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Features

Feature

April 2011

Born into sin, nourished by hope

By Mardi Tindal

Confronting injustice in a broken world reminds us what it means to be an Easter People

Feature

March 2011

Second-hand savvy

By Karen Stiller

Shopping for used clothing isn’t just frugal. It also keeps cast-offs out of our landfills.

Feature

March 2011

The other battlefield

By Brian Platt

The author journeys to Afghanistan and discovers that Afghan women don’t need us to rescue them. They need security and education in order to flourish on their own terms.

Feature

March 2011

A forgotten injustice

By Samantha Rideout

In the 1950s, the federal government shipped thousands of Inuit south for tuberculosis treatment. Many died and were buried in graves far from home. A United Church in Quebec is helping to remember and honour the dead.

Feature

February 2011

Palestine’s ‘clear call to action’

By Mike Milne

A document circulating in the United Church opens a new chapter in the Middle East debate

Feature

February 2011

Pipe dreams

By Will Braun

Churches and Aboriginals were once allies in the fight against industrial megaprojects. These days, some First Nations are seeking economic salvation in partnerships with their former foes.

Feature

February 2011

Artificial Intelligence

By Kevin Spurgaitis

In making machines that think like humans, are we creating an ethical monster?

Feature

February 2011

Sacred, yes. But is it church?

By Sarah Boesveld

Spirituality has overtaken God in a handful of United churches. While some people find hope in post-theism, others see it as a break with Christianity.

Feature

January 2011

Eating locally in winter

By Chantal Braganza

Tired of root veggies? You can expand your January diet without hurting the Earth.

Feature

January 2011

Genes for sale

By Lisa Van de Ven

With 20 percent of genes currently under patent, critics are turning to the courts to put the brakes on the biotech industry

Feature

January 2011

Secular shift

By Kenneth Bagnell

Mainstream denominations may be faltering, but don’t write off religion just yet. A new kind of liberal Christianity is emerging.

Feature

January 2011

Into a spiritual wilderness

By Trisha Elliott

Ever had a faith crisis? You’re in good company. Working through the fog of doubt can take your faith to new horizons.

Feature

January 2011

Politics and prisons

By Patricia Clarke

As the federal government gets tough on crime, Canada’s jails are expanding. Many wonder if larger prisons — and ballooning corrections budgets — are the right way to go.

Feature

December 2010

Symphony in the sanctuary

By Samantha Rideout

In Ottawa, Parkdale United Church Orchestra's passion for the classics keeps a vanishing tradition alive

Feature

December 2010

Sharing the season

By Mardi Tindal

The close bond between an imam and a minister makes Christmas more real and more miraculous

Feature

December 2010

Destination West Bank

By David Wilson

Palestinians are trying to profit from Holy Land tourism. But they face formidable challenges.

Feature

December 2010

Prescription for a pandemic

By Kevin Spurgaitis

Scientists, activists and politicians agree that generic drugs can slow or stop the global spread of HIV-AIDS. So why haven't they been made more accessible?

Feature

November 2010

What do we mean by God?

By Various Writers

Six contemporary thinkers reveal a surprising range of non-traditional views in the United Church today

Feature

November 2010

Abortion wars: the next front

By Kevin Spurgaitis

After 20 years of relative peace, activists on both sides of the abortion debate are mobilizing for a new battle that threatens to reopen bitter ethical divisions

Feature

November 2010

To the brink and back

By Alanna Mitchell

Research into near-death experiences sheds new light on the possibility of an afterlife. Will neuroscience prove what religion has claimed all along?

Feature

November 2010

Losing their grid

By Vidya Kauri

Green pioneers are showing it’s possible to connect with creation by disconnecting from the grid. All it takes is a little sacrifice and savvy.

Feature

October 2010

Photo Essay: Global flair

By Samantha Rideout

Churches created by new Canadians are booming, differing dramatically from mainline denominations on the decline

Feature

October 2010

Spirit story

By Therese DesCamp

Sensible people do not name the chickens they will eat. But I knew it was her as soon as I pulled the bag out of the freezer. And I knew just because my heart told me: Gimpy.

Feature

October 2010

Feature: Global flair

By Samantha Rideout

New Canadians are planting churches at an astonishing rate. Can declining mainstream denominations take any cues from them?

Feature

October 2010

Surprise, you’re an elder

By Donna Sinclair

Becoming an elder is not just about reaching a certain age. It’s also about embracing new perceptions of yourself and your community.

Feature

September 2010

General Council lays off 16 staff

By Mike Milne

Youth and young adults portfolio is among the positions cut

Feature

September 2010

Shaken to the core

By Various Writers

Last winter's earthquake changed Haiti forever. It also left an indelible mark on four writers who witnessed the disaster and its aftermath.

Feature

September 2010

The cost of doing good

By Trisha Elliott

Donors often wonder how much of their money goes directly to the causes they support. But that may not be the question to ask.

Feature

September 2010

Can big business save the planet?

By Kevin Spurgaitis

Philanthro-capitalists are putting their money where their morals are, using cash and clout to redefine the meaning of good business

Feature

September 2010

A study in diversity

By Drew Halfnight

A new Muslim studies program at the United Church's largest seminary pushes the envelope of theological education

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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