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Features

Feature

April 2013

Interview with Ron Klusmeier

By Ken Gallinger

Pioneering composer talks about contemporary church music and his ongoing "Tour of a Lifetime"

Feature

March 2013

The Upper Room

By Gary Paterson

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

Feature

March 2013

Making amends with Malawi

By Pieta Woolley

Backpacking in southern Africa 13 years ago, the writer vowed to raise money for AIDS orphans. She never did, but she also never forgot. Haunted by guilt, she returned last fall to pay her debt.

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

March 2013

Embracing our Aboriginal sisters

By Julie McGonegal

Colonizers targeted Indigenous women by undermining their leadership and stealing their children. Perhaps it's time to recover the power and potential of Aboriginal women

Feature

February 2013

The other survivors

By Pieta Woolley

Former students are not the only victims of residential schools. Their children — and their children’s children — also bear the scars of broken families and shattered communities.

Feature

February 2013

Something about bears

By Therese DesCamp

They’re unpredictable. They’re nuisances. And they can be deadly. But our encounters with bears can also inspire the wildest kind of love.

Feature

February 2013

An ill wind

By Lisa Van de Ven

The Dutch were among the first to embrace the green promise of turbines. Now they’re having second thoughts. Has wind energy lost its momentum?

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

Scared senseless

By Trisha Elliott

The 9/11 generation sees danger everywhere. How do we combat the culture of fear?

Feature

January 2013

Manning up

By Evie Ruddy

Almost 40,000 Canadian women were abused by their spouses in 2010. Bruce Wood is part of a movement helping men work through their inner demons.

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

January 2013

Change maker

By Samantha Rideout

Samantha Nutt has never been one to pull punches. It’s what makes her a human rights heavyweight.

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

Gateway ground zero

By Will Braun

Kitimat, B.C., is the proposed terminus of a controversial oil pipeline. But what does it mean for the local community?

Feature

November 2012

Animal rights and wrongs

By Kasia Mychajlowycz

Some say wildlife exhibits promote conservation; others contend they’re a cruel form of entertainment

Feature

November 2012

Decoding our good side

By Kevin Spurgaitis

For centuries, theologians described empathy as a gift from God. Now neuroscientists suggest it's simply evolution in action.

Feature

November 2012

To rev. or not to rev.

By Trisha Elliott

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

Feature

November 2012

Cold comfort

By Chelsea Temple Jones

Out of the Cold programs shelter untold thousands every winter. Their success points to a bigger failure: society’s chronic indifference to poverty.

Feature

November 2012

Have ailment, will travel

By Anne Bokma

Canadians are increasingly crossing borders to access faster and cheaper hospital care. But does medical tourism carry too much ethical baggage?

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

October 2012

War without end

By Karen Stiller

Each day, refugee camps in South Sudan swell with hundreds of new arrivals as old conflicts continue to rock the world’s newest nation

Environment

Song leader, police and gate blockers in front of the Kinder Morgan gates. Photo by Kimiko Karpoff

A Kinder Morgan protest in photos and song

by Kimiko Karpoff

A faith leader reflects on protesting the pipeline with the Water Protectors from the Tsleil-Waututh nation.

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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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