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Faith

Feature

November 2018

Author believes Revelation has something to teach progressive Christians

By Emma Prestwich

Donald Schmidt wants to redeem the final book of the Bible with his new study guide.

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.

Special Feature

November 2018

3 transgender Canadians share the personal journeys that shaped their faith

By Erica Lenti

“I really do think it’s part of the nature of transition, when we’re doing some serious examination of what is right in our own lives, that leads us to a reflection on [what] God and faith and religious practice means.”

Feature

November 2018

Ontario youth leader kicked out of Baptist church over same-sex relationship

By Amy van den Berg

Kimberley Mills has been told she can still come to a service, but can no longer be part of the work of the church community.

Feature

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.

Feature

November 2018

Gretta Vosper decision released

By Emma Prestwich

Toronto Conference, Vosper and West Hill United Church released a short statement on the hearing.

Feature

November 2018

Gender bias on Wikipedia: Why notable women in religion are missing on the site

By Emma Prestwich

"There have been women who have been in leadership roles, but we haven’t written about them."

Feature

November 2018

'We're bonded by faith': supporters gather to make 'ring of peace' at Toronto synagogue

By Amy van den Berg

The gesture of solidarity came a week after a shooting in Pittsburgh that left 11 people dead.

Feature

November 2018

Symbiosis: a way to give that benefits you and your congregation

By United Church of Canada Foundation Staff

By making a gift of securities, one woman was able to reduce her income tax while helping others.

Special Feature

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.

Feature

October 2018

Author of 'I Kissed Dating Goodbye' tells publisher to stop printing it

By Emma Prestwich

"I regret any way that my ideas restricted you, hurt you, or gave you a less-than-biblical view of yourself," he said to his readers.

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

Experience the Passion: Oberammergau 2020

By Craig Travel

Once every decade, an extraordinary event takes place in the small German village of Oberammergau. Based on a long-standing vow, the villagers come together to enact the life and passion of Jesus Christ through the Passion Play.

Feature

October 2018

Gretta Vosper to get formal hearing soon

By Mike Milne

The United Church will decide whether or not the Toronto atheist minister should be removed from the order of ministry.

Feature

October 2018

Reincarnation therapy? Why some think accessing past lives may heal your present

By Anne Bokma

Past-life regression therapy—revisiting previous lives with the help of a hypnotist—is growing in popularity. But what does it involve?

Feature

October 2018

My church was literally dying, until we returned to prayer and confession

By Connie denBok

"No magic formulas. Just grace emerging through weakness."

Feature

September 2018

The spirituality of my last period

By Anne Bokma

"Having my period made me feel connected to the mysterious ebb and flow of life."

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

A play-by-play of General Council 43

By Trisha Elliott

The 43rd national gathering restructured the United Church while reminding it that more change is needed.

Feature

September 2018

These Edmonton church cats bring all the snuggles... unless you're a mouse

By Alison Brooks-Starks

The two take their jobs as hunters seriously.

Feature

September 2018

How the United Church helped us settle in Canada

By Nancy Loucks-McSloy

Brooks Fully fled Liberia in 2012 and came to North America, eventually settling in Newfoundland. In 2017, his wife, Hawa, and children — Grace, 17, Evans, 12 and Courage, 8 — joined him in London, Ont., where the family now attends Trinity United Church Community Centre.

Feature

September 2018

I send my kids to Catholic school, but I'm not Catholic

By Pieta Woolley

A lifelong United Church member explains why she's embracing lessons in reading, writing and rosaries.

Feature

September 2018

Indigenous church cautiously optimistic about General Council changes

By Mike Milne

The United Church has voted to create a new National Indigenous Elders Council and a National Indigenous Spiritual Gathering, among other commitments.

Feature

September 2018

Meet your new moderator: Rt. Rev. Richard Bott

By Christopher White

'He is one of the people who can actually build up a church.'

Feature

September 2018

Presbyteries are gone. So now what?

By Mike Milne

Here's what the United Church's new three-court system will look like.

Feature

September 2018

Mission & Service goes mobile

By

Now each giver can simply make their gift and it will be received, receipted and thanked within seconds right on their smartphone, tablet or laptop.

Feature

August 2018

This fall, put giving at the heart of your congregation

By United Church of Canada Foundation Staff

Feature

July 2018

For me, the landmark United Church vote on sexual orientation came at a high personal cost

By Don Collett

"Justice was served at General Council. Yes. And harm was also done," says Rev. Don Collett.

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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