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Essays

Feature

June 2018

I regret my 100 Huntley Street book

By Paul Knowles

The evangelical history that Paul Knowles wrote 36 years ago haunts him to this day.

Feature

September 2016

Secretly spiritual

By Lucille Joseph

As she rose up the ranks to become a Toronto business executive, the writer felt compelled to keep her quest for deeper meaning hidden. Why she’s decided to talk now.

Feature

September 2016

Home

By Various Writers

They say there’s no place like it. Five recently uprooted writers reflect on the true meaning of the word.

Feature

October 2015

‘God bless you’

By Nancy Fornasiero

The words come easily after a sneeze. Why do we choke on them in other situations?

Feature

May 2015

The Cosby Showdown

By Anne Bokma

I wasn't amused when comedian Bill Cosby came to town amid fresh allegations of sexual assault. So I and 30 others planned our own stand-up moment.

Feature

May 2015

A wretch like me

By Trisha Elliott

We all feel shame. Instead of running from it, maybe we should take a cue from the Bible and face up to our flaws and frailties.

Feature

April 2015

Losing Mom

By Tim Johnson

A travel writer's personal journey through grief — and how it was vastly different from everything he’d been told to expect

Feature

April 2015

The next supper

By Gary Paterson

A painting by the late B.C. artist Bill Dixon reminds us that Easter is not an event, but a movement. A message from the United Church moderator.

Feature

February 2015

Interview with Moderator Rt. Rev. Gary Paterson

By Chelsea Temple Jones

The United Church head talks about end-of-life ethics, where the personal, the political and the spiritual collide

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

A season of song

By Gary Paterson

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

Culture

Indigenous actor and singer Tom Jackson has named his annual Christmas charity concert after the song. (Photo: Craig Koshyk)

6 must-hear recordings of the Huron Carol

by Will Pearson

From a beloved version by Tom Jackson to one translated into Mi’kmaw, Jesous Ahatonnia has been adapted in many creative ways over the years.

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Editorials

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

Why we pay our interns a fair wage

by Jocelyn Bell

But $15 an hour is only a small step in the right direction.

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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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Faith

December 2018

The complex history of the Huron Carol

by Will Pearson

A product of 17th-century Jesuit missionaries, the popular hymn was written to introduce the Wendat people to Christianity. The Observer explores its troubled origins and continued use today.

Columns

November 2018

Christians should stop using God to sanctify adoption

by Jackie Gillard

This adoptive mom writes that she's frustrated by the common evangelical Christian message that adoption is always the best outcome for a child.

Columns

November 2018

Christmas music was meaningless to me, so I started listening to this instead

by Paul Fraumeni

Tunes about snow and chestnuts and silent nights didn't bring the power of the holiday home to this writer, so he found a new soundtrack.

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