Reconstruct Church Videos, Summary and References. Meditation.
   Powerpoint Presentation Link Ch 1. (expanded in notes)
3 Oct
Ch. 2. Constructing Christianity - a Brief History of Beliefs.    Videos, Summary and References. Meditations.
   Powerpoint Presentation Link Ch 2. (expanded in notes)
- - Oct 13 - Thanksgiving. No study evening.
4 Oct
Ch. 3. Challenging Christianity - The dilemma of New Understandings   Videos, Summary and References. Meditations.
   Powerpoint Presentation Link Ch 3. (expanded in notes)
5 Oct
Ch. 4. Liberating Christianity - A Way Forward    Videos, Summary and References. Meditations.
   Powerpoint Presentation Link Ch 4. (expanded in notes)
6 Nov
Ch. 5. Reconstructing Christianity - The Possibilities   Videos, Summary and References. Meditations.
   Powerpoint Presentation Link Ch 5. (expanded in notes)
7 Nov
Ch. 6. Responsible Change - Freedom with Integrity   Videos, Summary and References.
   Powerpoint Presentation Link Ch 6. (expanded in notes)
8 Nov
Ch. 7. Crucial Change - Fullfilling a Responsibility Videos, Summary and References. Meditations.
   Powerpoint Presentation Link Ch 7. (expanded in notes)
9 Nov
Appendix. Toolbox - Considerations for Modern Worship. Videos, Summary and References.
   Powerpoint Presentation Link Toolbox. (expanded in notes)
10 Dec
General Discussion and Review of the Course. A chance to question the author. Gretta Vosper has agreed to be us for an hour by telephone.

Monday Evening Book Study

Monday evenings 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. September 22 to December 1, 2008. Ten sessions. Tatanga Mani Room, Main Floor, Saint David's United Church, Facilitators: Jock Mc Tavish and Wayne Holst

Cost: $50.00 includes text, hospitality and contribution to increased ASDM program development. Financial assistance or bursaries available. Books may be purchased at the Church at a special publishers price if you cannot attend the sessions and wish to follow on the net, or want to give the text as a present.
Links to purchase this book:, or
Holy Manners The background on the phrase and why we have adopted it. The guidelines for our studies.
Click to visit the St. David's Adult Ed Forum  Internet Discussion Group at Yahoo - the St. David's Forum. The archive is public and readable. Participation is by invitation. Click HERE if you would like to join. You will then be able to post your own responses to the list and will be emailed the notices and contributions of the others. Click left to visit the archives of the site (read only). There are presently 88 persons.
Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge. ... Proverbs 23:12 (NIV)
Group Facilitator. Wayne Holst              EMAIL WAYNE

I spent most of my life thinking like a church professional, rather than as a regular congregational member. My training as a pastor always had me asking myself 'how can I apply this discovery, insight, new information to a regular church setting?'

Often, clergy have been hesitant to share the discoveries they have made through a 'critical' approach to the Bible with their parishoners because they wonder how laypeople might accept it. I have found that many thinking laity are professionals in their own fields of endeavour and understand a critical approach very readily. What they seek are ways of relating faith to daily living.

I am grateful for the journey I have been taking through ordained ministry to teaching at the university and serving as a fellow layperson at St.David's United Church. Here we find that questioning and honest expression of our faith and doubt is readily accepted and supported.
Group Facilitator. Jock McTavish           EMAIL JOCK

I am a student and a poet, a democrat and a techocrat, an eclectic eccentric. I grew up in a loving Baptist community, so in my heart I'm still a Bible loving evangelical. As I grew in learning I found a new home in the United Church whose tolerance embraces the broadest range of Christian understanding. I most enjoy the illumination of our ancient traditions by modern scholarship. For they show in clear novel ways that the perspectives of the Special Ones were seldom the understandings of those that followed. They show all knowledge to be in relationship .

There seems a lack of understanding in our secular world for religious practices. The reasons why I still gladly - even necessarily - attend church are difficult to voice to those unfamiliar with church, or those injured by church. Elliott got it right. We find our way back to the place we started from. But with new understanding.