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World

Special Feature

June 2018

How Cape Town citizens narrowly avoided running out of water

By Sydelle Willow Smith

The city's population was restricted to using just 50 litres of water per person per day. By comparison, Canadians use five times that amount. Here, we take a look at how they managed.

Feature

May 2018

How a South Korean dissident became a minister in northern Ontario

By Donna Sinclair

After being released from prison in his native South Korea in 1979, Jong Bok Kim made the long journey to Canada, where he is now a United Church minister.

Feature

February 2018

Reconciliation process: What can Canada learn from Australia?

By Alanna Mitchell

Both countries have terrible histories with Indigenous peoples. The writer travels Down Under to find out how they're trying to make it right.

Feature

February 2018

Australian and Canadian churches work on promoting Indigenous rights

By Alanna Mitchell

Special Feature

January 2018

In the beginning

By Alanna Mitchell

The award-winning science writer travels to northern Australia to explore the world's oldest creation story

Feature

January 2018

70 years of solidarity

By Amy MacLachlan

Founded in 1948 to promote Christian unity, the World Council of Churches marks a milestone while looking ahead to the future of ecumenism

Special Feature

December 2017

Hope in the age of HIV-AIDS

By Philip Maher

Feature

October 2017

A complicated icon

By Paul Knowles

As Protestants celebrate a milestone anniversary, the writer ventures to Germany in search of the real Martin Luther

Feature

September 2017

‘Wherever we went, I saw need’

By Tim Johnson

A frequent traveller can’t help but encounter extreme poverty. What’s the best way to make a difference while abroad?

Special Feature

June 2017

Resisting genocide

By Sally Armstrong

In August 2014, ISIS attacked Iraq’s Yazidis, slaughtering thousands and forcing women and girls into sexual slavery. Today, the survivors are fighting for their ancient way of life.

Feature

June 2017

Bug bites

By Kieran Delamont

Feature

June 2017

A suitcase for Cuba

By Christopher Levan

You’ll find more than giveaway toiletries and hand-me-downs in the writer's luggage. Each carefully chosen gift offers a glimpse into the lives of Cubans today.

Feature

May 2017

In search of Rachel

By Byron Rempel-Burkholder

Approaching a biblical holy site on foot becomes a journey through the tangled reality of Israel and the occupied territories today

Special Feature

March 2017

Breathing uneasily

By Vivien Fellegi

Special Feature

February 2017

Many faces, one humanity

By Wade Davis

The words and photographs of the Canadian author and explorer capture the richness — and fragility — of global cultures and rituals

Feature

February 2017

Old library, new look

By Sheima Benembarek

Feature

January 2017

‘Love Trumps Hate’

By Denise Davy

A Canadian woman marches on Washington and sees a generation of feminists ready to take on the world

Feature

January 2017

Biblical proportions

By Anne Bokma

Special Feature

December 2016

Room at the Inn

By Paul Knowles

Feature

November 2016

A French malaise

By Tim Johnson

The writer returns to France after a 13-year hiatus and discovers a country increasingly uneasy about its growing multiculturalism

Special Feature

October 2016

Pulse power

By Gary Kenny

Special Feature

September 2016

Iron Man

By Jocelyn Bell

Special Feature

July 2016

When exodus is the only answer

By Patricia Clarke

Christians are fleeing the cradle of the faith amid escalating turmoil in the Middle East

Feature

June 2016

Death of a king

By Tim Johnson

The writer journeyed to Zimbabwe to inquire about the shooting of a celebrated lion. But he discovered that you can’t separate the scourge of poaching from the desperation of poverty.

Special Feature

May 2016

No wombs for rent

By Tony Fong

Feature

May 2016

Verbatim

By Kylie Taggart

‘Parts of our lives are beyond scientific understanding’

Special Feature

April 2016

Hell and high water

By Josiah Neufeld

The writer visits the shifting shorelines of Bangladesh and discovers tens of millions of people on the brink of climate disaster

Special Feature

April 2016

Slow burn in Central Asia

By Tim Johnson

Feature

March 2016

A citizen of nowhere

By Feras Saedam

For stateless Palestinians like Feras Saedam, life can be one long identity-card crisis. Occasionally there’s a happy ending.

Feature

March 2016

The Holland I never knew

By Anne Bokma

A first-generation Dutch Canadian wrestles with her religious history in the land of her ancestors

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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