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Faith

Feature

August 2015

Day Three

By Trisha Elliott

Commissioners urge United Church to divest from fossil fuels and Goldcorp

Feature

August 2015

Day Three

By Mike Milne

Support for Mideast peace, but no demand for divestment

Feature

August 2015

42nd General Council coverage

By Observer Staff

Feature

August 2015

Day Two

By Mike Milne

Massive structural changes may be too much to handle in just one week

Feature

August 2015

Day One

By David Wilson

Reform recommendations coming . . . but not quite yet

Feature

July 2015

Day Five

By David Wilson

Saskatchewan minister Rev. Jordan Cantwell elected as 42nd moderator

Feature

July 2015

United Church at a crossroads

By Mike Milne

Some are calling the August meeting of the General Council one of the most critical since church union. At stake is how the denomination works — and possibly its future.

Feature

July 2015

‘We’ll be a spiritual presence.’

By Erica Lenti

With the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games starting July 10, Metropolitan United’s Rev. John Joseph Mastandrea worked alongside other religious leaders to develop a multifaith centre in the Pan Am Village, where they’ll serve competing athletes.

Feature

July 2015

Atheist minister faces Conference review

By Mike Milne

Rev. Gretta Vosper, minister of West Hill United in Toronto and a self-declared atheist, faces a church trial on her suitability for ministry in The United Church of Canada.

Feature

July 2015

Final decisions

By Various Writers

Dying used to be so simple. New laws and changing customs make for a more complicated exit.

Feature

July 2015

The end of Aramaic

By Tali Folkins

Descended from the tongue spoken by Jesus, an ancient language faces extinction as ISIS advances in Iraq and Syria

Feature

July 2015

Amusing grace

By Trisha Elliott

Tales of worship gone awry

Feature

June 2015

'Do we still believe that something vital is in the making?'

By Phyllis Airhart

The United Church of Canada at 90

Feature

June 2015

Divorce in a fishbowl

By Trisha Elliott

Ending a marriage is tough. Imagine what it’s like when you’re a minister.

Feature

May 2015

Confronting the unbelievers

By Mike Milne

Reaction against a minister who came out as an atheist was swift and blunt. But questions persist about how to deal with clergy who no longer believe.

Feature

May 2015

A wretch like me

By Trisha Elliott

We all feel shame. Instead of running from it, maybe we should take a cue from the Bible and face up to our flaws and frailties.

Feature

April 2015

Moncton minister's Twitter following grows to 30,000

By Rhonda Herrington Bulmer

Feature

April 2015

Losing Mom

By Tim Johnson

A travel writer's personal journey through grief — and how it was vastly different from everything he’d been told to expect

Feature

April 2015

The next supper

By Gary Paterson

A painting by the late B.C. artist Bill Dixon reminds us that Easter is not an event, but a movement. A message from the United Church moderator.

Feature

March 2015

A sanctuary of their own

By Luc Rinaldi

A Toronto congregation is providing space for two female priests to do what Catholics won’t allow: lead worship

Feature

March 2015

Teenage Stephen Harper grappled with God, remembers his confirmation class teacher

By Tim Johnson

Feature

March 2015

The perils of too much certainty

By Larry Krotz

Once a top poet and bureaucrat, Duncan Campbell Scott is today a pariah for his policies of assimilation. What will be our own generation’s shame?

Feature

March 2015

Elephants in the room

By Trisha Elliott

Care to talk about tithing? How about evangelism? Confronting the United Church’s taboos.

Feature

February 2015

The unlikely ascent of Kathleen Wynne

By John Barber

Ontario’s first female premier has surmounted barriers all her life. But she’s never strayed far from her United Church roots.

Feature

February 2015

With this ring, I thee divorce

By Anne Bokma

Separation doesn't have to be adversarial. Some couples are seeking more meaningful ways to untie the knot.

Feature

February 2015

Interview with Moderator Rt. Rev. Gary Paterson

By Chelsea Temple Jones

The United Church head talks about end-of-life ethics, where the personal, the political and the spiritual collide

Feature

January 2015

Small print, big stakes

By Luc Rinaldi

Here’s one lesson they’re not teaching in Ontario’s Catholic secondary schools: The law says you don’t actually have to study religion

Feature

January 2015

Unravelling the mysteries of prayer

By Trisha Elliott

New research suggests that praying really can transform you — starting with your brain

Feature

December 2014

Away in a manger

By Anne Bokma

The enduring appeal of the Christmas crèche

Feature

December 2014

Encountering the Messiah

By Paul Knowles

Every December, the writer and chorister performs Handel’s most famous work. This year, he asks himself and other musicians: is it worship or entertainment?

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Editorials

David Wilson%

Observations

by David Wilson

Outrage is the new normal

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Video

ObserverDocs: A Tale of Two Cancers

by Observer Staff

Catherine Gordon's October 2017 feature for The Observer, 'A tale of two cancers,' recently caught the eye of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders and his Washington, D.C.-based team, and inspired a short documentary. Gordon talks about the experience of writing the article and participating in the film.

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Profiles

October 2017

Fall from grace

by Justin Dallaire

Don Hume was a United Church minister nearing retirement. Then he tried crack cocaine.

Faith

September 2017

Yearning

by Jane Dawson

Restless longing is at the core of the human condition, urging us onward through life. What happens when it veers off course?

Society

July 2017

From far and wide

by Various Writers

Meet 11 immigrants who are putting down new roots

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.

World

June 2017

Resisting genocide

by Sally Armstrong

In August 2014, ISIS attacked Iraq’s Yazidis, slaughtering thousands and forcing women and girls into sexual slavery. Today, the survivors are fighting for their ancient way of life.

Society

April 2017

Dear Grandkids

by Various Writers

Six acclaimed Canadian authors write letters from the heart

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