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Feature

September 2018

Meet beloved church cats Mable and Mouse

By Observer Staff

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

Feature

August 2018

Exciting changes are coming to The Observer

By Observer Staff

We've been around for 189 years, and to survive, we'll need to adapt.

Feature

July 2018

ObserverDocs: Two nurses tackle Vancouver's opioid crisis

By

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.

Special Feature

March 2018

ObserverDocs: 100 Years of Women's Marches

By Observer Staff

For more than a century, women have marched for their voting, employment, civil, reproductive and sexual rights

Special Feature

March 2018

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.

Special Feature

December 2017

ObserverDocs: My Year of Living Spiritually

By Observer Staff

Anne Bokma left the Dutch Reformed Church as a young adult and eventually became a member of the United Church and then the Unitarian Universalists. Having long explored the "spiritual but not religious" demographic as a writer, she decided to immerse herself in practices — like hiring a soul coach, secular choir-singing and forest bathing — for 12 months to find both enlightenment and entertainment.

Feature

November 2017

ObserverDocs: A Tale of Two Cancers

By Observer Staff

Catherine Gordon's October 2017 feature for The Observer, 'A tale of two cancers,' recently caught the eye of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders and his Washington, D.C.-based team, and inspired a short documentary. Gordon talks about the experience of writing the article and participating in the film.

Special Feature

July 2017

ObserverDocs: Study War

By Observer Staff

Last century was the most violent in history, with more than 203 million killed in wars — more than all the preceding centuries combined. In today's armed conflicts, more than 90 percent of casualties are civilians — half of which are children.

Special Feature

May 2017

ObserverDocs: Stolen Mother

By Observer Staff

The daughter and adoptive mother of one of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women share their story

Special Feature

April 2017

ObserverDocs: Dearest Ones

By Observer Staff

Geneticist, activist and broadcaster David Suzuki offers words of wisdom to his grandchildren — and younger generations

Special Feature

February 2017

ObserverDocs: A shoulder to lean on

By Observer Staff

Sheima Benembarek was born in Saudi Arabia, grew up in Morocco and moved to Canada in 2005. In 2015, she relocated to Toronto. At first, the city seemed so much bigger, impersonal — and even threatening — until a fateful encounter in the subway one day.

Feature

May 2016

ObserverDocs: Out of Syria

By Observer Staff

For nearly half a century, the Elnabrees family has fled one war after another: Palestine, Kuwait, Iraq and, more recently, Syria. This year, they arrived as refugees in Canada, sponsored by relatives and United churches. Ayman Elshafiy, his wife, Sonia, their two daughters, his sister and mother, were among them.

Feature

October 2015

ObserverDocs: Clearing the smoke

By Observer Staff

Feature

March 2015

ObserverDocs: Beyond Ferguson

By Observer Staff

In August 2014, the world watched as a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri, exploded in outrage over the police shooting of an 18-year-old. In her own words, St. Louis-based writer Alicia von Stamwitz describes the tragedy and its aftermath.

Feature

December 2014

ObserverDocs: New Hope for Congo

By Observer Staff

Bishop Dieudonné Mbaya Tshiakany talks about conflict and recovery in Congo

Special Feature

November 2014

ObserverDocs: First World War Centenary

By Observer Staff

This year marks 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War. And still, the images of film and the words of poets from that era resonate today.

Feature

October 2014

ObserverDocs: Beyond food banks

By Observer Staff

A 50-year-old community group confronts urban hunger in Toronto's Regent Park, providing residents with access to high-quality food from local gardens

Feature

April 2014

ObserverDocs: My Year of Buying Nothing

By Observer Staff

After some soul-searching about what buying really adds up to, UC Observer blogger Lee Simpson made a promise to purchase nothing for 365 days. But while her reasons were clear, the vow to change was a little more complicated.

Feature

February 2014

ObserverDocs: Through the cracks

By Observer Staff

As institutions close their doors, people with developmental disabilities are finding new independence in community living. But as Chris Stafford and his mother, Andrea, recently discovered, the demand for supportive housing options far outstrips the supply.

Feature

September 2013

ObserverDocs: Imagine Your Church in 2025

By Observer Staff

Last spring, The Observer asked United Church members to share their dreams for the church. Here's what some of the participants at the 2013 Worship Matters conference in Saskatoon had to say.

Special Feature

June 2013

ObserverDocs: Interview with Gordon Lightfoot

By Karen Hilfman Millson

Gordon Lightfoot is a Canadian musical icon. This past February, he talked before a live audience at his home congregation of St. Paul's United in Orillia, Ont.

Feature

June 2013

ObserverDocs: Losing the hooded grebe

By Alanna Mitchell

The writer joins a team of scientists in Argentina trying to save a small water bird from extinction.

Feature

March 2013

ObserverDocs: Cold Comfort

By Observer Staff

Last fall, The Observer reported on Canada's Out of the Cold programs, which shelter untold thousands every winter. The magazine recently returned to Waterloo, Ont.'s First United Church and found a continued need.

Feature

March 2013

ObserverDocs: Making amends with Malawi

By Observer Staff

The Observer spends a week in rural Malawi, looking at its rich history, culture and the social issues it continues to face

Feature

February 2013

ObserverDocs: An Ill Wind

By Observer Staff

The Dutch were among the first to embrace the green promise of turbines. But wind energy has started to lose momentum in Holland while causing controversy in Canada.

Feature

October 2012

ObserverDocs: End-of-life ethics

By Observer Staff

Against the backdrop of an aging population, advances in medical technology and looming legal battles, Winnipeg faith leaders discuss the spiritual nuances of assisted dying

Feature

June 2012

Coming in July: 2012 Observer Reader Survey Results

By Observer Staff

Feature

March 2012

ObserverDocs: Reconciling to a Hard Truth

By Observer Staff

A historic settlement agreement promised closure for residential school survivors. But no one thought it would open the floodgates to thousands of new abuse claims.

Feature

January 2012

ObserverDocs: A taste of tolerance

By Observer Staff

Preacher Jaroslav Mitac and his family arrived in Canada from the Czech Republic in 2009. Since gaining refugee status, he has led the 300-member Gypsy Church of Hamilton.

Feature

September 2011

ObserverDocs: Planting a better future

By Lisa Van de Ven

Detroit’s urban agriculture movement shows that communities everywhere can reap new life when people refuse to surrender

Columns

Rev. Don Collett had a hand in writing the document that paved the way for the open ordination of LGBT folks in the United Church of Canada. (Credit: Bayne Stanley)

For me, the landmark United Church vote on sexual orientation came at a high personal cost

by Don Collett

"Justice was served at General Council. Yes. And harm was also done," says Rev. Don Collett.

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Observations

Editor/publisher of The Observer, Jocelyn Bell.

Should we apologize for the hurt surrounding the 1988 decision?

by Jocelyn Bell

The groundbreaking United Church vote on gay and lesbian ministers has transformed the denomination in the years since, but there's still work left to do.

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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

September 2018

11 Ontarians share their opioid stories in this powerful project

by Mugoli Samba

The Opioid Chapters hopes to add nuance to the public discussion on opioids.

Society

September 2018

Do we face a future without Down syndrome?

by Kevin Spurgaitis

Advances in prenatal testing mean parents can detect the chromosomal difference earlier. What does this mean for the future of Down Syndrome?

Faith

September 2018

I send my kids to Catholic school, but I'm not Catholic

by Pieta Woolley

A lifelong United Church member explains why she's embracing lessons in reading, writing and rosaries.

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