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Columns

Feature

March 2019

Cormorants aren't the devil

By Douglas Hunter

Ontario's proposed new measures amount to a slaughter of an entire native bird species for no scientifically compelling reason, says this writer

Feature

March 2019

Ontario autism program doesn't fit my son

By Julie Green

The author's child learned to write thanks to a private occupational therapist, and she worries her family will get little or no money under the government's new plan

Feature

March 2019

Lent saw me take on a challenging spiritual practice

By Elise Feltrin

For all its difficulties and occasional drudgery, sending greeting cards was rewarding and meaningful

Feature

March 2019

As a gay deacon, I am heartbroken but hopeful after the United Methodist LGBTQ vote

By Gregory Gross

Fundamentalists are finally being honest that they cannot and will not live in the same denomination with me

Feature

February 2019

Canada’s new death penalty

By Mary Campbell

"What do we as a society deserve? Do we want to be the most vengeful? The most unforgiving? To erase all hope for some people?"

Feature

February 2019

Schizophrenia is a disease my daughter lives with, and I don't know how to help her

By Anonymous

This writer says her child is adversarial and her disease doesn't respond to medications.

Feature

February 2019

Marie Kondo helped with the painful process of tossing my dad's books

By Paul Fraumeni

His baseball books were a reminder of the special bond we shared, and I couldn't bear to get rid of them

Feature

February 2019

Why Canada should decriminalize all drugs

By Carmen Lansdowne

Critics’ worst fears about Portugal, which did so 17 years ago, have not been realized.

Feature

February 2019

Why white people need to stop asking, 'where are you from?'

By Mike Sholars

"...For all intents and purposes, Canada is the only home I really recognize or remember. But none of that matters if I look like I don’t belong, and that single question makes that abundantly clear every single time."

Feature

January 2019

My Christian faith is an ecumenical mosaic

By Brianna Bell

The writer says wildly different traditions are part of her identity.

Feature

January 2019

We need to start teaching girls about consent

By Julie Lalonde

As a public educator who's spent the last 15 years working to end violence against women, I believe it's time empower young women in the classroom

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.

Columns

(Photo: cuatrok77/Flickr via Creative Commons)

Cormorants aren't the devil

by Douglas Hunter

Ontario's proposed new measures amount to a slaughter of an entire native bird species for no scientifically compelling reason, says this writer

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Editorials

The United Church Observer's editor and publisher, Jocelyn Bell. (Photo: Lindsay Palmer)

The new name of 'The Observer' revealed!

by Jocelyn Bell

"United Church" will no longer be on the cover, but our commitment to sharing denominational news and perspectives remains the same

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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

February 2019

Marriage problems: Is the ancient tradition worth saving?

by Pieta Woolley

Bitterness and boredom seem to define many mid-life marriages, but we might not have to settle for apathy ever after

Ethics

February 2019

A Yukon artist and a Tlingit trapper create this stunning jewelry

by Amy van den Berg

The fur jewelry in Whitehorse boutique store V. Ægirsdóttir is creating a new possibility for future partnerships with the region's trappers

Columns

February 2019

Why white people need to stop asking, 'where are you from?'

by Mike Sholars

"...For all intents and purposes, Canada is the only home I really recognize or remember. But none of that matters if I look like I don’t belong, and that single question makes that abundantly clear every single time."

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