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Ethics

Feature

May 2018

How to apologize like you mean it

By Fiona Tapp

In the era of #MeToo, public remorse is aplenty. But the art of apologizing takes some practice.

Special Feature

May 2018

Pregnant in the pulpit

By Trisha Elliott

Ministers who take a maternity leave still face discrimination in their own congregations

Feature

May 2018

How ministers can plan a good parental leave

By Trisha Elliott

Feature

April 2018

Why inaction is the devil we should actually fear

By Christopher Levan

"We miss the fact that the real devil in our society is how so many allow evil to happen. The devil is not in our action but in our inaction."

Feature

March 2018

5 radical reasons we're loving this Pope

By Al Donato

Known by many nicknames — the People’s Pope, Twitter Pope, the Great Reformer — all emphasize his public displays of compassion for the Catholic devout and non-believers alike.

Feature

March 2018

Sweden’s governing party pledges to abolish religious schools

By Al Donato

Should they be re-elected in September, the Swedish Social Democrats announced that their education policy would eliminate gender and religious segregation in schools.

Feature

March 2018

Canada and other surprising countries where child marriage is still a thing

By Al Donato

Widely associated with Muslim-majority and African countries, child marriage isn’t limited to a single religion, ethnicity or socio-economic background.

Feature

March 2018

Egerton Ryerson: The legacy of a tarnished hero

By Mike Milne

He founded public education in Ontario — and this very magazine — while also promoting residential schools. How should we judge Ryerson today? Some students want his name and image gone.

Feature

January 2018

The good death

By Pieta Woolley

Anglican professor Donald Grayston made dying in peace a lifetime project. His example is inspiring others to plan a meaningful exit.

Feature

January 2018

A mammoth experiment

By Elena Gritzan

Special Feature

December 2017

Hope in the age of HIV-AIDS

By Philip Maher

Feature

November 2017

Grey matter

By Trisha Elliott

Is consciousness just a function of the brain — or something more?

Feature

October 2017

10,000 meals

By Anne Bokma

As Canadian families prepare to mark Thanksgiving, the writer reflects on the routine and ritual of breaking bread together

Feature

September 2017

Clamour on campus

By Justin Dallaire

Ideologies are colliding at Canadian universities, and free speech is caught in the crossfire

Feature

September 2017

Sidebar: Free speech flashpoints

By Justin Dallaire

Feature

September 2017

Sidebar: ‘Most students are very respectful of diverse political and religious views’

By Justin Dallaire

Rev. Ralph Carl Wushke, a United Church minister and ecumenical chaplain at the University of Toronto, talks about free speech on campus

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?

Feature

May 2017

Calling in sad

By Denise Davy

On any given week, half a million Canadians miss work due to a mental health problem. Employers are failing to offer the support they need.

Feature

May 2017

Sidebar: Responding to clergy burnout

By Denise Davy

Feature

March 2017

Q&A with Don Evans

By Kevin Spurgaitis

The executive director of the Victoria-based, United Church of Canada-affiliated Our Place Society and the former acting executive director of Vancouver's First United talks about the opioid crisis in British Columbia

Special Feature

March 2017

Aging and addicted

By Kevin Spurgaitis

When you picture drug abuse, Canadian seniors may not come to mind. But the over-prescription of painkillers has made them another face of the opioid epidemic.

Feature

March 2017

How different regions are tackling the opioid crisis

By Kevin Spurgaitis

Feature

March 2017

Culture thieves

By Pieta Woolley

There’s a line between appreciation and appropriation. Why do white people keep crossing it?

Feature

February 2017

Flowers, lingerie, chocolate and gems — the ethical way

By Trisha Elliott

Feature

January 2017

Prisonland

By Anne Bokma

Three years after shutting down, Canada’s oldest and most notorious prison is now a blockbuster tourist attraction. Is it trading on tragedy?

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

June 2016

A new way to die

By Various Writers

Five United Church people who helped shape Canada’s groundbreaking laws about options at the end of life

Feature

June 2016

Remembering Gloria Taylor

By Chelsea Temple Jones

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.

Feature

May 2016

Married to mental illness

By Denise Davy

The burden of caring for a spouse with serious psychological issues will test even the strongest relationship

Society

Sandy and Allan Wilson.

“Thank you for being my dopted parents”

by Allan Wilson

Eighteen years after his teen son died of cancer, this writer celebrates a new type of fatherhood when he becomes legal guardian of a man with disabilities.

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Editorials

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

Observations: #MeToo

by Jocelyn Bell

Our hope is that by giving voice to these #MeToo stories, a new conversation about sexual misconduct can begin.

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Video

ObserverDocs: Playing by Heart

by Observer Staff

United Church music director Kara Shaw was born prematurely, became almost totally blind and was later diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Today, the 28-year-old showcases her unique musical ability, performing piano on local and national stages.

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Society

June 2018

Why some women of colour are hesitant to say #MeToo

by Jacky Habib

Three women share their stories in the hope of creating safe spaces they never had.

Environment

May 2018

A Kinder Morgan protest in photos and song

by Kimiko Karpoff

On April 28, 2018, faith leaders from many traditions, including the United Church, stood in solidarity with Water Protectors from the Tsleil-Waututh nation to protest the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion in Burnaby, B.C.. Kimiko Karpoff captured the day in pictures.

Faith

June 2018

After 93 years, this will be the United Church's last General Council meeting

by Mike Milne

When the United Church meets in July, top priorities will be a streamlined governance structure and Indigenous ministries.

Justice

June 2018

#MeToo in the United Church

by Trisha Elliott

9 women share their stories of harassment and sexual assault in the United Church.

Columns

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.

Editorials

June 2018

Observations: #MeToo

by Jocelyn Bell

Our hope is that by giving voice to these #MeToo stories, a new conversation about sexual misconduct can begin.

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