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Interviews

Feature

December 2013

Interview with Barbara Marx Hubbard

By Karen Hilfman Millson

The futurist thinker talks about conscious evolution and the spiritual potential of humanity

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

Interview with Kevin Flatt

By Ken Gallinger

The professor of church history at Hamilton's Redeemer University College talks about his book, 'After Evangelicalism: The Sixties and the United Church of Canada'

Feature

September 2013

Interview with Michael Dowd

By Ambury Stuart

The American evolutionary apostle talks about his science-based spirituality

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

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

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

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

Interview with Charles Taylor

By Liette Michaud

Internationally acclaimed Canadian philosopher talks about building bridges between different cultures and faiths

Arts Feature

February 2013

Interview with John Swinton

By Chelsea Temple Jones

Scottish theologian and former mental health chaplain John Swinton talks about disability and dementia — and why churches have got this “inclusion” thing all wrong

Feature

January 2013

Interview with Chris Hedges

By Evie Ruddy

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of "Death of the Liberal Class" talks about how liberal institutions have helped the rise of the Christian right

Feature

December 2012

Interview with Phyllis Tickle

By Karen Hilfman Millson

American author and lecturer talks about religion, spirituality and the emerging church movement

Feature

November 2012

Interview with Parker Palmer

By Alicia von Stamwitz

Parker Palmer, bestselling author, educator and founder of Seattle's Center for Courage & Renewal, talks about democracy, the “mentality of scarcity” and revitalizing mainline churches

Feature

October 2012

Interview with Colin Mochrie and Debra McGrath

By Ken Gallinger

Debra McGrath and Colin Mochrie are one of Canada's best-known comedy couples. They talked about their faith and humour at their home in Toronto.

Feature

September 2012

Interview with Nora Carmi

By Kasia Mychajlowycz

Born a Palestinian Christian in Jerusalem just months before the founding of Israel, Nora Carmi talks about support for her dwindling community of Christians in the Holy Land

Feature

July 2012

Interview with Mardi Tindal

By Ken Gallinger

The United Church moderator talks to her former Spirit Connection co-host, Ken Gallinger, about her three years in office

Feature

June 2012

Interview with Shane Claiborne

By Pieta Woolley

Theology-school dropout and author talks about environmentalism, anti-militarism and service to the poor.

Feature

May 2012

Interview with Douglas Todd

By Pieta Woolley

The Vancouver Sun's religion reporter and 'The Search' blogger answers the deep questions

Feature

April 2012

Interview with Kathleen Norris

By Alicia von Stamwitz

The American essayist, poet and bestselling author of "Dakota: A Spiritual Geography" and "The Cloister Walk" talks about writing, monastic spirituality and mysticism

Feature

March 2012

Interview with Diana Butler Bass

By Pieta Woolley

The sociologist, author and theologian explains why North America’s largest religious group — mainline Protestantism — is struggling

Feature

January 2012

Interview with Pamela Palmater

By Ken Gallinger

The head of Ryerson University's Centre for Indigenous Governance talks about the crisis in Attawapiskat and other First Nations reserves

Feature

December 2011

Interview with Rev. Brent Hawkes

By Ken Gallinger

The minister of Toronto’s Metropolitan Community Church presided over the state funeral for Jack Layton last summer. He recently spoke to The Observer.

Feature

November 2011

Interview with Mary Hynes

By Cory Ruf

The host of CBC Radio’s “Tapestry” program often engages in wide-ranging discussions with the most interesting thinkers on faith and spirituality. She recently talked to The Observer.

Feature

October 2011

Interview with Linda McQuaig

By Mike Milne

Three years after the global financial meltdown, the co-author with Neil Brooks of “The Trouble with Billionaires” talks about how growing income inequality is changing Canada

Feature

September 2011

Interview with Marcus Borg

By Therese DesCamp

American biblical scholar talks about his recent books — 'Putting Away Childish Things' and 'Speaking Christian' — and the importance of story and language

Feature

July 2011

Interview with John Dominic Crossan

By Ken Gallinger

Jesus Seminar co-chair and author talks about Jesus and the Roman Empire

Feature

June 2011

Interview with Tom Harpur

By Ken Gallinger

Anglican priest and author talks about his latest book, 'Born Again,' and his path of faith from childhood to age 82

Feature

May 2011

Interview with Maude Barlow

By Frank Dabbs

Author and social justice advocate talks about the values that inform her work and the ideas that sustain her

Feature

April 2011

Interview with David Hallman

By David Wilson

Author and former United Church program officer talks about his new memoir, August Farewell

Feature

March 2011

Interview with Rev. Cindy Bourgeois

By Larke Turnbull

The first known transgendered person to be ordained in the United Church talks about her ministry at Central United in Stratford, Ont.

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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