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Columns

Feature

September 2018

How I fight loneliness as a senior with a disability

By Dorothy Palmer

This writer might not have The Golden Girls' lifestyle, but she’s making the best of her golden years.

Feature

September 2018

I learned to reconcile my Indigenous identity with my Christianity

By Zach Running Coyote

"I have met Jesus in the smoke of burning sage, the darkness and warmth of the sweat lodge, and the powwow drum, the heartbeat of Mother Earth."

Feature

September 2018

As a progressive Christian, I choose to embrace discomfort

By Zak McDonald

For writer Zak McDonald, identifying with that label also means learning to understand those who think differently.

Feature

September 2018

The healing power of a good cry

By Anne Simmonds

'Have you ever met an infant or a young child who does not cry? It is a normal, natural, pre-verbal response to discomfort, pain, sadness and anger. As we get older, we’re taught to mask our true feelings.'

Feature

September 2018

Trump is losing Christian support

By Michael Coren

'While the hard-core evangelicals will likely remain where they are but be less committed, moderately conservative Christians are thinking again.'

Feature

September 2018

Was Jesus the first reiki master?

By Anne Bokma

Some United churches are mixing this traditional Japanese technique into their ministries.

Feature

August 2018

Why marriage preparation classes should be mandatory

By Fiona Tapp

One happy recipient of such a course says they set a precedent for speaking openly about important issues in the future.

Feature

August 2018

My love of horror movies is not at odds with my love of God

By Dave Canfield

'Like many Christians in the late ‘80s, I went through a period of purging myself of secular pop culture.'

Feature

August 2018

Why we really need to retire the term 'PK'

By Brianna Bell

This mom and writer says it puts too much pressure on kids.

Feature

August 2018

I'm a support worker for those with intellectual disabilities, and that reminds people of things they're deeply afraid of

By Dave Canfield

This writer says others' responses to his line of work are telling.

Feature

August 2018

Why Canada’s first-ever minister for seniors is long overdue

By Julie Lalonde

A gerontologist says she hopes that a ministry dedicated to elder issues will mean that seniors finally have a voice in policy making.

Feature

August 2018

To those who said I'll only be respected as a minister because I'm pretty

By Aurora Coulthard

A young ministry student says Christians, both within and outside of the United Church, have discouraged her from following her call.

Feature

August 2018

Hey, United Church — we could have talked about my disability

By Colin Phillips

A moderator nominee says the majority of commissioners at General Council weren't comfortable enough to truly engage him.

Feature

August 2018

Trinity Western’s community covenant move has to be followed by meaningful change

By Jenna Tenn-Yuk

A queer Christian shares what she wants to see happen after the school made its controversial pledge optional for students.

Feature

July 2018

Martin Luther King Jr. was right

By Glynis Ratcliffe

Civil disobedience has been a powerful tool for activists through the decades, and can still be for Canadians looking to stand up against injustice.

Feature

July 2018

For me, the landmark United Church vote on sexual orientation came at a high personal cost

By Don Collett

"Justice was served at General Council. Yes. And harm was also done," says Rev. Don Collett.

Column

July 2018

A case for the secular Sabbath

By Anne Bokma

Advocates explain the benefits of unplugging and unwinding one day per week.

Feature

July 2018

My holy relationship with caffeine

By Dave Canfield

"I once witnessed an art intern brew a pot of drip coffee using Folgers Instant Crystals. The resulting brew almost led to a human sacrifice."

Feature

July 2018

I spent almost 30 years in a Christian commune. Now I’m figuring out my faith and life on the outside

By Dave Canfield

A writer and dad explores what it's like to start afresh after so many years in an enclosed community where he was handed all the answers.

Feature

July 2018

My ex-wife moved into the care home where Elizabeth Wettlaufer once worked

By Alex Mlynek

A former United Church minister reveals why he didn’t tell his onetime partner, who has dementia, about the connection. He spoke to Alex Mlynek.

Feature

July 2018

I hit 'refresh' on my marriage

By Jackie Gillard

A writer explains why she and her husband chose each other, instead of divorce, which "often seemed the easiest solution."

Feature

July 2018

20-year-old sex-ed curriculum will not help our kids today

By Glynis Ratcliffe

Using outdated material is basically leaving the job of sexual education in the hands of other children and the internet, says this parent.

Feature

July 2018

The United Church still hasn't confronted the racism within it

By Paul Douglas Walfall

'Let us ensure that the people who sit at the table are there not as guests but as valued members of the family.'

Feature

July 2018

'I worry we use people to show how diverse we are, but then ignore their struggles'

By Miriam Spies

Rev. Miriam Spies challenged the church with her sermon at opening worship at General Council.

Feature

July 2018

Ontario’s sex-ed curriculum reversal denies LGBTQ children their rights and safety

By Cheri DiNovo

A United Church minister and former MPP thinks opposition to the curriculum is rooted in an opposition to LGBTQ rights.

Feature

June 2018

The moment the Pope asked me to pray for him

By Miriam Spies

A United Church minister on the impact of a simple gesture from a powerful man.

Feature

June 2018

Is the Bible true?

By Jane Dawson

There are many rewarding ways of thinking about the truths of the Bible.

Feature

June 2018

I hate you, Canada, for teaching people to treat me like this under your name

By Zach Running Coyote

A Cree actor says he blames our country for the racist comments recently directed at him in a McDonald's restaurant.

Feature

June 2018

What I learned while caring for the dying

By Colleen Friesen

There is an idea in Celtic Christianity called “thin place,” when the membrane between this world and whatever lies beyond is an almost transparent veil.

Feature

June 2018

Queer Christians like me were left out of Trinity Western law school debate

By Jenna Tenn-Yuk

"Since the law school was proposed in 2012, the media has consistently framed this discussion as religious freedom versus LGBTQ+ rights. This limited argument completely erased my identity as a queer Christian."

Columns

Rev. Don Collett had a hand in writing the document that paved the way for the open ordination of LGBT folks in the United Church of Canada. (Credit: Bayne Stanley)

For me, the landmark United Church vote on sexual orientation came at a high personal cost

by Don Collett

"Justice was served at General Council. Yes. And harm was also done," says Rev. Don Collett.

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Observations

Editor/publisher of The Observer, Jocelyn Bell.

Should we apologize for the hurt surrounding the 1988 decision?

by Jocelyn Bell

The groundbreaking United Church vote on gay and lesbian ministers has transformed the denomination in the years since, but there's still work left to do.

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Video

Meet beloved church cats Mable and Mouse

by Observer Staff

They're a fixture of Kirk United Church Centre in Edmonton.

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Society

September 2018

11 Ontarians share their opioid stories in this powerful project

by Mugoli Samba

The Opioid Chapters hopes to add nuance to the public discussion on opioids.

Society

September 2018

Do we face a future without Down syndrome?

by Kevin Spurgaitis

Advances in prenatal testing mean parents can detect the chromosomal difference earlier. What does this mean for the future of Down Syndrome?

Faith

September 2018

I send my kids to Catholic school, but I'm not Catholic

by Pieta Woolley

A lifelong United Church member explains why she's embracing lessons in reading, writing and rosaries.

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