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Society

Feature

March 2015

A sanctuary of their own

By Luc Rinaldi

A Toronto congregation is providing space for two female priests to do what Catholics won’t allow: lead worship

Feature

March 2015

Teenage Stephen Harper grappled with God, remembers his confirmation class teacher

By Tim Johnson

Feature

March 2015

The perils of too much certainty

By Larry Krotz

Once a top poet and bureaucrat, Duncan Campbell Scott is today a pariah for his policies of assimilation. What will be our own generation’s shame?

Feature

March 2015

Elephants in the room

By Trisha Elliott

Care to talk about tithing? How about evangelism? Confronting the United Church’s taboos.

Special Feature

March 2015

Beyond Ferguson

By Alicia von Stamwitz

Did Michael Brown’s shooting death in Missouri last August reawaken the civil rights movement?

Feature

March 2015

Rainbow refugees

By Marc Colbourne

Persecuted in their home countries, LGBT asylum seekers hope for a safe haven in Canada — but it’s getting harder for them to gain entry

Feature

February 2015

The unlikely ascent of Kathleen Wynne

By John Barber

Ontario’s first female premier has surmounted barriers all her life. But she’s never strayed far from her United Church roots.

Feature

February 2015

With this ring, I thee divorce

By Anne Bokma

Separation doesn't have to be adversarial. Some couples are seeking more meaningful ways to untie the knot.

Feature

February 2015

Little bundles of good

By Drew Halfnight

New research suggests that infants are ethical right from the cradle

Feature

January 2015

A family like any other

By Sonya Corbin Dwyer

Author Sonya Corbin Dwyer is as much a mother to her daughters as any biological parent. So why do people keep asking, ‘Where are they from?’

Feature

January 2015

Small print, big stakes

By Luc Rinaldi

Here’s one lesson they’re not teaching in Ontario’s Catholic secondary schools: The law says you don’t actually have to study religion

Feature

January 2015

Unravelling the mysteries of prayer

By Trisha Elliott

New research suggests that praying really can transform you — starting with your brain

Feature

December 2014

Canada’s hidden literacy crisis

By Krystina Mierins

A recent study revealed that almost half of Canadian adults don’t read very well. So why has the federal government cut its support for literacy organizations?

Feature

September 2014

Observer Survey 2014 : Part Two

By Samantha Rideout

Canadians don't know much about The United Church of Canada, according to our survey results.

Feature

September 2014

Sore point

By Alison Shouldice

Despite doctors’ urgings, growing numbers of Canadian parents refuse to vaccinate their children. Who should be calling the shots?

Feature

September 2014

Wage wars

By Susan Peters

As the pay gap between executives and employees widens, advocates for corporate responsibility say it’s time to take the air out of inflated salaries

Feature

July 2014

The dissenters

By David Berlin

Independent Jewish Voices operates on the margins of Canadian Judaism. But it has found common cause with church groups critical of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.

Feature

July 2014

Debunking the human myth

By Alanna Mitchell

Science is blurring the lines between humans and other species. Maybe we’re not the pinnacle of Creation after all.

Feature

July 2014

Older and wiser

By Paul Knowles

New research confirms what we’ve always suspected: people grow more astute as they age. We’d be smart to take advantage of their wisdom.

Feature

June 2014

Observer Survey 2014

By Observer Staff

What do Canadians think about organized religion?

Feature

June 2014

The communitarians

By Anne Bokma

What happens when 100 people move out of the mainstream and attempt to create their own private utopia?

Feature

June 2014

Playing God?

By John Barber

A little-known Ontario panel routinely makes live-or-die decisions for gravely ill patients. As the population ages, other jurisdictions would do well to study how the panel navigates end-of-life ethics.

Feature

May 2014

The perils of redevelopment

By John Barber

So you have a new mission and big plans for your church building. Brace yourself. The road ahead could be rocky

Feature

April 2014

Decoding a world of religion

By Cory Ruf

What role does faith play in the rise and fall of civilizations? A major study led by two British Columbia universities aims to find out.

Feature

April 2014

Dwindling donors, deeper pockets

By Kevin Spurgaitis

Canadians do care. But fewer are putting their money where their hearts are.

Feature

March 2014

Being there

By Various Writers

Stories of illness and companionship

Feature

March 2014

Communes for grown-ups

By Anne Bokma

A 1960s ideal gets a modern makeover in cohousing projects designed for living in close quarters

Feature

March 2014

A Canadian genocide?

By Larry Krotz

A new museum in Winnipeg has become a flashpoint for how we interpret this country’s treatment of First Nations

Feature

March 2014

The ring-tailed devil

By Trisha Elliott

All God’s creatures are sacred — except one

Feature

February 2014

Through the cracks

By Kevin Spurgaitis

Community living offers hope to people with developmental disabilities, but troubling gaps remain. Just ask Chris Stafford.

Faith

The author is baptized at Central United in Calgary. (Photo courtesy of Al Coe)

Why I got baptized in a United Church at the age of 42

by Jacqueline Mercer-Livesey

"I told myself that I didn’t need to go to church to believe in God. I found peace and the Holy Spirit in the things that surrounded me. But still, there was a nagging sense of something missing."

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Observations

Editor/Publisher of The Observer, Jocelyn Bell.

Observations: The rewards of letting go

by Jocelyn Bell

Editor Jocelyn Bell reflects on the upcoming changes for The United Church of Canada, the magazine and in her own life.

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Video

ObserverDocs: Two nurses tackle Vancouver's opioid crisis

Richard Moore is a resident of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. In this poignant interview, he explains the important work of nurses Evanna Brennan and Susan Giles.

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Faith

July 2018

250 United Church leaders have a message for Doug Ford

by Emma Prestwich

They're urging the new Ontario premier to remember those in need as he carries out promised economic reform.

Culture

July 2018

Tracing Nelson Mandela’s path a century after his birth

by Tim Johnson

A travel writer visits some of the places that shaped the anti-apartheid icon’s life.

Interviews

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.

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