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Interviews

Feature

April 2013

Interview with Ron Klusmeier

By Ken Gallinger

Pioneering composer talks about contemporary church music and his ongoing "Tour of a Lifetime"

Feature

March 2013

Interview with Charles Taylor

By Liette Michaud

Internationally acclaimed Canadian philosopher talks about building bridges between different cultures and faiths

Arts Feature

February 2013

Interview with John Swinton

By Chelsea Temple Jones

Scottish theologian and former mental health chaplain John Swinton talks about disability and dementia — and why churches have got this “inclusion” thing all wrong

Feature

January 2013

Interview with Chris Hedges

By Evie Ruddy

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of "Death of the Liberal Class" talks about how liberal institutions have helped the rise of the Christian right

Feature

December 2012

Interview with Phyllis Tickle

By Karen Hilfman Millson

American author and lecturer talks about religion, spirituality and the emerging church movement

Feature

November 2012

Interview with Parker Palmer

By Alicia von Stamwitz

Parker Palmer, bestselling author, educator and founder of Seattle's Center for Courage & Renewal, talks about democracy, the “mentality of scarcity” and revitalizing mainline churches

Feature

October 2012

Interview with Colin Mochrie and Debra McGrath

By Ken Gallinger

Debra McGrath and Colin Mochrie are one of Canada's best-known comedy couples. They talked about their faith and humour at their home in Toronto.

Feature

September 2012

Interview with Nora Carmi

By Kasia Mychajlowycz

Born a Palestinian Christian in Jerusalem just months before the founding of Israel, Nora Carmi talks about support for her dwindling community of Christians in the Holy Land

Feature

July 2012

Interview with Mardi Tindal

By Ken Gallinger

The United Church moderator talks to her former Spirit Connection co-host, Ken Gallinger, about her three years in office

Feature

June 2012

Interview with Shane Claiborne

By Pieta Woolley

Theology-school dropout and author talks about environmentalism, anti-militarism and service to the poor.

Feature

May 2012

Interview with Douglas Todd

By Pieta Woolley

The Vancouver Sun's religion reporter and 'The Search' blogger answers the deep questions

Feature

April 2012

Interview with Kathleen Norris

By Alicia von Stamwitz

The American essayist, poet and bestselling author of "Dakota: A Spiritual Geography" and "The Cloister Walk" talks about writing, monastic spirituality and mysticism

Feature

March 2012

Interview with Diana Butler Bass

By Pieta Woolley

The sociologist, author and theologian explains why North America’s largest religious group — mainline Protestantism — is struggling

Feature

January 2012

Interview with Pamela Palmater

By Ken Gallinger

The head of Ryerson University's Centre for Indigenous Governance talks about the crisis in Attawapiskat and other First Nations reserves

Feature

December 2011

Interview with Rev. Brent Hawkes

By Ken Gallinger

The minister of Toronto’s Metropolitan Community Church presided over the state funeral for Jack Layton last summer. He recently spoke to The Observer.

Feature

November 2011

Interview with Mary Hynes

By Cory Ruf

The host of CBC Radio’s “Tapestry” program often engages in wide-ranging discussions with the most interesting thinkers on faith and spirituality. She recently talked to The Observer.

Feature

October 2011

Interview with Linda McQuaig

By Mike Milne

Three years after the global financial meltdown, the co-author with Neil Brooks of “The Trouble with Billionaires” talks about how growing income inequality is changing Canada

Feature

September 2011

Interview with Marcus Borg

By Therese DesCamp

American biblical scholar talks about his recent books — 'Putting Away Childish Things' and 'Speaking Christian' — and the importance of story and language

Feature

July 2011

Interview with John Dominic Crossan

By Ken Gallinger

Jesus Seminar co-chair and author talks about Jesus and the Roman Empire

Feature

June 2011

Interview with Tom Harpur

By Ken Gallinger

Anglican priest and author talks about his latest book, 'Born Again,' and his path of faith from childhood to age 82

Feature

May 2011

Interview with Maude Barlow

By Frank Dabbs

Author and social justice advocate talks about the values that inform her work and the ideas that sustain her

Feature

April 2011

Interview with David Hallman

By David Wilson

Author and former United Church program officer talks about his new memoir, August Farewell

Feature

March 2011

Interview with Rev. Cindy Bourgeois

By Larke Turnbull

The first known transgendered person to be ordained in the United Church talks about her ministry at Central United in Stratford, Ont.

Feature

November 2010

Interview with Jim Short

By Ken Gallinger

Reserve chaplain talks about his eight months with the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan

Feature

October 2010

Interview with Preston Manning

By Frank Dabbs

The founder of the Reform and Canadian Alliance parties and CEO of the Manning Centre for Building Democracy talks about the centre’s faith-politics interface program and Christianity today.

Feature

June 2010

Interview with Lois Wilson

By Ken Gallinger

Former United Church moderator and Canadian senator talks about the state of the union on the occasion of the United Church’s 85th anniversary

Feature

May 2010

Interview with Amy-Jill Levine

By David Wilson

Vanderbilt University professor and one of the world’s leading New Testament scholars discusses the current state of Jewish-Christian relations

Feature

March 2010

Interview with Cheri DiNovo

By Ken Gallinger

An Ontario MPP and United Church minister, who authored the book Qu(e)erying Evangelism, says the United Church has lost its political edge

Feature

March 2010

Interview with Jim Hodgson

By Richard Wright

Shortly after Haiti’s devastating earthquake, the United Church’s co-ordinator of Caribbean, Central America and Colombia partnerships talks about the church’s response

Feature

February 2010

Interview with Christian Schwarz

By Connie denBok

German researcher and author talks about the eight universal characteristics of what he calls 'Natural Church Development.'

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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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Faith

January 2018

In the beginning

by Alanna Mitchell

The award-winning science writer travels to northern Australia to explore the world's oldest creation story

Society

January 2018

The good death

by Pieta Woolley

Anglican professor Donald Grayston made dying in peace a lifetime project. His example is inspiring others to plan a meaningful exit.

Faith

January 2018

Me, Dad and the Almighty

by Anne Bayin

A preacher’s kid pretended to be a devout daughter, but secretly she felt lost in a wilderness of doubt.

Society

January 2018

The good death

by Pieta Woolley

Anglican professor Donald Grayston made dying in peace a lifetime project. His example is inspiring others to plan a meaningful exit.

Faith

January 2018

In the beginning

by Alanna Mitchell

The award-winning science writer travels to northern Australia to explore the world's oldest creation story

Faith

January 2018

Me, Dad and the Almighty

by Anne Bayin

A preacher’s kid pretended to be a devout daughter, but secretly she felt lost in a wilderness of doubt.

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