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Faith

Feature

September 2013

Imagine your church in 2025

By Observer Staff

You have no illusions about the future. But this year’s Observer survey results show you’re cautiously hopeful and open to change.

Feature

July 2013

1988

By Various Writers

Twenty-five years ago, the United Church said yes to openly gay and lesbian ministers. Three people who were caught in the storm look back on the year that changed everything.

Feature

June 2013

The mediums are the message

By Anne Bokma

A skeptical writer visits the spiritualist haven of Lily Dale, N.Y., where communing with the dead is the town’s claim to fame

Feature

June 2013

The right kind of trouble

By Mardi Tindal

Being the United Church can sometimes get uncomfortable. The former moderator reflects on the risks and rewards of public witness.

Feature

May 2013

Death. It’s inevitable. So let’s talk about it.

By Trisha Elliott

It’s natural to be anxious about dying. But facing up to our mortality can help us live better today.

Feature

May 2013

Remote connection

By Tim Johnson

In the age of Skype, Facebook and Twitter, finding a real retreat can be an (almost) impossible challenge

Feature

April 2013

The United Church diaspora

By Christine Boyle

They don’t attend worship anymore, but countless young adults are living out the values they absorbed in church

Feature

April 2013

Sweet soul music

By Vivien Fellegi

New research shows that raising your voice in song can help lift the fog of depression

Feature

March 2013

The Upper Room

By Gary Paterson

An Easter message from the moderator, Rt. Rev. Gary Paterson

Feature

March 2013

Living a miracle

By Bill Millar

Kristin Millar was 26 and an aspiring actor when her heart stopped. Her father, a minister, says it was the worst thing that ever happened to their family. And the best.

Feature

February 2013

Becoming Ruth Wood

By Trisha Elliott

Terry and Anne Wood had a normal married life. All of that changed when Terry, a lay minister, realized he was a woman trapped in a man’s body.

Feature

February 2013

Korea’s great divide

By Tim Johnson

Travel writer Tim Johnson tries to make sense of the world’s most complicated peninsula

Feature

January 2013

Refuge on Bloor Street

By Chantal Braganza

A Toronto church welcomes an influx of refugees fleeing poverty and repression in North Korea

Feature

January 2013

The passage of rites

By Larry Krotz

Secular ceremonies are becoming more elaborate all the time. Are they filling a need that used to be satisfied in church?

Feature

January 2013

Full stomachs, empty souls

By Pieta Woolley

Studies suggest obesity is a problem in churches. Liberal Christians may scoff at the evangelical diet craze, but perhaps they’re on to something.

Feature

December 2012

Christmas after all

By Various Writers

Admit it: Christmas can be a trying time. Five writers search for the holiness at the heart of the season.

Feature

December 2012

Bernadette's secret

By Chelsea Temple Jones

Her parents needed a place to hide her. They found it in a United Church maternity home. Decades later, she’s still haunted by what she lost.

Feature

December 2012

Sisters under fire

By Alicia von Stamwitz

A showdown between Catholic sisters and bishops in the U.S. is shaking up the church establishment

Feature

December 2012

Do you hear what I hear?

By Gary Paterson

A Christmas message from the United Church moderator

Feature

December 2012

Rumour has it

By Ken Gallinger

Gossip in church can hurt. But like it or not, it's part of who we are.

Feature

November 2012

To rev. or not to rev.

By Trisha Elliott

That’s a question more and more ministers are asking themselves.

Feature

October 2012

End-of-life ethics: 'a pioneer phase'

By David Wilson

What does religion bring to the bedside? Winnipeg faith leaders discuss euthanasia, physician-assisted dying and the meaning of death.

Feature

October 2012

Poet, preacher, pioneer

By David Wilson

Rt. Rev. Gary Paterson brings a keen intellect and a passion for words to his new role as the United Church's elected spiritual leader. And by the way, he's gay.

Feature

September 2012

Wandering spirit

By Tim Johnson

Professional travel writer Tim Johnson loves his life on the road. But the impulse to keep moving comes with its own sacrifices.

Feature

August 2012

Day Seven

By Mike Milne

General Council affirms boycott of settlement products and opposition to Israeli occupation

Feature

August 2012

Day Six

By David Wilson

In a historic decision, commissioners elect Rev. Gary Paterson as the United Church’s 41st moderator

Feature

August 2012

Day Five

By Mike Milne

United Church moves closer to boycott of products from Israeli settlements

Feature

August 2012

Day Four

By David Wilson

Congregations urged to resist the ‘evil’ of gossip

Feature

August 2012

Day Four

By Mike Milne

Discussion begins on Mideast report calling for limited boycott

Feature

August 2012

Day Three

By Mike Milne

Review of church operations and structure could lead to sweeping changes

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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