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WATCH LIST: March 2017

By Observer Staff

I, Daniel Blake
(Sixteen Films/Why Not Productions/Wild Bunch)

When widower Daniel Blake (Dave Johns) develops a heart condition that keeps him from his work as a carpenter, his only option is to turn to Britain’s welfare system — but it turns him down. He finds a friend in Katie (Hayley Squires), a single mother in a similar economic predicament, and does his best to get by. March 3

The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir
(Abrams ComicArts)

This debut graphic novel is the story of author Thi Bui’s family, looking back to the past in war-torn Vietnam and forward to a new life in the United States, with equal parts anguish and hope. The importance of family becomes even more pronounced when she gives birth to her first child and grows to understand her parents’ love and sacrifice. March 7

The First Love Story: Adam, Eve, and Us
(Penguin Press)

The names Adam and Eve are often associated with sin and suffering, but New York Times columnist Bruce Feiler, author of the bestsellers Walking the Bible and Abraham, argues that they should actually be relationship role models. He travels the world, exploring the art and stories surrounding the biblical pair, and breathes new life into an ancient tale of togetherness and love. March 21

Ice Ghosts: The Epic Hunt for the Lost Franklin Expedition
(McClelland & Stewart)

In 1845, Sir John Franklin and his crew set out to explore the Northwest Passage, only to disappear. The fate of the 129 men remained a mystery for almost 170 years, until a Canadian expedition found the flagship. Written by the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist on board, this book details how new science and old Inuit knowledge led the way. March 21

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The author is baptized at Central United in Calgary. (Photo courtesy of Al Coe)

Why I got baptized in a United Church at the age of 42

by Jacqueline Mercer-Livesey

"I told myself that I didn’t need to go to church to believe in God. I found peace and the Holy Spirit in the things that surrounded me. But still, there was a nagging sense of something missing."

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Editor/Publisher of The Observer, Jocelyn Bell.

Observations: The rewards of letting go

by Jocelyn Bell

Editor Jocelyn Bell reflects on the upcoming changes for The United Church of Canada, the magazine and in her own life.

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ObserverDocs: Two nurses tackle Vancouver's opioid crisis

Richard Moore is a resident of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. In this poignant interview, he explains the important work of nurses Evanna Brennan and Susan Giles.

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July 2018

250 United Church leaders have a message for Doug Ford

by Emma Prestwich

They're urging the new Ontario premier to remember those in need as he carries out promised economic reform.


July 2018

Tracing Nelson Mandela’s path a century after his birth

by Tim Johnson

A travel writer visits some of the places that shaped the anti-apartheid icon’s life.


July 2018

Jamil Jivani sheds light on why young men radicalize

by Suzanne Bowness

In his book 'Why Young Men,' Jamil Jivani talks about his own experience as a troubled youth.

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