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Columns

Feature

January 2019

I watched my church become a pile of rubble and it gave me hope

By Lori-Ann Livingston

The author says she mourned the historic, beautiful building, but witnessing its destruction reminded her that the church is really the people.

Feature

January 2019

I worry the United Church doesn't want evangelicals like me

By Marilyn Myhre

While the church community says it accepts everyone, one woman wonders if that is still true.

Feature

January 2019

Don't shame me for smoking

By Amy van den Berg

I would never encourage a friend to pick it up, and am not proud of my habit, but after 10 years of being judged, I just want to be left alone.

Feature

December 2018

How minimalism can improve your life

By Anne Bokma

There’s evidence that willingly giving up stuff results in greater satisfaction, says this writer.

Feature

December 2018

No, Franklin, there is no war on Christmas

By Michael Coren

Christians should be angry that Jesus' teachings are being taken in vain, says this writer.

Feature

November 2018

Christmas music was meaningless to me, so I started listening to this instead

By Paul Fraumeni

Tunes about snow and chestnuts and silent nights didn't bring the power of the holiday home to this writer, so he found a new soundtrack.

Feature

November 2018

Christians should stop using God to sanctify adoption

By Jackie Gillard

This adoptive mom writes that she's frustrated by the common evangelical Christian message that adoption is always the best outcome for a child.

Feature

November 2018

Why you should reconsider volunteering with children abroad

By Kat Armstrong

These types of voluntourism trips can be rewarding, but they're also often more harmful than you might think, says this writer.

Feature

November 2018

Gretta Vosper’s atheism isn’t the problem

By Antonio Gualtieri

She isn't interested in engaging with and exploring the Bible, which is an essential part of United Church ministry, says this writer.

Feature

November 2018

The United Church welcomes all — even atheist ministers

By Christopher Levan

Gretta Vosper is now free to lead her Toronto congregation after a settlement, and this minister and writer says that's a good thing.

Feature

November 2018

Are essential oils beneficial or just nicely scented hogwash?

By Anne Bokma

Anne Bokma looks at the booming industry of fragrant elixirs that promises to cure all that ails you.

Feature

November 2018

Anti-Semitism is why I’ll always be a proud Jewish atheist

By Joshua Ostroff

On the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht, this Canadian Jew reflects on the ongoing hate that has helped define his identity.

Feature

October 2018

My faith compelled me to give up my morning Tim Hortons habit

By Brianna Bell

This writer says a nudging in her spirit persuaded her to come up with a different ritual.

Feature

October 2018

Why Christians need to take a stand against nationalism

By Michael Coren

If we truly believe the Gospel message, we have to condemn a worldview that expunges people's humanity, says this writer.

Feature

October 2018

Retirement allowed me to see that my life had value outside of work

By Paul Fraumeni

This writer loved his work — and working. But he had to heed an inner voice that told him he was done.

Feature

October 2018

I may not know the point of life, but I know what makes it meaningful

By Trisha Elliott

Merely pursuing happiness doesn't cut it, says this writer.

Feature

October 2018

Christians are divided on the legalization of pot

By Michael Coren

Many conservative evangelicals are opposed, this writer says, "because opposing is what they do."

Feature

October 2018

My Christian commune’s strict limits on media meant we missed out on something crucial

By Dave Canfield

This writer says the community's approach to media was too simplistic.

Feature

September 2018

I was sexually groomed as a child in the church, and now I’m speaking out about it

By Brianna Bell

This writer says there were no consequences for the youth pastor who preyed on her.

Feature

September 2018

How I fight loneliness as a senior with a disability

By Dorothy Ellen 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.

Editorials

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Editorials

The Observer has a bright future ahead

by Jocelyn Bell

Change is as vital to the publication's history as our founding Christian values are to our future, says editor and publisher Jocelyn Bell.

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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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Ethics

January 2019

Where to donate your unwanted stuff so it actually goes to those who need it

by Glynis Ratcliffe

It may be tempting when you declutter to just drop off all your items at Value Village, but sticking with local organizations is a better option.

Faith

January 2019

Former fundamentalists describe the trauma of leaving their faith

by Anne Bokma

At a weekend retreat, participants find the strength to reclaim their lives.

Columns

January 2019

I worry the United Church doesn't want evangelicals like me

by Marilyn Myhre

While the church community says it accepts everyone, one woman wonders if that is still true.

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