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Faith

Feature

June 2013

The mediums are the message

By Anne Bokma

A skeptical writer visits the spiritualist haven of Lily Dale, N.Y., where communing with the dead is the town’s claim to fame

Feature

June 2013

The right kind of trouble

By Mardi Tindal

Being the United Church can sometimes get uncomfortable. The former moderator reflects on the risks and rewards of public witness.

Feature

May 2013

Death. It’s inevitable. So let’s talk about it.

By Trisha Elliott

It’s natural to be anxious about dying. But facing up to our mortality can help us live better today.

Feature

May 2013

Remote connection

By Tim Johnson

In the age of Skype, Facebook and Twitter, finding a real retreat can be an (almost) impossible challenge

Feature

April 2013

The United Church diaspora

By Christine Boyle

They don’t attend worship anymore, but countless young adults are living out the values they absorbed in church

Feature

April 2013

Sweet soul music

By Vivien Fellegi

New research shows that raising your voice in song can help lift the fog of depression

Feature

March 2013

The Upper Room

By Gary Paterson

An Easter message from the moderator, Rt. Rev. Gary Paterson

Feature

March 2013

Living a miracle

By Bill Millar

Kristin Millar was 26 and an aspiring actor when her heart stopped. Her father, a minister, says it was the worst thing that ever happened to their family. And the best.

Feature

February 2013

Becoming Ruth Wood

By Trisha Elliott

Terry and Anne Wood had a normal married life. All of that changed when Terry, a lay minister, realized he was a woman trapped in a man’s body.

Feature

February 2013

Korea’s great divide

By Tim Johnson

Travel writer Tim Johnson tries to make sense of the world’s most complicated peninsula

Feature

January 2013

Refuge on Bloor Street

By Chantal Braganza

A Toronto church welcomes an influx of refugees fleeing poverty and repression in North Korea

Feature

January 2013

The passage of rites

By Larry Krotz

Secular ceremonies are becoming more elaborate all the time. Are they filling a need that used to be satisfied in church?

Feature

January 2013

Full stomachs, empty souls

By Pieta Woolley

Studies suggest obesity is a problem in churches. Liberal Christians may scoff at the evangelical diet craze, but perhaps they’re on to something.

Feature

December 2012

Christmas after all

By Various Writers

Admit it: Christmas can be a trying time. Five writers search for the holiness at the heart of the season.

Feature

December 2012

Bernadette's secret

By Chelsea Temple Jones

Her parents needed a place to hide her. They found it in a United Church maternity home. Decades later, she’s still haunted by what she lost.

Feature

December 2012

Sisters under fire

By Alicia von Stamwitz

A showdown between Catholic sisters and bishops in the U.S. is shaking up the church establishment

Feature

December 2012

Do you hear what I hear?

By Gary Paterson

A Christmas message from the United Church moderator

Feature

December 2012

Rumour has it

By Ken Gallinger

Gossip in church can hurt. But like it or not, it's part of who we are.

Feature

November 2012

To rev. or not to rev.

By Trisha Elliott

That’s a question more and more ministers are asking themselves.

Feature

October 2012

End-of-life ethics: 'a pioneer phase'

By David Wilson

What does religion bring to the bedside? Winnipeg faith leaders discuss euthanasia, physician-assisted dying and the meaning of death.

Feature

October 2012

Poet, preacher, pioneer

By David Wilson

Rt. Rev. Gary Paterson brings a keen intellect and a passion for words to his new role as the United Church's elected spiritual leader. And by the way, he's gay.

Feature

September 2012

Wandering spirit

By Tim Johnson

Professional travel writer Tim Johnson loves his life on the road. But the impulse to keep moving comes with its own sacrifices.

Feature

August 2012

Day Seven

By Mike Milne

General Council affirms boycott of settlement products and opposition to Israeli occupation

Feature

August 2012

Day Six

By David Wilson

In a historic decision, commissioners elect Rev. Gary Paterson as the United Church’s 41st moderator

Feature

August 2012

Day Five

By Mike Milne

United Church moves closer to boycott of products from Israeli settlements

Feature

August 2012

Day Four

By David Wilson

Congregations urged to resist the ‘evil’ of gossip

Feature

August 2012

Day Four

By Mike Milne

Discussion begins on Mideast report calling for limited boycott

Feature

August 2012

Day Three

By Mike Milne

Review of church operations and structure could lead to sweeping changes

Feature

August 2012

Day Three

By David Wilson

Moderator nominees make their pitches to commissioners

Feature

August 2012

Day Two

By David Wilson and Mike Milne

Commissioners vote to change church crest and update doctrinal statements

Editorials

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Editorials

The Observer has a bright future ahead

by Jocelyn Bell

Change is as vital to the publication's history as our founding Christian values are to our future, says editor and publisher Jocelyn Bell.

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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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Ethics

January 2019

Where to donate your unwanted stuff so it actually goes to those who need it

by Glynis Ratcliffe

It may be tempting when you declutter to just drop off all your items at Value Village, but sticking with local organizations is a better option.

Faith

January 2019

Former fundamentalists describe the trauma of leaving their faith

by Anne Bokma

At a weekend retreat, participants find the strength to reclaim their lives.

Columns

January 2019

I worry the United Church doesn't want evangelicals like me

by Marilyn Myhre

While the church community says it accepts everyone, one woman wonders if that is still true.

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