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Faith

Feature

October 2018

I may not know the point of life, but I know what makes it meaningful

By Trisha Elliott

Merely pursuing happiness doesn't cut it, says this writer.

Feature

October 2018

Experience the Passion: Oberammergau 2020

By Craig Travel

Once every decade, an extraordinary event takes place in the small German village of Oberammergau. Based on a long-standing vow, the villagers come together to enact the life and passion of Jesus Christ through the Passion Play.

Feature

October 2018

Gretta Vosper to get formal hearing soon

By Mike Milne

The United Church will decide whether or not the Toronto atheist minister should be removed from the order of ministry.

Feature

October 2018

Reincarnation therapy? Why some think accessing past lives may heal your present

By Anne Bokma

Past-life regression therapy—revisiting previous lives with the help of a hypnotist—is growing in popularity. But what does it involve?

Feature

October 2018

My church was literally dying, until we returned to prayer and confession

By Connie denBok

"No magic formulas. Just grace emerging through weakness."

Feature

September 2018

The spirituality of my last period

By Anne Bokma

"Having my period made me feel connected to the mysterious ebb and flow of life."

Feature

September 2018

I learned to reconcile my Indigenous identity with my Christianity

By Zach Running Coyote

"I have met Jesus in the smoke of burning sage, the darkness and warmth of the sweat lodge, and the powwow drum, the heartbeat of Mother Earth."

Feature

September 2018

As a progressive Christian, I choose to embrace discomfort

By Zak McDonald

For writer Zak McDonald, identifying with that label also means learning to understand those who think differently.

Feature

September 2018

The healing power of a good cry

By Anne Simmonds

'Have you ever met an infant or a young child who does not cry? It is a normal, natural, pre-verbal response to discomfort, pain, sadness and anger. As we get older, we’re taught to mask our true feelings.'

Feature

September 2018

A play-by-play of General Council 43

By Trisha Elliott

The 43rd national gathering restructured the United Church while reminding it that more change is needed.

Feature

September 2018

These Edmonton church cats bring all the snuggles... unless you're a mouse

By Alison Brooks-Starks

The two take their jobs as hunters seriously.

Feature

September 2018

How the United Church helped us settle in Canada

By Nancy Loucks-McSloy

Brooks Fully fled Liberia in 2012 and came to North America, eventually settling in Newfoundland. In 2017, his wife, Hawa, and children — Grace, 17, Evans, 12 and Courage, 8 — joined him in London, Ont., where the family now attends Trinity United Church Community Centre.

Feature

September 2018

I send my kids to Catholic school, but I'm not Catholic

By Pieta Woolley

A lifelong United Church member explains why she's embracing lessons in reading, writing and rosaries.

Feature

September 2018

Indigenous church cautiously optimistic about General Council changes

By Mike Milne

The United Church has voted to create a new National Indigenous Elders Council and a National Indigenous Spiritual Gathering, among other commitments.

Feature

September 2018

Meet your new moderator: Rt. Rev. Richard Bott

By Christopher White

'He is one of the people who can actually build up a church.'

Feature

September 2018

Presbyteries are gone. So now what?

By Mike Milne

Here's what the United Church's new three-court system will look like.

Feature

September 2018

Mission & Service goes mobile

By

Now each giver can simply make their gift and it will be received, receipted and thanked within seconds right on their smartphone, tablet or laptop.

Feature

August 2018

This fall, put giving at the heart of your congregation

By United Church of Canada Foundation Staff

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.

Feature

July 2018

250 United Church leaders have a message for Doug Ford

By Emma Prestwich

They're urging the new Ontario premier to remember those in need as he carries out promised economic reform.

Feature

July 2018

Is yoga a form of spiritual appropriation?

By Anne Bokma

From yoga to sweat lodges, many SBNR seekers are unwittingly engaging in spiritual appropriation

Feature

July 2018

A fond farewell to presbyteries

By Steven Chambers

They will likely be eliminated this year as the United Church restructures. Steven Chambers celebrates the end of an era.

Feature

July 2018

Meet your 2018 moderator nominees

By Mike Milne

Later this month, General Council commissioners will choose the United Church’s next moderator. As of press time, 10 leadership hopefuls had been announced. We asked each of them to sum up their pitch in a tweet.

Feature

July 2018

Donna Runnalls, McGill’s first female dean, looks back on her groundbreaking career

By Amanda Stutt

Biblical scholar Donna Runnalls has lived and worked in South Korea, Israel and Indonesia. She is a member of University Hill United in Vancouver.

Feature

July 2018

Why I got baptized in a United Church at the age of 42

By Jacqueline Mercer-Livesey

"I told myself that I didn’t need to go to church to believe in God. I found peace and the Holy Spirit in the things that surrounded me. But still, there was a nagging sense of something missing."

Feature

July 2018

How the United Church community can respond to the evils of the world

By Christopher White

Answers to your faith questions.

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

June 2018

This Ontario church will soon be a homeless shelter

By Nancy Fornasiero

And the congregation of Knox United couldn't be happier.

Feature

June 2018

Documentary looks at United Church's 1986 apology to Indigenous people

By Janice Leuschen

“The history of the present involves a thinking of how we’ve come to our point and reflect on it critically. It’s the history of the present that I’m interested in.”

Columns

Courtesy Aurora Coulthard

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.

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Editorials

Editor/publisher of The Observer, Jocelyn Bell.

Sharing a meal with friends is a radical act of gratitude

by Jocelyn Bell

"I’ve begun to consider that regardless of how I’m feeling on Thanksgiving Day, the very act of preparing and enjoying a feast is an expression of gratitude in and of itself."

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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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Justice

September 2018

Period poverty is a serious issue in Canada

by Angela Mombourquette

The high cost of menstrual products means many Canadians go without. Activists are seeing red.

Faith

October 2018

My church was literally dying, until we returned to prayer and confession

by Connie denBok

"No magic formulas. Just grace emerging through weakness."

Society

October 2018

4 Canadians with disabilities on the challenges they've faced in the workforce

by Diane Peters

Of the 14 percent of people in Canada with a disability, only half are employed. Companies are losing out.

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