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Features

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

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September 2013

United to the core

By Samantha Rideout

Feature

September 2013

Quality leaders, inspired supporters

By Samantha Rideout

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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

Feature

September 2013

Did Canadian oil poison this town?

By May Warren

Last spring, a pipeline carrying diluted bitumen from Alberta’s oil sands ruptured in a small Arkansas town. People began to get sick. And now they want answers.

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.

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September 2013

Government’s big gamble

By Orland French

When politicians debate casinos, money almost always trumps morals. By failing to raise ethical issues, they’re betting against our best interests.

Feature

September 2013

Interview with Michael Dowd

By Ambury Stuart

The American evolutionary apostle talks about his science-based spirituality

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

July 2013

Hard time on the outside

By Richard Wright

Billions are spent getting tough on crime, but precious little is invested in supporting ex-convicts as they readjust to daily life. For too many former inmates, getting out of prison is like serving another sentence.

Feature

July 2013

Saved by a salamander

By Lisa Van de Ven

How an endangered amphibian became the unlikely hero in a community’s fight to stop a quarry expansion in Ontario’s Niagara Escarpment

Feature

July 2013

Rwanda’s great turnaround

By Tim Johnson

Though the genocide of two decades ago will never be forgotten, the tiny country has surged ahead, becoming one of the safest and most financially robust nations in Africa

Feature

July 2013

Interview with Kathleen Wynne

By Mardi Tindal

Ontario’s first female premier and Canada’s first openly gay provincial leader talks about faith, politics and community

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June 2013

Losing the hooded grebe: Part 2

By Alanna Mitchell

A team of scientists races against time to prevent a small Argentine water bird from vanishing forever

Feature

June 2013

Standing up to big gold

By Roxana Olivera

A fight pitting Indigenous Peruvians against a multinational mining company highlights the real cost of the global boom in precious metals

Feature

June 2013

Interview with Gordon Lightfoot

By Karen Hilfman Millson

Canadian musical icon and former choirboy talks about his beginnings, faith and activism in conversation at St. Paul's United in Orillia, Ont.

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.

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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.

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May 2013

Buy. Wear. Toss.

By Susan Peters

In the developed world, clothing has never been cheaper. But do overstuffed wardrobes make fashion victims of us all?

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May 2013

Losing the hooded grebe

By Alanna Mitchell

Why the extinction of a small water bird in Argentina would be a tragedy for all of Creation. First of a two-part series.

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May 2013

Interview with Chris Stedman

By Katie Toth

Harvard University's humanist chaplain talks about atheists, Christians — and how the two can set aside their differences to work together

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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

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April 2013

The ugly Internet

By Kasia Mychajlowycz

Online misogyny is running rampant. Critics say that hate is hate, whether it’s expressed on the street corner or in cyberspace.

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

April 2013

The Nisga'a experiment

By Richard Wright

Owning land is a Canadian right — unless you live on a reserve. Now, a First Nation in British Columbia is rewriting the rules. Will property rights for Aboriginals bring prosperity or assimilation?

Society

Sandy and Allan Wilson.

“Thank you for being my dopted parents”

by Allan Wilson

Eighteen years after his teen son died of cancer, this writer celebrates a new type of fatherhood when he becomes legal guardian of a man with disabilities.

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Editorials

The United Church Observer's editor and publisher, Jocelyn Bell. Photo: Lindsay Palmer

Observations: #MeToo

by Jocelyn Bell

Our hope is that by giving voice to these #MeToo stories, a new conversation about sexual misconduct can begin.

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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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Society

June 2018

Why some women of colour are hesitant to say #MeToo

by Jacky Habib

Three women share their stories in the hope of creating safe spaces they never had.

Environment

May 2018

A Kinder Morgan protest in photos and song

by Kimiko Karpoff

On April 28, 2018, faith leaders from many traditions, including the United Church, stood in solidarity with Water Protectors from the Tsleil-Waututh nation to protest the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion in Burnaby, B.C.. Kimiko Karpoff captured the day in pictures.

Faith

June 2018

After 93 years, this will be the United Church's last General Council meeting

by Mike Milne

When the United Church meets in July, top priorities will be a streamlined governance structure and Indigenous ministries.

Justice

June 2018

#MeToo in the United Church

by Trisha Elliott

9 women share their stories of harassment and sexual assault in the United Church.

Columns

May 2018

On grief and the healing power of gardening

by Paul Fraumeni

A writer reflects on how growing tomatoes is helping him find peace while dealing with the loss of loved ones, including his son.

Editorials

June 2018

Observations: #MeToo

by Jocelyn Bell

Our hope is that by giving voice to these #MeToo stories, a new conversation about sexual misconduct can begin.

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