An employee in your small business is a capable worker but an increasingly toxic person. Terminating him promises to be a major headache. Then, a local charity calls saying he has applied for a staff position. They want a reference. What do you tell them?
You are new to a job you badly wanted and are still on probation. Your boss has been helpful and encouraging, but you’ve noticed he has a bad habit of cracking casually racist jokes. You find them offensive but your co-workers seem to put up with them. Do you confront him or keep quiet like the rest?
You’ve been volunteering in a poor country. On departure day, a villager with whom you have worked gives you a piece of her jewelry as a gesture of enduring friendship. It’s important to her that you accept the gift, but you think it could be worth a lot of money. Should you accept it?
Your church treasurer, who also happens to be an executive at a large accounting firm, serves your congregation faithfully and diligently. Then one day, a bombshell: his company faces criminal charges in connection with auditing irregularities. Should he continue to handle your church’s finances?
You are a minister, and among your longtime parishioners is a gravely ill 19-year-old woman. In what amounts to a dying wish, she has asked you to marry her and a young man she had been dating casually before she took a turn for the worse. The young man is okay with the idea.
An old friend has suffered through a messy divorce, her mother's death and job loss. She talks of nothing but herself and is beginning to try your patience. Then she suggests that the two of you take a long-talked-about vacation together. What do you do?
Catherine Gordon's October 2017 feature for The Observer, 'A tale of two cancers,' recently caught the eye of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders and his Washington, D.C.-based team, and inspired a short documentary. Gordon talks about the experience of writing the article and participating in the film.
Founded in 1829, The United Church Observer is the oldest continuously published magazine in North America and the second oldest in the English speaking world. It has won international acclaim for journalistic excellence and garnered more awards for writing than any other Canadian religious publication. Read more...