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Columns

Feature

August 2018

Why we really need to retire the term 'PK'

By Brianna Bell

This mom and writer says it puts too much pressure on kids.

Feature

August 2018

I'm a support worker for those with intellectual disabilities, and that reminds people of things they're deeply afraid of

By Dave Canfield

This writer says others often shy away from speaking about his work with those who have intellectual disabilities because of their own deep fears

Feature

August 2018

Why Canada’s first-ever minister for seniors is long overdue

By Julie Lalonde

A gerontologist says she hopes that a ministry dedicated to elder issues will mean that seniors finally have a voice in policy making.

Feature

August 2018

To those who said I'll only be respected as a minister because I'm pretty

By Aurora Coulthard

A young ministry student says Christians, both within and outside of the United Church, have discouraged her from following her call.

Feature

August 2018

Hey, United Church — we could have talked about my disability

By Colin Phillips

A moderator nominee says the majority of commissioners at General Council weren't comfortable enough to truly engage him.

Feature

August 2018

Trinity Western’s community covenant move has to be followed by meaningful change

By Jenna Tenn-Yuk

A queer Christian shares what she wants to see happen after the school made its controversial pledge optional for students.

Feature

July 2018

Martin Luther King Jr. was right

By Glynis Ratcliffe

Civil disobedience has been a powerful tool for activists through the decades, and can still be for Canadians looking to stand up against injustice.

Feature

July 2018

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.

Column

July 2018

A case for the secular Sabbath

By Anne Bokma

Advocates explain the benefits of unplugging and unwinding one day per week.

Feature

July 2018

My holy relationship with caffeine

By Dave Canfield

"I once witnessed an art intern brew a pot of drip coffee using Folgers Instant Crystals. The resulting brew almost led to a human sacrifice."

Feature

July 2018

I spent almost 30 years in a Christian commune. Now I’m figuring out my faith and life on the outside

By Dave Canfield

A writer and dad explores what it's like to start afresh after so many years in an enclosed community where he was handed all the answers.

Feature

July 2018

My ex-wife moved into the care home where Elizabeth Wettlaufer once worked

By Alex Mlynek

A former United Church minister reveals why he didn’t tell his onetime partner, who has dementia, about the connection. He spoke to Alex Mlynek.

Feature

July 2018

I hit 'refresh' on my marriage

By Jackie Gillard

A writer explains why she and her husband chose each other, instead of divorce, which "often seemed the easiest solution."

Feature

July 2018

20-year-old sex-ed curriculum will not help our kids today

By Glynis Ratcliffe

Using outdated material is basically leaving the job of sexual education in the hands of other children and the internet, says this parent.

Feature

July 2018

The United Church still hasn't confronted the racism within it

By Paul Douglas Walfall

'Let us ensure that the people who sit at the table are there not as guests but as valued members of the family.'

Feature

July 2018

'I worry we use people to show how diverse we are, but then ignore their struggles'

By Miriam Spies

Rev. Miriam Spies challenged the church with her sermon at opening worship at General Council.

Feature

July 2018

Ontario’s sex-ed curriculum reversal denies LGBTQ children their rights and safety

By Cheri DiNovo

A United Church minister and former MPP thinks opposition to the curriculum is rooted in an opposition to LGBTQ rights.

Feature

June 2018

The moment the Pope asked me to pray for him

By Miriam Spies

A United Church minister on the impact of a simple gesture from a powerful man.

Feature

June 2018

Is the Bible true?

By Jane Dawson

There are many rewarding ways of thinking about the truths of the Bible.

Feature

June 2018

I hate you, Canada, for teaching people to treat me like this under your name

By Zach Running Coyote

A Cree actor says he blames our country for the racist comments recently directed at him in a McDonald's restaurant.

Feature

June 2018

What I learned while caring for the dying

By Colleen Friesen

There is an idea in Celtic Christianity called “thin place,” when the membrane between this world and whatever lies beyond is an almost transparent veil.

Feature

June 2018

Queer Christians like me were left out of Trinity Western law school debate

By Jenna Tenn-Yuk

"Since the law school was proposed in 2012, the media has consistently framed this discussion as religious freedom versus LGBTQ+ rights. This limited argument completely erased my identity as a queer Christian."

Feature

May 2018

On grief and the healing power of gardening

By Paul Fraumeni

A writer reflects on how growing tomatoes is helping him find peace while dealing with the loss of loved ones, including his son.

Column

May 2018

Wrestling and other amazing ways to repurpose your church

By Pieta Woolley

Some church buildings go to sleep from Monday to Friday. But elsewhere, the steepled husks moonlight as kooky and political community hubs. Here are our favourite ideas.

Feature

May 2018

How a church-goer with schizophrenia gave this minister an unexpected gift

By Sue Campbell

Column

April 2018

Christians need to take risks and ‘be the church’

By Shawn Ankenmann

It's time for congregations to think outside the box

Column

April 2018

Humboldt: Brody Hinz's life taught us important lessons

By Deanna Robertson

Column

April 2018

Why Canada needs a free-range parenting law

By Pieta Woolley

Blog Entry

April 2018

Don’t be too quick to dismiss Fair Trade

By Shawn Ankenmann

Skeptical about Fair Trade? A coffee shop owner explains why it’s so important.

Feature

April 2018

Yes, a swan parade actually exists

By Keith Reynolds

For 28 years in Stratford, Ont., swans have paraded through the streets on the first weekend of April, waddling from their winter pens to the banks of the Avon River.

Faith

Chris Pratt's church, while claiming to accept everyone, states in its doctrine of faith that marriage should only be between one man and one woman. (Photo: Chris Pratt/Instagram)

Celebrity megachurches need to clarify LGBTQ acceptance: pastor

by Emma Prestwich

Zoe Church, where actor Chris Pratt worships, may not truly "open their doors" to everyone, like he claims.

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Editorials

The United Church Observer's editor and publisher, Jocelyn Bell. (Photo: Lindsay Palmer)

'The Observer' will soon relaunch with a new name and design

by Jocelyn Bell

Our magazine will be going through some changes, but we see blue skies ahead

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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

February 2019

Marriage problems: Is the ancient tradition worth saving?

by Pieta Woolley

Bitterness and boredom seem to define many mid-life marriages, but we might not have to settle for apathy ever after

Ethics

February 2019

A Yukon artist and a Tlingit trapper create this stunning jewelry

by Amy van den Berg

The fur jewelry in Whitehorse boutique store V. Ægirsdóttir is creating a new possibility for future partnerships with the region's trappers

Columns

February 2019

Why white people need to stop asking, 'where are you from?'

by Mike Sholars

"...For all intents and purposes, Canada is the only home I really recognize or remember. But none of that matters if I look like I don’t belong, and that single question makes that abundantly clear every single time."

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