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Faith

Special Feature

September 2016

Rainbow Muslims

By Davide Mastracci

More than half of Canadian Muslims believe it’s impossible to be an observant Muslim while living openly in an LGBT relationship. El-Farouk Khaki and Troy Jackson, co-founders of Unity Mosque, are proving there is another way.

Special Feature

July 2016

When exodus is the only answer

By Patricia Clarke

Christians are fleeing the cradle of the faith amid escalating turmoil in the Middle East

Feature

July 2016

Mr. Trump comes to Cleveland

By Mark Giuliano

The eyes of the world will be focused on the Republican National Convention this month. A landmark church near the meeting site is offering a warm welcome while bracing for unrest.

Feature

July 2016

Sidebar: Religion’s downside

By Samantha Rideout

Feature

July 2016

Does religion really make you happier?

By Samantha Rideout

The writer examines the popular theory that people with faith are more content than those without

Feature

July 2016

A river of one’s own

By Alison Brooks-Starks

The writer attempts a month-long solo paddle on the North Saskatchewan River and discovers the gift of intuition and the power of nature

Feature

July 2016

Verbatim

By Kate Spencer

‘Music is almost a manifestation of some otherworldly power’

Feature

June 2016

Talking spirituality

By Various Writers

Earlier this spring, seven distinguished Canadians gathered in Toronto to share their views on religion, faith and secularism. Here are highlights from “The United Church Observer presents The Walrus Talks Spirituality.”

Feature

June 2016

My messy vocation

By Jonathan Orbell

No amount of schooling prepares you for everything you’ll encounter as a minister. Most of the learning happens on the run.

Feature

May 2016

2015 Press Awards

By Observer Staff

The Observer won 41 church press awards and has been nominated for two National Magazine Awards for work published in 2015. The winners’ list included First Place for denominational magazines in the U.S.-based Associate Church Press competition. It was the third year in a row that The Observer was named the ACP’s best magazine.

Feature

May 2016

Anglicans at a crossroads

By Michael Coren

They will vote on same-sex marriage at their General Synod in July. The consequences could be far-reaching.

Feature

May 2016

Judicial panel denies Vosper appeal

By Mike Milne

Atheist minister’s suitability may now be reviewed

Feature

May 2016

Verbatim

By Kylie Taggart

‘Parts of our lives are beyond scientific understanding’

Feature

April 2016

Churches under the gun

By Anne Bokma

Shootings in the sanctuary. Pistols in the pulpit. The culture of violence is infiltrating U.S. places of worship.

Feature

April 2016

For gun-control activists, the cause is political — and personal

By Anne Bokma

Feature

April 2016

The United Church of Christ: two decades of demanding gun control 

By Anne Bokma

Feature

April 2016

Getting inked

By Trisha Elliott

Six ministers share their stories

Feature

April 2016

What their tats tell

By Trisha Elliott

You’d be surprised by the number of United Church ministers with tattoos these days. Here's the meaning behind all that ink.

Feature

March 2016

Our national folly

By Trisha Elliott

Canada endeavours to be secular and multicultural at the same time. Who are we trying to kid?

Feature

March 2016

The Holland I never knew

By Anne Bokma

A first-generation Dutch Canadian wrestles with her religious history in the land of her ancestors

Feature

March 2016

Risking resurrection

By Jordan Cantwell

The promise of Easter has a price. A message from Moderator

Feature

March 2016

Commemoration

By Nancy Fornasiero

Minister, war vet awarded France’s top honour

Feature

March 2016

The Walrus Talks Spirituality

By Observer Staff

Special Feature

February 2016

Interlove

By Colin Boyd Shafer

An intimate portrait series documents love between partners of different faiths

Feature

February 2016

When values collide

By John Barber

Should faith and tradition trump comprehensive sexual education?

Feature

February 2016

An unsuitable saint

By Donald Grayston

The recent canonization of an 18th-century Spanish colonizer has incensed Indigenous North Americans. What was Pope Francis thinking?

Feature

January 2016

Interview with Rob Bell

By Tim Johnson

Former megachurch pastor and bestselling author talks about faith, God and Oprah

Feature

January 2016

In Mom's Footsteps

By Alison Brooks-Starks

With a handwritten journal as her guide, Alison Brooks-Starks retraced her late mother’s coming-of-age journey to the Holy Land

Feature

January 2016

A complicated love story

By Alanna Mitchell

After the death of her alcoholic ex-husband, Alanna Mitchell confronts a terrible question: could she have done more to save him?

Feature

January 2016

The divestment iceberg

By Mike Milne

The General Council just sold $6 million in fossil fuel shares from its treasury fund. Will the United Church’s pension fund, foundation and congregations follow suit?

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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