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Faith

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

Away in a manger

By Anne Bokma

The enduring appeal of the Christmas crèche

Feature

December 2014

Encountering the Messiah

By Paul Knowles

Every December, the writer and chorister performs Handel’s most famous work. This year, he asks himself and other musicians: is it worship or entertainment?

Feature

December 2014

The outer edges of Islam

By Amir Hussain

Groups like ISIS pose a genuine threat to the West. But the bigger war is being waged within Islam itself.

Feature

December 2014

A season of song

By Gary Paterson

A message for Christmas from Moderator Rt. Rev. Gary Paterson

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

‘Where souls wake up’

By Trisha Elliott

Integral Christianity bills itself as the future of faith, recasting the Trinity as infinite, intimate and internal. The writer visits ground zero in Kansas City, Missouri.

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

June 2014

Observer Survey 2014

By Observer Staff

What do Canadians think about organized religion?

Feature

June 2014

Why I hate coffee hour

By Jillian Bell

For introverts, going to church can be a minefield of forced sociability. But strong, silent types have gifts to offer too.

Feature

May 2014

The Observer marks its 185th year with more awards than ever before

By Observer Staff

Highlights include four National Magazine Awards nominations and Best Magazine awards in two church press competitions

Feature

May 2014

Divestment strategy

By Christine Boyle

A healthy profit shouldn't come at the expense of a sick planet, say activists. They're encouraging schools, churches and other institutions to freeze out fossil fuels.

Feature

May 2014

Big kids on campus

By Bethany Van Lingen

At Canadian universities, evangelical student groups have eclipsed their mainline Protestant counterparts

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

May 2014

A no-fuss moderator

By Janice L. Meighan

Lois Wilson is as frugal with herself as she is generous with others. An excerpt from a new biography.

Feature

April 2014

The many faces of Jesus

By Trisha Elliott

Good shepherd. Revolutionary. Cherished friend. Messiah. The images we create of Christ tell as much about ourselves as they do about the man who lived 2,000 years ago.

Feature

April 2014

Can you save your marriage in a weekend?

By Anne Bokma

Friday: Marriage in crisis. Saturday: Attend couples workshops. Sunday: Back in love

Feature

April 2014

The superpope

By Alicia von Stamwitz

He champions the marginalized, enchants the media and tweets to millions. Pope Francis is trying to embrace the 21st century. Is the Catholic establishment ready to follow him?

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

‘Nothing can separate us from God’s love’

By Gary Paterson

A year after his mother’s death, the United Church moderator finds new meaning in Easter

Feature

March 2014

Being there

By Various Writers

Stories of illness and companionship

Feature

March 2014

Burning issue

By Pieta Woolley

Plans to turn a small B.C. island into a coal-shipping hub have divided locals. As the conflict heats up, designated lay minister Karen May preaches patient activism.

Feature

February 2014

Help us make this website better!

By Observer Staff

Feature

February 2014

The greatest story never told

By Samantha Rideout

At a time when belief plays a critical role in world affairs, religion reporting is being exiled to the margins of the mainstream media

Feature

February 2014

Christianity’s sleeping giant

By Alex Jürgen Thumm

Churches — both legal and illegal — are booming in China. Some view them as a welcome counterpoint to rampant materialism. Others see ghosts of a colonial past.

Feature

February 2014

The agitator

By Chantal Braganza

Rev. Cheri DiNovo gave up ministry for politics, but her mission never wavered. She’s still an outspoken champion for society’s most marginalized.

Feature

February 2014

Camels and karma

By Peter Johansen

A visit to one of India’s most sacred towns got off on the wrong foot for author Peter Johansen. But maybe there was a reason for his bad luck.

Feature

January 2014

Back in harm's way

By Emily Loewen

Refugee advocates say new laws could increase deportations — and cause a spike in claimants seeking church sanctuary

Feature

January 2014

Miracle man?

By Anne Hines

Curious to see if celebrity faith healer John of God is the real deal, a United Church minister joins hundreds of followers at a Toronto rally

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Editorials

David Wilson%

Observations

by David Wilson

Enclaves of the elderly

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Video

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.

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Faith

January 2017

Presbytery turns down bid to halt Vosper hearing

by Mike Milne

World

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

Society

February 2017

An anatomy of hate

by Douglas Tindal

It’s on the rise everywhere. The writer explores our most troubling emotion and asks how we might overcome it.

World

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

Society

January 2017

The new agrarians

by Lois Ross

In the next 15 years, almost half of Canadian farms will change hands. Meet seven millennials who view agriculture as a career — and moral calling.

Faith

March 2016

The Walrus Talks Spirituality

by Observer Staff

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