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Faith

Feature

May 2014

The perils of redevelopment

By John Barber

So you have a new mission and big plans for your church building. Brace yourself. The road ahead could be rocky

Feature

May 2014

A no-fuss moderator

By Janice L. Meighan

Lois Wilson is as frugal with herself as she is generous with others. An excerpt from a new biography.

Feature

April 2014

The many faces of Jesus

By Trisha Elliott

Good shepherd. Revolutionary. Cherished friend. Messiah. The images we create of Christ tell as much about ourselves as they do about the man who lived 2,000 years ago.

Feature

April 2014

Can you save your marriage in a weekend?

By Anne Bokma

Friday: Marriage in crisis. Saturday: Attend couples workshops. Sunday: Back in love

Feature

April 2014

The superpope

By Alicia von Stamwitz

He champions the marginalized, enchants the media and tweets to millions. Pope Francis is trying to embrace the 21st century. Is the Catholic establishment ready to follow him?

Feature

April 2014

Decoding a world of religion

By Cory Ruf

What role does faith play in the rise and fall of civilizations? A major study led by two British Columbia universities aims to find out.

Feature

April 2014

‘Nothing can separate us from God’s love’

By Gary Paterson

A year after his mother’s death, the United Church moderator finds new meaning in Easter

Feature

March 2014

Being there

By Various Writers

Stories of illness and companionship

Feature

March 2014

Burning issue

By Pieta Woolley

Plans to turn a small B.C. island into a coal-shipping hub have divided locals. As the conflict heats up, designated lay minister Karen May preaches patient activism.

Feature

February 2014

Help us make this website better!

By Observer Staff

Feature

February 2014

The greatest story never told

By Samantha Rideout

At a time when belief plays a critical role in world affairs, religion reporting is being exiled to the margins of the mainstream media

Feature

February 2014

Christianity’s sleeping giant

By Alex Jürgen Thumm

Churches — both legal and illegal — are booming in China. Some view them as a welcome counterpoint to rampant materialism. Others see ghosts of a colonial past.

Feature

February 2014

The agitator

By Chantal Braganza

Rev. Cheri DiNovo gave up ministry for politics, but her mission never wavered. She’s still an outspoken champion for society’s most marginalized.

Feature

February 2014

Camels and karma

By Peter Johansen

A visit to one of India’s most sacred towns got off on the wrong foot for author Peter Johansen. But maybe there was a reason for his bad luck.

Feature

January 2014

Back in harm's way

By Emily Loewen

Refugee advocates say new laws could increase deportations — and cause a spike in claimants seeking church sanctuary

Feature

January 2014

Miracle man?

By Anne Hines

Curious to see if celebrity faith healer John of God is the real deal, a United Church minister joins hundreds of followers at a Toronto rally

Feature

December 2013

Here comes controversy

By Anne Bokma

Some churches slip St. Nick into the Christmas Eve service, while others bar him at the door. Grab an eggnog and decide for yourself: Is Santa Claus naughty or nice?

Feature

December 2013

The gospel of secularism

By Samantha Rideout

Quebec’s charter of values is more than a ban on religious symbols. It’s a direct challenge to the place of faith in the public sphere.

Feature

December 2013

Stars of wonder

By Sam Wilson

The night sky above the Atacama Desert in Chile blurs the line between the heavens and earth

Feature

December 2013

The Program

By Larry Krotz

A nine-year-old boy hopes for one thing only at the Sunday school Christmas pageant: please let something go wrong

Feature

December 2013

Into the heart of holiness

By Gary Paterson

It’s Christmas Eve. The tree is up, the presents wrapped, but still you feel restless. The glow from a nearby church beckons. What will you find?

Feature

October 2013

Beyond belief

By Observer Staff

Ministers losing their religion? It happens. Some end up leaving the church. A few try to change it from within. The Observer explores the issue in three parts.

Feature

October 2013

Malignant metaphor

By Alanna Mitchell

How cancer mutated into a modern symbol of personal and collective sin

Feature

October 2013

A faith maligned

By Trisha Elliott

Christian colonizers discredited ‘voodoo’ as a deviant sect filled with pin-pricked dolls, zombies and curses. But these colonial caricatures bear scant resemblance to the Haitian Vodou practised today.

Feature

October 2013

The land of too much history

By Larry Krotz

Following in the footsteps of Jesus doesn’t have to mean closing your eyes to the complexities of the Holy Land

Feature

September 2013

United to the core

By Samantha Rideout

Feature

September 2013

Quality leaders, inspired supporters

By Samantha Rideout

Feature

September 2013

Worship that connects

By Samantha Rideout

Feature

September 2013

Rethinking the real estate

By Samantha Rideout

Feature

September 2013

About those empty pews

By Samantha Rideout

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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