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Features

Feature

April 2012

An ominous tide

By Raquel Fletcher

How a small coastal village in Ghana has become ground zero for global warming

Feature

April 2012

Gratitude and reverence

By Mardi Tindal

More than 2,000 years later, the risen Christ remains the beating heart of Easter. A message from the moderator.

Feature

April 2012

The crosses we bear

By Trisha Elliott

An Easter reflection on caregiving

Feature

March 2012

Seven innovations for a better world

By Karen Stiller

These clever fixes may not solve all of humanity’s problems, but they promise to improve the lives of millions

Feature

March 2012

‘We’re your family now’

By Martha Martin

A Halifax minister left her familiar life behind to spend three months at Corrymeela in Northern Ireland. What she discovered was an abiding sense of community.

Feature

March 2012

First United’s time of trial

By Pieta Woolley

Resignations, looming funding cuts and bad press have forced a historic United Church mission to rethink its role in Canada’s poorest neighbourhood

Feature

March 2012

Dementia Sidebar: A light in the fog

By Trisha Elliott

Underneath the pain of dementia, faith runs deep

Feature

March 2012

The silent epidemic

By Kylie Taggart

In Canada today, a new case of dementia is diagnosed every five minutes. In 25 years, it will be one every two minutes. Are churches ready for a full-blown pastoral crisis?

Feature

March 2012

The locavore conundrum

By Larry Krotz

Buying locally sourced food seems like the right thing to do. But is it an ethical luxury that excludes the less fortunate?

Feature

February 2012

Collared

By Michael Webster

Is a clerical collar still a meaningful symbol or just a pain in the neck? Michael Webster wore one every day for a month to find out.

Feature

February 2012

Without fail

By Anne Bokma

Everyone wants their kids to succeed. But we’re not doing them any favours by shielding them from life’s hard knocks.

Feature

February 2012

Man of letters

By Karen Stiller

You may recognize Don Ewing’s name from his countless letters to the editor in this magazine and elsewhere. He's been living out his convictions for nearly a century.

Feature

February 2012

Caught in the bottleneck

By Carolyn Morris

New limits on refugee applications are meant to relieve a backlog of unprocessed claims. Churches fear the cap will undo the sponsorship program that has helped thousands flee to safety in Canada.

Feature

February 2012

Brave new babies

By Pieta Woolley

Is reproductive technology advancing faster than our ability to grasp the ethics of it?

Feature

January 2012

Could Pathways work on reserves?

By Richard Wright

Feature

January 2012

A planet’s progress

By Alanna Mitchell

Whether we recycle, use less gasoline or lobby politicians, most of us are taking action for the environment. Is it enough? Not yet. But the evidence shows we are making a difference.

Feature

January 2012

Dropping in

By Richard Wright

Pathways to Education is a tutoring program that helps low-income students graduate from high school. Manitoba educators are hoping the innovative approach will also reduce dropout rates among First Nations students.

Feature

January 2012

Back to the garden

By Margaret Atwood

Theology and ecology were once interconnected, but two millennia of Christianity have steered us away from nature. Can religion recover its roots?

Feature

January 2012

El Salvador’s journey of redemption

By Tim Johnson

Two decades ago, civil war raged in Central America’s smallest country. Visitors today will discover that while the scars remain, the healing power of peace is stronger.

Feature

January 2012

A taste of tolerance

By Cory Ruf

Fleeing persecution in Europe, Roma refugees are building new lives in Canada. But their welcome here is far from guaranteed.

Feature

December 2011

‘Church is for everybody’

By Chelsea Temple Jones

To be genuinely welcoming, congregations need to treat people with intellectual disabilities as more than guests

Feature

December 2011

Is the end really nigh?

By Kevin Spurgaitis

Though every doomsday prediction to date has proven false, they’re still hard to ignore

Feature

December 2011

Risking the birth of love

By Mardi Tindal

Christmas reminds us to rise to the challenge of hope

Feature

November 2011

Journey of discovery in the Galapagos

By Tim Johnson

One man’s personal evolution meets Darwin’s famous theory

Feature

November 2011

Photo essay: After apartheid

By Kevin Spurgaitis

Twenty years after South Africa abolished its race laws, residents of its most populous township still struggle to get by in a deeply unequal society.

Feature

November 2011

An unremarkable reunion

By Trisha Elliott

One woman’s six-year journey to find her birth mother skips the Hollywood ending for something more complicated

Feature

November 2011

The ultimate outsider

By Will Braun

The Bible tells us to love our neighbour, but what if he’s a pedophile?

Feature

November 2011

‘An all-or-nothing guy’

By David Wilson

The United Church’s leading voice on evolutionary Christianity, Rev. Bruce Sanguin brings an athlete’s intensity to his spiritual questing

Feature

October 2011

Giving thanks amid uncertainty

By Trisha Elliott

Thanking God is easy when things go right, but hardship can foster a more radical kind of gratitude

Feature

October 2011

Lofty living

By Larry Krotz

Former church buildings spell opportunity for condo developers, who are discovering that buyers are drawn to more than the stained glass windows and cathedral ceilings

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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