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Faith

Feature

November 2016

'Unsuitable'

By Mike Milne

Atheist minister Gretta Vosper is audacious, passionate and polarizing. She tested the limits of United Church tolerance and found little institutional appetite for her brand of unbelieving.

Feature

November 2016

Sidebar: Theologians respond

By Elena Gritzan

Feature

November 2016

A French malaise

By Tim Johnson

The writer returns to France after a 13-year hiatus and discovers a country increasingly uneasy about its growing multiculturalism

Feature

November 2016

That evangelical sizzle

By Christopher White

Their beliefs are clear, their style is hip — and they seem to be exactly what new Canadians are looking for. What makes evangelicals so damned appealing?

Feature

November 2016

Interview with Thomas Krattenmaker

By Katie Toth

The USA Today columnist talks about how Jesus’ life can act as an ethical compass today — a theme he explores in his new book, ’Confessions of a Secular Jesus Follower’

Feature

November 2016

What’s killing church camps?

By Pieta Woolley

Church-run summer camps are in serious decline. Marketers hired to troubleshoot the problem wonder if religion is a deterrent.

Feature

November 2016

Verbatim

By Paul Russell

‘It quickly became evident that this ship might be lost.’

Feature

November 2016

Q&A with Rev. Ted Kersey

By Nancy Fornasiero

Feature

November 2016

Excerpts from Conference Interview Committee report

By Elena Gritzan

Feature

November 2016

Quotes from Gretta Vosper’s written submission

By Elena Gritzan

Feature

October 2016

A distorted view

By Anne Bokma

For the first time, Ontario’s Six Nations council is allowing the windows of its historic Mohawk Chapel to be photographed for national publication —controversy and all

Feature

October 2016

Stories in the glass

By Anne Bokma

Special Feature

October 2016

Ghost whisperers

By Elena Gritzan

Do the dead remain among us? Paranormal investigators are determined to prove what science rejects, Christianity scorns — and half of Canadians believe.

Feature

October 2016

Verbatim

By Nancy Loucks-McSloy

‘My determination is tested in daily training when I push myself to the limit.’

Feature

October 2016

Highway to healing

By Tim Johnson

In search of adventure and solace after the death of his mother, travel writer Tim Johnson rekindles his family’s road trip tradition

Feature

October 2016

The gratitude effect

By Trisha Elliott

We all know that giving thanks is integral to Christianity. But new science reveals the far-reaching benefits of expressing appreciation.

Feature

September 2016

Atheist minister Gretta Vosper one step closer to dismissal, formal hearing requested

By Mike Milne and Observer Staff

Feature

September 2016

United Church committee finds atheist minister ‘not suitable’

By Mike Milne

Feature

September 2016

Vosper’s comment sparks survey of clergy beliefs

By Paul Knowles

Feature

September 2016

Atheist minister’s suitability reviewed

By Mike Milne

Feature

September 2016

Young, smart and into Jesus

By Pieta Woolley

Millennial ministers are embracing Christ, spiritual practice and the Bible. Is a return to theological roots the wave of the future?

Feature

September 2016

Secretly spiritual

By Lucille Joseph

As she rose up the ranks to become a Toronto business executive, the writer felt compelled to keep her quest for deeper meaning hidden. Why she’s decided to talk now.

Special Feature

September 2016

Rainbow Muslims

By Davide Mastracci

More than half of Canadian Muslims believe it’s impossible to be an observant Muslim while living openly in an LGBT relationship. El-Farouk Khaki and Troy Jackson, co-founders of Unity Mosque, are proving there is another way.

Special Feature

July 2016

When exodus is the only answer

By Patricia Clarke

Christians are fleeing the cradle of the faith amid escalating turmoil in the Middle East

Feature

July 2016

Mr. Trump comes to Cleveland

By Mark Giuliano

The eyes of the world will be focused on the Republican National Convention this month. A landmark church near the meeting site is offering a warm welcome while bracing for unrest.

Feature

July 2016

Sidebar: Religion’s downside

By Samantha Rideout

Feature

July 2016

Does religion really make you happier?

By Samantha Rideout

The writer examines the popular theory that people with faith are more content than those without

Feature

July 2016

A river of one’s own

By Alison Brooks-Starks

The writer attempts a month-long solo paddle on the North Saskatchewan River and discovers the gift of intuition and the power of nature

Feature

July 2016

Verbatim

By Kate Spencer

‘Music is almost a manifestation of some otherworldly power’

Feature

June 2016

Talking spirituality

By Various Writers

Earlier this spring, seven distinguished Canadians gathered in Toronto to share their views on religion, faith and secularism. Here are highlights from “The United Church Observer presents The Walrus Talks Spirituality.”

Announcement

New Observer editor and CEO, Jocelyn Bell. Photo by Lindsay Palmer

New editor named

by Observer Staff

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Editorials

Jocelyn Bell%

Observations

by Jocelyn Bell

We’ll miss you, David Wilson

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Video

ObserverDocs: My Year of Living Spiritually

by Observer Staff

Anne Bokma left the Dutch Reformed Church as a young adult and eventually became a member of the United Church and then the Unitarian Universalists. Having long explored the "spiritual but not religious" demographic as a writer, she decided to immerse herself in practices — like hiring a soul coach, secular choir-singing and forest bathing — for 12 months to find both enlightenment and entertainment.

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Society

November 2017

Trump country

by David Macfarlane

A northern Alabama county voted almost unanimously for Donald Trump in 2016. One year later, the writer, together with photographer Nigel Dickson, travels there to try to understand why.

Faith

November 2017

Involuntary pilgrim

by David Giuliano

The return of a tumour sets David Giuliano on a path he calls his ‘Camino de Cancer’

Faith

October 2017

A tale of two cancers

by Catherine Gordon

One year after the writer discovered she had breast cancer, her sister in California received the same diagnosis. They both recovered, but their experiences were worlds apart.

Society

November 2017

Trump country

by David Macfarlane

A northern Alabama county voted almost unanimously for Donald Trump in 2016. One year later, the writer, together with photographer Nigel Dickson, travels there to try to understand why.

Faith

November 2017

Involuntary pilgrim

by David Giuliano

The return of a tumour sets David Giuliano on a path he calls his ‘Camino de Cancer’

Faith

November 2017

Grey matter

by Trisha Elliott

Is consciousness just a function of the brain — or something more?

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