UC Observer logo
UCObserver on SoundCloud UCObserver on YouTube UCObserver on Facebook UCObserver on Twitter UCObserver's RSS Feeds

Opinion

Debate

September 2009

Do you cash a winning ticket?

By Connie denBok and Bob Giuliano

You are a minister and an outspoken opponent of gambling. After a community kitchen meal for the poor, you find a crumpled lottery ticket on the floor by the coat rack. Out of curiosity you check the numbers on the Internet and discover it’s a winner. What do you do?

Column

July 2009

A sign from above

By Karen Stiller

God tends not to communicate with me in direct ways

Column

July 2009

Decoding the Bible

By Peter Wyatt

What is the point of prayer?

Column

July 2009

Survey says

By David Wilson

Where the United Church's course will lead remains to be seen, but this much is certain: there will be no going back to the church of our forebears

Debate

July 2009

Keep a troubled kid in Sunday school?

By Ken Gallinger and Ruth McQuirter Scott

Your church’s Sunday school is on the rebound. Another new student arrives in your classroom. She’s a troubled foster child with a history of being expelled from school and bounced from home to home. Despite your efforts to help her integrate, she is becoming increasingly disruptive. Other children have stopped coming. What do you do?

Debate

June 2009

One tap on, another off?

By Lee Simpson and Kevin Little

A wealthy member of the congregation where you are a minister plans a gift that will sustain the church for many years. There’s a catch: he wants you to cancel “Spirituality and Suds” pub nights that are popular with young adults from the church and the community. Do you turn off the tap?

Column

June 2009

Triumph of the human spirit

By David Wilson

Singing sensation Susan Boyle reminds us that we are all people of spirit, whether or not we call ourselves spiritual

Column

June 2009

Generations

By Brian Platt

United Church camps attract those with little or no interest in faith. And that's a good thing.

Column

June 2009

Decoding the Bible

By Thomas Reynolds

What is conscience?

Column

May 2009

Decoding the Bible

By Ken Gallinger

How much do you have to believe to be a Christian?

Column

May 2009

Generations

By Patricia Clarke

Octogenarian love isn't for the faint of heart

Column

May 2009

Betting the farm

By David Wilson

The collapsing economy has exposed failures almost too monumental to comprehend

Debate

May 2009

Do you pay under the table?

By Connie denBok and Bob Giuliano

The fire inspector has ordered some costly upgrades at the financially struggling church where you work as an administrator. A parishioner who has been unemployed for several months offers to do the work at a good price. But he wants to be paid in cash so his employment insurance benefits aren’t affected. Do you agree?

Column

April 2009

Generations

By Larry Krotz

Shedding some light on the art of journal keeping

Column

April 2009

Decoding the Bible

By Therese DesCamp

Why did God forsake Jesus on the cross?

Column

April 2009

Setting the table; not serving the meal

By David Wilson

Thanks to the Emerging Spirit campaign, Canadians have come to expect the unexpected from the United Church

Debate

April 2009

Do you warn your friend?

By Ken Gallinger and Ruth McQuirter Scott

A close friend tells you about the new man in her life. You’re a receptionist in a law office where he is a client. From office gossip you’ve heard the man has a past history of domestic violence. You know the rules about lawyer-client confidentiality, but your conscience says you should warn your friend. Do you?

Column

March 2009

Tell us about the things that matter

By David Wilson

In a survey-weary world, it's still important to contribute to the ongoing conversation about your church’s future

Column

March 2009

Generations

By Karen Stiller

Turning middle-age is a chance to look inside oneself

Column

March 2009

Living in faith

By Keith Howard

Truth is what moves us from a platitude to the profound

Debate

March 2009

Reporting a fender-bender

By Lee Simpson and Kevin Little

You are an independent taxi driver. One morning, you back out of the driveway into the side of an illegally parked FedEx van. No one sees it happen. Your car is okay but the van is clearly damaged. You now risk losing your cab due to skyrocketing insurance rates. Do you report the mishap?

Column

February 2009

Generations

By Brian Platt

We live in one world, and we must show solidarity with the oppressed

Column

February 2009

At Issue

By Connie denBok

A surprising number of new Canadians are open to a community of faith, and many are looking for ways to connect beyond their ethnic enclave

Column

February 2009

The new militancy

By David Wilson

To the most strident of atheists, religion is not simply a different way of seeing things; it is the enemy

Debate

February 2009

Is it hooky or healing?

By Connie denBok and Bob Giuliano

A colleague has gone on short-term disability following the flare-up of an old back injury. You are both in the running for the same promotion, one that you feel you deserve and one that you need so you can make ends meet. One day you spot your colleague zipping down the ski hill. What do you do?

Column

January 2009

Restless soul

By Sara Jewell

Restless no more, a veteran columnist bids readers farewell and prepares to head in a new direction

Column

January 2009

Living in Faith

By Keith Howard

The true test for President Obama will be bringing about a new world of peace and prosperity without disturbing the current standards of living

Column

January 2009

Happy Birthday, Observer

By David Wilson

As The Observer begins its 180th anniversary, we look back at the narratives that tell us who we are and where we come from

Debate

January 2009

Strings attached

By Ken Gallinger and Ruth McQuirter Scott

Your church gym helps keep local youngsters healthy and off the streets. It badly needs refurbishing, and your church has no money. A sporting goods merchant offers $10,000 but wants a small sign advertising his store displayed somewhere in the gym. Do you accept?

Debate

December 2008

Christmas conundrum

By Lee Simpson and Kevin Little

You have recently remarried. Although you have custody of your children, they remain very close to their father. Christmas is looming, and you know he is alone. The kids desperately want him to be part of your celebrations. Your new partner is decidedly less enthusiastic. What do you do?

Promotional Image

Editorials

David Wilson%

Observations

by David Wilson

Enclaves of the elderly

Promotional Image

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.

Promotional Image

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

Promotional Image