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Features

Feature

June 2011

In defence of human smuggling

By Carolyn Morris

When life is at stake, a human smuggler could be a refugee’s only hope of escape

Feature

June 2011

Too modern for miracles?

By Richard Wright

Today’s world looks to science, not God, to explain extraordinary events. But does science really have all the answers?

Feature

May 2011

Stain of terror

By Brian Platt

Iran’s main opposition group laid down its arms a decade ago. But as far as Canada is concerned, it’s still a terrorist organization. What does it take to lose the label?

Feature

May 2011

Alone together

By Kevin Spurgaitis

In a few short years, social media has revolutionized the global conversation. But does more interaction mean better relationships?

Feature

May 2011

A new day for the oldest profession

By Pieta Woolley

Will new-found legal respectability protect sex workers or simply encourage more prostitution?

Feature

May 2011

Reading and religion

By Samantha Rideout

While Quebec's religion and ethics education program has ignited challenges in the province’s courtrooms, it is also sparking valuable discussions in its classrooms.

Feature

April 2011

Born into sin, nourished by hope

By Mardi Tindal

Confronting injustice in a broken world reminds us what it means to be an Easter People

Feature

March 2011

Second-hand savvy

By Karen Stiller

Shopping for used clothing isn’t just frugal. It also keeps cast-offs out of our landfills.

Feature

March 2011

The other battlefield

By Brian Platt

The author journeys to Afghanistan and discovers that Afghan women don’t need us to rescue them. They need security and education in order to flourish on their own terms.

Feature

March 2011

A forgotten injustice

By Samantha Rideout

In the 1950s, the federal government shipped thousands of Inuit south for tuberculosis treatment. Many died and were buried in graves far from home. A United Church in Quebec is helping to remember and honour the dead.

Feature

February 2011

Palestine’s ‘clear call to action’

By Mike Milne

A document circulating in the United Church opens a new chapter in the Middle East debate

Feature

February 2011

Pipe dreams

By Will Braun

Churches and Aboriginals were once allies in the fight against industrial megaprojects. These days, some First Nations are seeking economic salvation in partnerships with their former foes.

Feature

February 2011

Artificial Intelligence

By Kevin Spurgaitis

In making machines that think like humans, are we creating an ethical monster?

Feature

February 2011

Sacred, yes. But is it church?

By Sarah Boesveld

Spirituality has overtaken God in a handful of United churches. While some people find hope in post-theism, others see it as a break with Christianity.

Feature

January 2011

Eating locally in winter

By Chantal Braganza

Tired of root veggies? You can expand your January diet without hurting the Earth.

Feature

January 2011

Genes for sale

By Lisa Van de Ven

With 20 percent of genes currently under patent, critics are turning to the courts to put the brakes on the biotech industry

Feature

January 2011

Secular shift

By Kenneth Bagnell

Mainstream denominations may be faltering, but don’t write off religion just yet. A new kind of liberal Christianity is emerging.

Feature

January 2011

Into a spiritual wilderness

By Trisha Elliott

Ever had a faith crisis? You’re in good company. Working through the fog of doubt can take your faith to new horizons.

Feature

January 2011

Politics and prisons

By Patricia Clarke

As the federal government gets tough on crime, Canada’s jails are expanding. Many wonder if larger prisons — and ballooning corrections budgets — are the right way to go.

Feature

December 2010

Symphony in the sanctuary

By Samantha Rideout

In Ottawa, Parkdale United Church Orchestra's passion for the classics keeps a vanishing tradition alive

Feature

December 2010

Sharing the season

By Mardi Tindal

The close bond between an imam and a minister makes Christmas more real and more miraculous

Feature

December 2010

Destination West Bank

By David Wilson

Palestinians are trying to profit from Holy Land tourism. But they face formidable challenges.

Feature

December 2010

Prescription for a pandemic

By Kevin Spurgaitis

Scientists, activists and politicians agree that generic drugs can slow or stop the global spread of HIV-AIDS. So why haven't they been made more accessible?

Feature

November 2010

What do we mean by God?

By Various Writers

Six contemporary thinkers reveal a surprising range of non-traditional views in the United Church today

Feature

November 2010

Abortion wars: the next front

By Kevin Spurgaitis

After 20 years of relative peace, activists on both sides of the abortion debate are mobilizing for a new battle that threatens to reopen bitter ethical divisions

Feature

November 2010

To the brink and back

By Alanna Mitchell

Research into near-death experiences sheds new light on the possibility of an afterlife. Will neuroscience prove what religion has claimed all along?

Feature

November 2010

Losing their grid

By Vidya Kauri

Green pioneers are showing it’s possible to connect with creation by disconnecting from the grid. All it takes is a little sacrifice and savvy.

Feature

October 2010

Photo Essay: Global flair

By Samantha Rideout

Churches created by new Canadians are booming, differing dramatically from mainline denominations on the decline

Feature

October 2010

Spirit story

By Therese DesCamp

Sensible people do not name the chickens they will eat. But I knew it was her as soon as I pulled the bag out of the freezer. And I knew just because my heart told me: Gimpy.

Feature

October 2010

Feature: Global flair

By Samantha Rideout

New Canadians are planting churches at an astonishing rate. Can declining mainstream denominations take any cues from them?

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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