Moderator Bill Phipps

By Tony Copple

I dissociate myself from public remarks of the new moderator of the United Church of Canada, Bill Phipps. He does not believe Jesus was God: headline, p1, Ottawa Citizen, October 24, 1997. I suggest Phipps attends an Alpha course, and reads "The Signature of God". Unfortunately, many outside the United Church will not understand that the moderator is more like a clerk than a spiritual leader. He should not talk about his personal beliefs in public, in case people think he speaks for us. He doesn't speak for me. Helping the poor and fighting the government is not my idea of the essence of Christianity. I took part in a conference call with Rev Phipps on Friday Nov 7, 1997, and attended the debate with him at Parkdale United in November 1997.
The lectionary for this Sunday Nov 9, 1997 is Mark 12, v 38-44: "Jesus said, "Watch out for the teachers of the law ..... such men will be punished." Can it be coincident that this passage was read across Canada at this time?

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