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Features

Feature

July 2010

Survey quotes

By Observer Staff

Feature

July 2010

The pulpit and the pew

By Observer Staff

The Observer's 2010 reader survey results reveal why ministers have their work cut out for them

Feature

July 2010

Survey: Overworked and underpaid

By Patricia Clarke

Most of the pressure to perform comes from ministers themselves

Feature

July 2010

Survey: Predicting the future

By Mike Milne

Where will the church be in years to come? Depends who you ask.

Feature

July 2010

Survey: The new recruits

By Richard Wright

There’s no doubt about it. We need preachers in pulpits. But whose job is it to pull them in?

Feature

July 2010

Survey: In search of Reverend Right

By Kylie Taggart

Educated, ordained and caring: Are the ministers we want the ministers we’ve got?

Feature

July 2010

A home here is possible

By Miriam Spies

Twelve years ago, the author felt excluded at church because of her cerebral palsy. By speaking out, she helped her church become more accessible for all.

Feature

July 2010

Gambling on casinos

By Richard Wright

Casinos bring much-needed jobs and revenue to First Nations communities, but can also exacerbate social problems. Do the wins outweigh the losses?

Feature

July 2010

The forgotten children

By Mike Milne

Researchers scour church archives to find records of students who died at Indian residential schools

Feature

June 2010

Photo Essay: Reborn green

By Kevin Spurgaitis

Three years ago, a monster storm flattened a small town in Tornado Alley. Instead of reconstructing what was lost, townsfolk seized the opportunity to build the greenest community in North America.

Feature

June 2010

The pleasures of thrift

By Anne Bokma

Brown-bag your lunch, shop second-hand and discover the joys of a simpler lifestyle

Feature

June 2010

Feature: Reborn green

By Kevin Spurgaitis

Three years after being destroyed by a monster tornado, a small town in rural Kansas is setting a global standard for sustainable living.

Feature

June 2010

The gospel of sobriety

By Jasmine Budak

Times have changed since Alcoholics Anonymous was formed 75 years ago. While surrendering to a higher power remains part of its official creed, AA insists it is not religious.

Feature

May 2010

Photo Essay: A refuge from despair

By Terry Asma

Thirty years after the Sandinista revolution, Managua, Nicaragua is a study in contrasts — none starker than the numb despair of the city’s poorest kids and the infectious hope of child street vendors at a United Church-supported school

Feature

May 2010

The happiness enigma

By Lisa Van de Ven

Recent research is shedding new light on what happiness is and how we might be more successful at finding it

Feature

May 2010

A motherlode of debate

By Mike Milne

Should the church sell its stock in controversial mining firms, or press for change from within?

Feature

May 2010

Toil and trouble

By Carolyn Morris

Every temporary worker who comes to Canada has a dream of a better life. Too often the reality they face is exploitation and a system that seems to invite abuse.

Feature

May 2010

Pure grit

By John Bird

Rallied around a common cause, church people, Natives, cottagers and environmentalists halted a massive dump near Georgian Bay that threatened some of the purest water on Earth

Feature

April 2010

The paradox of Easter

By Mardi Tindal

It is through the brokenness of the cross that God reveals the way to wholeness. A message from the moderator.

Feature

April 2010

Back from the brink

By Caley Moore

Relations between the United Church and Canada’s main Jewish organization hit a low last year. A truce has been reached, but what will it take to make it last?

Feature

April 2010

Hardwired for worship

By Alanna Mitchell

Recent advances in brain imaging suggest we are more receptive to certain styles of worship than others.

Feature

March 2010

From rugged cross to flaming chalice

By Anne Bokma

Many former United Church members drift toward Unitarian Universalism. So what’s the attraction?

Feature

March 2010

Overpopulation

By Lisa Van de Ven

More tiny footsteps equal a bigger collective footprint. How many people can our planet sustain?

Feature

March 2010

Living in limbo

By Carolyn Morris

Zimbabwe-born Tanya Mpala has no legal status in Canada. College-age students like her face systemic barriers that can bring their education to a screeching halt.

Feature

February 2010

Reality cheque

By Richard Wright

Does the money you spend reflect the values you hold? At tax time, life’s balance sheet is revealed.

Feature

February 2010

Hope for the heartland

By Frank Dabbs

Rural Canada is in the midst of changes that will transform it forever. In many places, the local church is the glue that holds communities together.

Feature

February 2010

Fighting a new battle

By Larry Krotz

Soldiers wounded in Afghanistan face a different kind of adversity when they return home and try to restart their lives

Feature

February 2010

Infinite sanctuary

By Kevin Spurgaitis

As our knowledge of the universe expands, will our understanding of God keep pace?

Feature

January 2010

Kicking the oil habit

By Lisa Van de Ven

Sooner or later, plentiful oil will be a thing of the past. Transition Towns are starting now to prepare for the future.

Feature

January 2010

A sanctuary for conscience

By Brian Platt

U.S. war resister Rodney Watson asked a Vancouver United church to shelter him after exhausting his refugee-claim options

Announcement

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

New editor named

by Observer Staff

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Editorials

David Wilson%

Observations

by David Wilson

A perfect send-off

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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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