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Faith

Feature

June 2016

My messy vocation

By Jonathan Orbell

No amount of schooling prepares you for everything you’ll encounter as a minister. Most of the learning happens on the run.

Feature

May 2016

2015 Press Awards

By Observer Staff

The Observer won 41 church press awards and has been nominated for two National Magazine Awards for work published in 2015. The winners’ list included First Place for denominational magazines in the U.S.-based Associate Church Press competition. It was the third year in a row that The Observer was named the ACP’s best magazine.

Feature

May 2016

Anglicans at a crossroads

By Michael Coren

They will vote on same-sex marriage at their General Synod in July. The consequences could be far-reaching.

Feature

May 2016

Judicial panel denies Vosper appeal

By Mike Milne

Atheist minister’s suitability may now be reviewed

Feature

May 2016

Verbatim

By Kylie Taggart

‘Parts of our lives are beyond scientific understanding’

Feature

April 2016

Churches under the gun

By Anne Bokma

Shootings in the sanctuary. Pistols in the pulpit. The culture of violence is infiltrating U.S. places of worship.

Feature

April 2016

For gun-control activists, the cause is political — and personal

By Anne Bokma

Feature

April 2016

The United Church of Christ: two decades of demanding gun control 

By Anne Bokma

Feature

April 2016

Getting inked

By Trisha Elliott

Six ministers share their stories

Feature

April 2016

What their tats tell

By Trisha Elliott

You’d be surprised by the number of United Church ministers with tattoos these days. Here's the meaning behind all that ink.

Feature

March 2016

Our national folly

By Trisha Elliott

Canada endeavours to be secular and multicultural at the same time. Who are we trying to kid?

Feature

March 2016

The Holland I never knew

By Anne Bokma

A first-generation Dutch Canadian wrestles with her religious history in the land of her ancestors

Feature

March 2016

Risking resurrection

By Jordan Cantwell

The promise of Easter has a price. A message from Moderator

Feature

March 2016

Commemoration

By Nancy Fornasiero

Minister, war vet awarded France’s top honour

Feature

March 2016

The Walrus Talks Spirituality

By Observer Staff

Special Feature

February 2016

Interlove

By Colin Boyd Shafer

An intimate portrait series documents love between partners of different faiths

Feature

February 2016

When values collide

By John Barber

Should faith and tradition trump comprehensive sexual education?

Feature

February 2016

An unsuitable saint

By Donald Grayston

The recent canonization of an 18th-century Spanish colonizer has incensed Indigenous North Americans. What was Pope Francis thinking?

Feature

January 2016

Interview with Rob Bell

By Tim Johnson

Former megachurch pastor and bestselling author talks about faith, God and Oprah

Feature

January 2016

In Mom's Footsteps

By Alison Brooks-Starks

With a handwritten journal as her guide, Alison Brooks-Starks retraced her late mother’s coming-of-age journey to the Holy Land

Feature

January 2016

A complicated love story

By Alanna Mitchell

After the death of her alcoholic ex-husband, Alanna Mitchell confronts a terrible question: could she have done more to save him?

Feature

January 2016

The divestment iceberg

By Mike Milne

The General Council just sold $6 million in fossil fuel shares from its treasury fund. Will the United Church’s pension fund, foundation and congregations follow suit?

Feature

December 2015

Their first Noel

By Various Writers

Six newcomers share their introductions to Christmas in Canada

Feature

December 2015

Renewing wonder

By Jordan Cantwell

Disenchanted with Christmas consumerism, the United Church moderator and her family found new ways to reconnect to the spirit of the season

Feature

December 2015

Bible backlash

By Anne Bokma

Under threat from rising secularism, the iconic Gideon Bible is disappearing from classrooms and hotel nightstands. So the Gideons are devising new ways to spread the Word.

Feature

December 2015

5 Gideons facts

By Anne Bokma

Feature

December 2015

A road to freedom

By Susan Peters

United churches in Manitoba and northern Ontario call for a road to be built to an isolated First Nation

Feature

December 2015

Atheist minister review on hold

By Mike Milne

Feature

November 2015

Photo Essay: The Hillhurst effect

By Lyle Aspinall

Inside a United Church success story

Special Feature

November 2015

The topic churches won't touch

By Erica Lenti

Online erotica is booming, and so are porn addictions. But mainline churches seem all too content to look away.

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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