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Faith

Feature

March 2011

Interview with Rev. Cindy Bourgeois

By Larke Turnbull

The first known transgendered person to be ordained in the United Church talks about her ministry at Central United in Stratford, Ont.

Feature

February 2011

Palestine’s ‘clear call to action’

By Mike Milne

A document circulating in the United Church opens a new chapter in the Middle East debate

Feature

February 2011

Pipe dreams

By Will Braun

Churches and Aboriginals were once allies in the fight against industrial megaprojects. These days, some First Nations are seeking economic salvation in partnerships with their former foes.

Feature

February 2011

Artificial Intelligence

By Kevin Spurgaitis

In making machines that think like humans, are we creating an ethical monster?

Feature

February 2011

Sacred, yes. But is it church?

By Sarah Boesveld

Spirituality has overtaken God in a handful of United churches. While some people find hope in post-theism, others see it as a break with Christianity.

Feature

January 2011

Secular shift

By Kenneth Bagnell

Mainstream denominations may be faltering, but don’t write off religion just yet. A new kind of liberal Christianity is emerging.

Feature

January 2011

Into a spiritual wilderness

By Trisha Elliott

Ever had a faith crisis? You’re in good company. Working through the fog of doubt can take your faith to new horizons.

Feature

December 2010

Symphony in the sanctuary

By Samantha Rideout

In Ottawa, Parkdale United Church Orchestra's passion for the classics keeps a vanishing tradition alive

Feature

December 2010

Sharing the season

By Mardi Tindal

The close bond between an imam and a minister makes Christmas more real and more miraculous

Feature

December 2010

Destination West Bank

By David Wilson

Palestinians are trying to profit from Holy Land tourism. But they face formidable challenges.

Feature

November 2010

What do we mean by God?

By Various Writers

Six contemporary thinkers reveal a surprising range of non-traditional views in the United Church today

Feature

November 2010

Interview with Jim Short

By Ken Gallinger

Reserve chaplain talks about his eight months with the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan

Feature

November 2010

To the brink and back

By Alanna Mitchell

Research into near-death experiences sheds new light on the possibility of an afterlife. Will neuroscience prove what religion has claimed all along?

Feature

October 2010

Photo Essay: Global flair

By Samantha Rideout

Churches created by new Canadians are booming, differing dramatically from mainline denominations on the decline

Feature

October 2010

Spirit story

By Therese DesCamp

Sensible people do not name the chickens they will eat. But I knew it was her as soon as I pulled the bag out of the freezer. And I knew just because my heart told me: Gimpy.

Feature

October 2010

Interview with Preston Manning

By Frank Dabbs

The founder of the Reform and Canadian Alliance parties and CEO of the Manning Centre for Building Democracy talks about the centre’s faith-politics interface program and Christianity today.

Feature

October 2010

Feature: Global flair

By Samantha Rideout

New Canadians are planting churches at an astonishing rate. Can declining mainstream denominations take any cues from them?

Feature

October 2010

Surprise, you’re an elder

By Donna Sinclair

Becoming an elder is not just about reaching a certain age. It’s also about embracing new perceptions of yourself and your community.

Feature

September 2010

General Council lays off 16 staff

By Mike Milne

Youth and young adults portfolio is among the positions cut

Column

September 2010

Decoding the Bible

By Catherine MacLean

Does God have a hand in natural disasters?

Feature

September 2010

A study in diversity

By Drew Halfnight

A new Muslim studies program at the United Church's largest seminary pushes the envelope of theological education

Feature

July 2010

Survey quotes

By Observer Staff

Feature

July 2010

The pulpit and the pew

By Observer Staff

The Observer's 2010 reader survey results reveal why ministers have their work cut out for them

Feature

July 2010

Survey: Overworked and underpaid

By Patricia Clarke

Most of the pressure to perform comes from ministers themselves

Feature

July 2010

Survey: Predicting the future

By Mike Milne

Where will the church be in years to come? Depends who you ask.

Feature

July 2010

Survey: The new recruits

By Richard Wright

There’s no doubt about it. We need preachers in pulpits. But whose job is it to pull them in?

Feature

July 2010

Survey: In search of Reverend Right

By Kylie Taggart

Educated, ordained and caring: Are the ministers we want the ministers we’ve got?

Feature

July 2010

A home here is possible

By Miriam Spies

Twelve years ago, the author felt excluded at church because of her cerebral palsy. By speaking out, she helped her church become more accessible for all.

Feature

July 2010

The forgotten children

By Mike Milne

Researchers scour church archives to find records of students who died at Indian residential schools

Feature

June 2010

The pleasures of thrift

By Anne Bokma

Brown-bag your lunch, shop second-hand and discover the joys of a simpler lifestyle

Interviews

Courtesy of Pixabay

Why this woman is leaving the Catholic Church in her 60s

by Angela Mombourquette

After a lifetime devoted to Catholicism, a Nova Scotia teacher is settling in with the United Church of Canada. Here, she explains why.

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Editorials

Jocelyn Bell%

Observations: It’s a long road toward full equality for women

by Jocelyn Bell

'It’s a wonder that we continue to see male ministers as normative and attach shame to female ministers’ biology and sexuality.'

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Video

ObserverDocs: Playing by Heart

by Observer Staff

United Church music director Kara Shaw was born prematurely, became almost totally blind and was later diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Today, the 28-year-old showcases her unique musical ability, performing piano on local and national stages.

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Faith

May 2018

Toronto church builds interfaith friendship

by Vivien Fellegi

Faith

May 2018

This parent found no support for her autistic daughter — and decided to change that

by Kieran Delamont

Suzanne Allen talks about raising a daughter on the autism spectrum and bringing all autistic girls together

Faith

May 2018

Church retreat helps first responders with PTSD

by Joe Martelle

Interviews

May 2018

Why this woman is leaving the Catholic Church in her 60s

by Angela Mombourquette

After a lifetime devoted to Catholicism, a Nova Scotia teacher is settling in with the United Church of Canada. Here, she explains why.

Ethics

May 2018

Pregnant in the pulpit

by Trisha Elliott

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

Interviews

May 2018

The two words Rev. Cheri DiNovo wants to hear from the United Church

by Alex Mlynek

The Toronto minister talks about her disappointment over the church’s silence when she officiated the country’s first legalized same-sex marriage 17 years ago – and why she wants an apology.

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