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Ethics

Feature

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

Feature

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.

Special Feature

December 2018

Canadians love their exotic pets, but do birds, snakes and capybaras belong in our homes?

By Elena Gritzan

While the trade is booming in Canada, some say the bond that owners have with their animals comes at a high price.

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

May 2018

How to apologize like you mean it

By Fiona Tapp

In the era of #MeToo, public remorse is aplenty. But the art of apologizing takes some practice.

Special Feature

May 2018

Pregnant in the pulpit

By Trisha Elliott

Ministers who take a maternity leave still face discrimination in their own congregations

Feature

May 2018

How ministers can plan a good parental leave

By Trisha Elliott

Feature

April 2018

Why inaction is the devil we should actually fear

By Christopher Levan

"We miss the fact that the real devil in our society is how so many allow evil to happen. The devil is not in our action but in our inaction."

Feature

March 2018

5 radical reasons we're loving this Pope

By Al Donato

Known by many nicknames — the People’s Pope, Twitter Pope, the Great Reformer — all emphasize his public displays of compassion for the Catholic devout and non-believers alike.

Feature

March 2018

Sweden’s governing party pledges to abolish religious schools

By Al Donato

Should they be re-elected in September, the Swedish Social Democrats announced that their education policy would eliminate gender and religious segregation in schools.

Feature

March 2018

Canada and other surprising countries where child marriage is still a thing

By Al Donato

Widely associated with Muslim-majority and African countries, child marriage isn’t limited to a single religion, ethnicity or socio-economic background.

Feature

March 2018

Egerton Ryerson: The legacy of a tarnished hero

By Mike Milne

He founded public education in Ontario — and this very magazine — while also promoting residential schools. How should we judge Ryerson today? Some students want his name and image gone.

Feature

January 2018

'A good death is being at peace with God, with others and with the self'

By Pieta Woolley

Anglican professor Donald Grayston made dying in peace a lifetime project. His example is inspiring others to plan a meaningful exit.

Feature

January 2018

A mammoth experiment

By Elena Gritzan

Special Feature

December 2017

Hope in the age of HIV-AIDS

By Philip Maher

Feature

November 2017

Is consciousness just a function of the brain — or something more?

By Trisha Elliott

Theories of consciousness cut to the quick of what it means to be alive.

Feature

October 2017

I've made 10,000 meals for my family over the years. Sometimes, I hated it

By Anne Bokma

As Canadian families prepare to mark Thanksgiving, the writer reflects on the routine and ritual of breaking bread together

Feature

September 2017

Ideologies are colliding at Canadian universities, and free speech is caught in the crossfire

By Justin Dallaire

"Universities are supposed to be places for the exchange of ideas, not for ideological war."

Feature

September 2017

Sidebar: Free speech flashpoints

By Justin Dallaire

Feature

September 2017

Sidebar: ‘Most students are very respectful of diverse political and religious views’

By Justin Dallaire

Rev. Ralph Carl Wushke, a United Church minister and ecumenical chaplain at the University of Toronto, talks about free speech on campus

Feature

September 2017

‘Wherever we went, I saw need’

By Tim Johnson

A frequent traveller can’t help but encounter extreme poverty. What’s the best way to make a difference while abroad?

Feature

May 2017

How Canadian workplaces are failing those with mental health issues

By Denise Davy

On any given week, half a million Canadians miss work due to a mental health problem. Employers are failing to offer the support they need.

Feature

May 2017

Sidebar: Responding to clergy burnout

By Denise Davy

Feature

March 2017

Q&A with Don Evans

By Kevin Spurgaitis

The executive director of the Victoria-based, United Church of Canada-affiliated Our Place Society and the former acting executive director of Vancouver's First United talks about the opioid crisis in British Columbia

Special Feature

March 2017

Canadian seniors are another face of the opioid epidemic

By Kevin Spurgaitis

When you picture drug abuse, Canada's elderly may not come to mind. But the over-prescription of painkillers has left many addicted.

Feature

March 2017

How different regions are tackling the opioid crisis

By Kevin Spurgaitis

Feature

March 2017

Why do white people keep crossing the line between appreciation and appropriation?

By Pieta Woolley

In the United Church alone, encounters with the songs, clothing, symbols and practices of other cultures is constant: the Huron Carol, Guatemalan stoles, Celtic and Coptic crosses, four-direction prayers.

Feature

February 2017

Flowers, lingerie, chocolate and gems — the ethical way

By Trisha Elliott

Feature

January 2017

Kingston Penitentiary is now a tourist attraction. Is it trading on tragedy?

By Anne Bokma

Three years after Canada's oldest and most notorious prison shut down, tens of thousands of tourists want in.

Feature

November 2016

A French malaise

By Tim Johnson

The writer returns to France after a 13-year hiatus and discovers a country increasingly uneasy about its growing multiculturalism

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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