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Features

Feature

March 2014

Interview with Irene Champagne

By Kate Spencer

The United Church’s mobile counsellor, Irene Champagne, talks about residential school survivors and their families

Feature

March 2014

Communes for grown-ups

By Anne Bokma

A 1960s ideal gets a modern makeover in cohousing projects designed for living in close quarters

Feature

March 2014

A Canadian genocide?

By Larry Krotz

A new museum in Winnipeg has become a flashpoint for how we interpret this country’s treatment of First Nations

Feature

March 2014

The ring-tailed devil

By Trisha Elliott

All God’s creatures are sacred — except one

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

Through the cracks

By Kevin Spurgaitis

Community living offers hope to people with developmental disabilities, but troubling gaps remain. Just ask Chris Stafford.

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

January 2014

Four years, 9 months

By Jocelyn Bell

A journey through infertility

Feature

January 2014

The epoch we have wrought

By Alanna Mitchell

Welcome to the Anthropocene — a new geological era triggered by human industry

Feature

January 2014

A sorry spectacle

By Christopher Levan

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford asked us to forgive and forget. Regrettably, forgiveness doesn’t come that easily.

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

All work and no pay

By Chelsea Temple Jones

Internships are supposed to kick-start careers. But increasingly, young people find themselves used by a succession of employers mainly concerned with getting work done on the cheap.

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

Photo Essay: Six days in Vancouver

By David Turnbull

Images of truth and reconciliation

Feature

October 2013

Interview with Jean Vanier

By Alicia von Stamwitz

The Canadian philosopher and founder of the L’Arche community for people with intellectual disabilities talks about faith, disability and God’s tenderness for humanity

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

The Advocate

By Karen Stiller

Aruna Papp grew up amid honour-based violence in India. Today she’s a world-recognized champion for vulnerable girls and women everywhere.

Feature

October 2013

Malignant metaphor

By Alanna Mitchell

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

Feature

October 2013

A new chapter in an old tragedy

By Pieta Woolley

Generations ago, Aboriginal children were sent to residential schools. Today, thousands are caught up in the foster care system. Can’t Canada do better?

Feature

October 2013

Wronged

By Gary Stephen Ross

Ivan Henry spent 27 years in jail for crimes he didn’t commit. But the failure of the justice system did not end when he was finally declared not guilty.

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.

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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