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Essays

Feature

June 2018

I regret my 100 Huntley Street book

By Paul Knowles

The evangelical history that Paul Knowles wrote 36 years ago haunts him to this day.

Feature

September 2016

Secretly spiritual

By Lucille Joseph

As she rose up the ranks to become a Toronto business executive, the writer felt compelled to keep her quest for deeper meaning hidden. Why she’s decided to talk now.

Feature

September 2016

Home

By Various Writers

They say there’s no place like it. Five recently uprooted writers reflect on the true meaning of the word.

Feature

October 2015

‘God bless you’

By Nancy Fornasiero

The words come easily after a sneeze. Why do we choke on them in other situations?

Feature

May 2015

The Cosby Showdown

By Anne Bokma

I wasn't amused when comedian Bill Cosby came to town amid fresh allegations of sexual assault. So I and 30 others planned our own stand-up moment.

Feature

May 2015

A wretch like me

By Trisha Elliott

We all feel shame. Instead of running from it, maybe we should take a cue from the Bible and face up to our flaws and frailties.

Feature

April 2015

Losing Mom

By Tim Johnson

A travel writer's personal journey through grief — and how it was vastly different from everything he’d been told to expect

Feature

April 2015

The next supper

By Gary Paterson

A painting by the late B.C. artist Bill Dixon reminds us that Easter is not an event, but a movement. A message from the United Church moderator.

Feature

February 2015

Interview with Moderator Rt. Rev. Gary Paterson

By Chelsea Temple Jones

The United Church head talks about end-of-life ethics, where the personal, the political and the spiritual collide

Feature

December 2014

Away in a manger

By Anne Bokma

The enduring appeal of the Christmas crèche

Feature

December 2014

Encountering the Messiah

By Paul Knowles

Every December, the writer and chorister performs Handel’s most famous work. This year, he asks himself and other musicians: is it worship or entertainment?

Feature

December 2014

A season of song

By Gary Paterson

A message for Christmas from Moderator Rt. Rev. Gary Paterson

Faith

Attendees at the Parliament of the World's Religions conference enjoy a simple langar lunch prepared by Toronto's Sikh community. (Photo: Will Pearson)

Interfaith conference illuminating, but those who needed it most weren't there

by Will Pearson

Observer editor Will Pearson learned a lot at the Parliament of the World's Religions gathering in Toronto, but wondered about its long-term impact.

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Editorials

Why we've decided to capitalize B for Black

by Jocelyn Bell

It may not be Canadian Press style, but it shows respect and recognizes a shared identity and experience among Black people.

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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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Faith

November 2018

The first Black moderator of the United Church faced racism that still resonates today

by Mugoli Samba

Very Rev. Wilbur Howard didn't speak about the discrimination he experienced in the church. Decades later, Black clergy are opening up about what is still a big problem.

Columns

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.

Faith

November 2018

Interfaith conference illuminating, but those who needed it most weren't there

by Will Pearson

Observer editor Will Pearson learned a lot at the Parliament of the World's Religions gathering in Toronto, but wondered about its long-term impact.

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