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Interviews

Feature

March 2019

Catherine Porter on finding comfort in church after reporting on Haiti's earthquake

By David Giuliano

While covering the disaster for the Toronto Star, Porter witnessed devastation and formed relationships that changed her life

Feature

February 2019

Kathleen Wynne on her faith after the election

By Deirdre Pike

"I haven’t suffered a big, tragic loss. Yes, I went through an electoral loss, but it’s not like the tragic personal losses others have faced."

Feature

February 2019

Meg Hickling taught sex-ed in churches, mosques and schools

By Emma Prestwich

After educating people of all ages and faiths for over 40 years, she has gained wisdom and some funny stories

Feature

February 2019

Emmanuel College's first female leader shares her vision

By Julie McGonegal

Michelle Voss Roberts is the first female principal in the school's 90-year history

Feature

February 2019

Former sex-trafficking victim says Canadian parents need to know warning signs

By Lori-Ann Livingston

Timea Nagy-Payne is a survivor of human trafficking who was forced to work in Ontario’s sex industry. After escaping, she became an advocate for other survivors. She spoke with Lori-Ann Livingston.

Feature

January 2019

Sister Maudilia López Cardona says Canadian company's mine devastated her community

By Mike Milne

The nun and activist helps raise awareness about the environmental and social costs of the Marlin mine in Guatemala. She spoke to Mike Milne through a translator.

Feature

January 2019

What one plant agriculture expert wants you to know about GMOs

By Amy van den Berg

A recent study found that those who know the least about genetic modification had the most to say about it, so we turned to a researcher to get us up to speed.

Feature

December 2018

This year’s Polaris prizewinner on reviving language through music

By Glynis Ratcliffe

Wolastoq opera singer and composer Jeremy Dutcher combines classical music with archival recordings to reimagine his community's traditional songs.

Feature

December 2018

Canadian law professor on what’s wrong with sexual assault trials

By Will Pearson

Elaine Craig's book explores how the legal profession contributes to harms experienced by complainants.

Feature

November 2018

A gay Venezuelan refugee on why he fled and adjusting to life in Canada

By Amy van den Berg

He was regularly threatened in his job as a doctor and because of his sexual identity. Four years after making a refugee claim, he reflects on the challenges of the settlement process.

Feature

November 2018

Canadian joins migrant caravan to change how the world sees them

By Alex Mlynek

Paola Gomez didn't like how the media has been portraying people in the caravan, so she wanted to help share their stories. She spoke to Alex Mlynek.

Feature

October 2018

Joe Gunn: 'You aren’t supposed to remain the same after listening to the Word'

By Trisha Elliott

The executive director of Citizens for Public Justice says that being part of a faith community means being challenged to walk the talk.

Feature

September 2018

Two-spirit grandmother has something beautiful to teach all of us

By Emma Prestwich

Theresa Sims wants two-spiritedness to regain the special place it traditionally held in Indigenous communities.

Feature

August 2018

Paul Douglas Walfall reflects on his powerful General Council speech

By Emma Prestwich

'There needs to be a dialogue in the United Church of Canada from coast to coast, that we are able to listen to the experiences of the races in our church and not only to listen, but to believe what people are saying to us.'

Feature

August 2018

'Photography was the way that I could share different Indigenous realities'

By Emma Prestwich

Award-winning photographer Nadya Kwandibens wants to change the perception of Indigenous people through her work.

Feature

July 2018

Jamil Jivani sheds light on why young men radicalize

By Suzanne Bowness

In his book 'Why Young Men,' Jamil Jivani talks about his own experience as a troubled youth.

Feature

June 2018

United Church moderator reflects on righting injustice and what gives her hope in this exit interview

By Mike Milne

We talk to Rt. Rev. Jordan Cantwell as she wraps up her term as United Church moderator in July.

Feature

May 2018

Why I decided to leave the Catholic Church in my 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.

Feature

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.

Feature

May 2018

Grassroots environmentalist says climate change remains a ‘people problem’

By Sarah Shanley Hope

In this interview, Solutions Project executive director Sarah Shanley Hope talks about community connection — and a clean-energy future

Feature

April 2018

Burmese dissident speaks frankly about his country’s persecution of the Rohingya

By Samantha Rideout

On a recent Canadian tour, Maung Zarni talked about the need for truth.

Feature

April 2018

Martin Luther King Jr: Remembering an icon

By Kenneth Bagnell

On the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s death, we republish highlights of his 1962 interview with The Observer.

Feature

March 2018

How plastics are threatening our Great Lakes

By Susan Nerberg

Program director for Environmental Defence Keith Brooks reminds us why we shouldn’t forget the Great Lakes when discussing plastic pollution.

Feature

March 2018

Refugee clinic doctor reveals our bumpy relationship with newcomers

By Pieta Woolley

In this interview, Dr. Martina Scholtens explores her 10 years at a Vancouver refugee clinic and her recent book, "Your Heart Is the Size of Your Fist."

Feature

February 2018

Tanya Talaga talks about racism, resilience and reconciliation

By Julie McGonegal

The journalist recently wrote 'Seven Fallen Feathers,' a book about seven teens who died after moving from their home communities to Thunder Bay, and how we as a society failed to keep them safe.

Feature

January 2018

Canadian journalist talks about her fugitive childhood, trauma and forgiveness

By Marjorie Simmins

Writer Pauline Dakin says she found it incredibly cathartic to write her memoir.

Feature

December 2017

The non-religious chaplain talks about helping university students find meaning without God

By Anne Bokma

Keith Martin talks about his United Church-sponsored ministry to millennials in Guelph and Waterloo, Ont.

Feature

November 2017

Martin Rumscheidt on his father’s complicity in the Nazi extermination of Jews

By Paul Knowles

The New Hampshire-based minister talks about growing up in Adolf Hitler’s Germany.

Feature

October 2017

Interview with Sister Teresa Forcades

By Nancy Fornasiero

The Benedictine nun, physician and feminist theologian from Catalonia, Spain talks about her social activism

Feature

September 2017

Senator Kim Pate wants Canada to get rid of jails

By Trisha Elliott

The newly appointed senator talks about standing up for marginalized groups within the justice system

Columns

(Photo: cuatrok77/Flickr via Creative Commons)

Cormorants aren't the devil

by Douglas Hunter

Ontario's proposed new measures amount to a slaughter of an entire native bird species for no scientifically compelling reason, says this writer

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Editorials

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

The new name of 'The Observer' revealed!

by Jocelyn Bell

"United Church" will no longer be on the cover, but our commitment to sharing denominational news and perspectives remains the same

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Video

Meet beloved church cats Mable and Mouse

by Observer Staff

They're a fixture of Kirk United Church Centre in Edmonton.

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Society

February 2019

Marriage problems: Is the ancient tradition worth saving?

by Pieta Woolley

Bitterness and boredom seem to define many mid-life marriages, but we might not have to settle for apathy ever after

Ethics

February 2019

A Yukon artist and a Tlingit trapper create this stunning jewelry

by Amy van den Berg

The fur jewelry in Whitehorse boutique store V. Ægirsdóttir is creating a new possibility for future partnerships with the region's trappers

Columns

February 2019

Why white people need to stop asking, 'where are you from?'

by Mike Sholars

"...For all intents and purposes, Canada is the only home I really recognize or remember. But none of that matters if I look like I don’t belong, and that single question makes that abundantly clear every single time."

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