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Faith

Feature

November 2018

Interfaith conference illuminating, but those who needed it most weren't there

By Will Pearson

Observer editor Will Pearson learned a lot at the Parliament of the World's Religions gathering in Toronto, but wondered about its long-term impact.

Feature

November 2018

Gretta Vosper decision released

By Emma Prestwich

Toronto Conference, Vosper and West Hill United Church released a short statement on the hearing.

Feature

November 2018

Gender bias on Wikipedia: Why notable women in religion are missing on the site

By Emma Prestwich

"There have been women who have been in leadership roles, but we haven’t written about them."

Feature

November 2018

'We're bonded by faith': supporters gather to make 'ring of peace' at Toronto synagogue

By Amy van den Berg

The gesture of solidarity came a week after a shooting in Pittsburgh that left 11 people dead.

Feature

November 2018

Symbiosis: a way to give that benefits you and your congregation

By United Church of Canada Foundation Staff

By making a gift of securities, one woman was able to reduce her income tax while helping others.

Special Feature

November 2018

The first Black moderator of the United Church faced racism that still resonates today

By Mugoli Samba

Very Rev. Wilbur Howard didn't speak about the discrimination he experienced in the church. Decades later, Black clergy are opening up about what is still a big problem.

Feature

October 2018

Author of 'I Kissed Dating Goodbye' tells publisher to stop printing it

By Emma Prestwich

"I regret any way that my ideas restricted you, hurt you, or gave you a less-than-biblical view of yourself," he said to his readers.

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

This play about Jesus Christ happens every decade after

By Craig Travel

First performed in the 1600s, once every decade villagers in Oberammergau come together to enact the life and passion of Jesus Christ through "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

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.

Columns

(Photo: cuatrok77/Flickr via Creative Commons)

Cormorants aren't the devil

by Douglas Hunter

Ontario's proposed new measures amount to a slaughter of an entire native bird species for no scientifically compelling reason, says this writer

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Editorials

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

The new name of 'The Observer' revealed!

by Jocelyn Bell

"United Church" will no longer be on the cover, but our commitment to sharing denominational news and perspectives remains the same

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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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