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Features

Feature

February 2013

An ill wind

By Lisa Van de Ven

The Dutch were among the first to embrace the green promise of turbines. Now they’re having second thoughts. Has wind energy lost its momentum?

Feature

February 2013

Becoming Ruth Wood

By Trisha Elliott

Terry and Anne Wood had a normal married life. All of that changed when Terry, a lay minister, realized he was a woman trapped in a man’s body.

Feature

February 2013

Korea’s great divide

By Tim Johnson

Travel writer Tim Johnson tries to make sense of the world’s most complicated peninsula

Feature

January 2013

Refuge on Bloor Street

By Chantal Braganza

A Toronto church welcomes an influx of refugees fleeing poverty and repression in North Korea

Feature

January 2013

The passage of rites

By Larry Krotz

Secular ceremonies are becoming more elaborate all the time. Are they filling a need that used to be satisfied in church?

Feature

January 2013

Scared senseless

By Trisha Elliott

The 9/11 generation sees danger everywhere. How do we combat the culture of fear?

Feature

January 2013

Manning up

By Evie Ruddy

Almost 40,000 Canadian women were abused by their spouses in 2010. Bruce Wood is part of a movement helping men work through their inner demons.

Feature

January 2013

Full stomachs, empty souls

By Pieta Woolley

Studies suggest obesity is a problem in churches. Liberal Christians may scoff at the evangelical diet craze, but perhaps they’re on to something.

Feature

January 2013

Change maker

By Samantha Rideout

Samantha Nutt has never been one to pull punches. It’s what makes her a human rights heavyweight.

Feature

December 2012

Christmas after all

By Various Writers

Admit it: Christmas can be a trying time. Five writers search for the holiness at the heart of the season.

Feature

December 2012

Bernadette's secret

By Chelsea Temple Jones

Her parents needed a place to hide her. They found it in a United Church maternity home. Decades later, she’s still haunted by what she lost.

Feature

December 2012

Sisters under fire

By Alicia von Stamwitz

A showdown between Catholic sisters and bishops in the U.S. is shaking up the church establishment

Feature

December 2012

Do you hear what I hear?

By Gary Paterson

A Christmas message from the United Church moderator

Feature

December 2012

Rumour has it

By Ken Gallinger

Gossip in church can hurt. But like it or not, it's part of who we are.

Feature

November 2012

Gateway ground zero

By Will Braun

Kitimat, B.C., is the proposed terminus of a controversial oil pipeline. But what does it mean for the local community?

Feature

November 2012

Animal rights and wrongs

By Kasia Mychajlowycz

Some say wildlife exhibits promote conservation; others contend they’re a cruel form of entertainment

Feature

November 2012

Decoding our good side

By Kevin Spurgaitis

For centuries, theologians described empathy as a gift from God. Now neuroscientists suggest it's simply evolution in action.

Feature

November 2012

To rev. or not to rev.

By Trisha Elliott

That’s a question more and more ministers are asking themselves.

Feature

November 2012

Cold comfort

By Chelsea Temple Jones

Out of the Cold programs shelter untold thousands every winter. Their success points to a bigger failure: society’s chronic indifference to poverty.

Feature

November 2012

Have ailment, will travel

By Anne Bokma

Canadians are increasingly crossing borders to access faster and cheaper hospital care. But does medical tourism carry too much ethical baggage?

Feature

October 2012

End-of-life ethics: 'a pioneer phase'

By David Wilson

What does religion bring to the bedside? Winnipeg faith leaders discuss euthanasia, physician-assisted dying and the meaning of death.

Feature

October 2012

Poet, preacher, pioneer

By David Wilson

Rt. Rev. Gary Paterson brings a keen intellect and a passion for words to his new role as the United Church's elected spiritual leader. And by the way, he's gay.

Feature

October 2012

War without end

By Karen Stiller

Each day, refugee camps in South Sudan swell with hundreds of new arrivals as old conflicts continue to rock the world’s newest nation

Feature

September 2012

Wandering spirit

By Tim Johnson

Professional travel writer Tim Johnson loves his life on the road. But the impulse to keep moving comes with its own sacrifices.

Feature

September 2012

Gloria's choice

By Chelsea Temple Jones

The 2012 Observer survey showed readers overwhelmingly support physician-assisted dying. Gloria Taylor's battle for the right to end her own life could provoke an unprecedented ethical debate.

Feature

September 2012

Uncivil disobedience

By Kasia Mychajlowycz

Is an aversion to leadership allowing a violent minority to hijack the message of today’s mass youth movements?

Feature

September 2012

Loving our lakes to death

By Therese DesCamp

I fell hard for B.C.’s Slocan Lake — and so have thousands of others. I’ve learned to love it not as a playground but as a living thing.

Feature

August 2012

Day Seven

By Mike Milne

General Council affirms boycott of settlement products and opposition to Israeli occupation

Feature

August 2012

Day Six

By David Wilson

In a historic decision, commissioners elect Rev. Gary Paterson as the United Church’s 41st moderator

Feature

August 2012

Day Five

By Mike Milne

United Church moves closer to boycott of products from Israeli settlements

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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