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Faith

Feature

March 2018

Céline Dion's faith at 50

By Al Donato

That the singer rarely talks about her faith in public is surprising, considering she grew up in an overtly Catholic province. God also looms heavily in her work.

Feature

March 2018

Easter 2018: Peter’s last words to Jesus

By Jordan Cantwell

The Moderator of The United Church of Canada offers Easter reflections.

Feature

March 2018

New project invites people to share memories of 1988 United Church decision

By Alison Brooks-Starks

On the thirtieth anniversary of the United Church vote to include LGBTQ ministers, a new project invites people to share their stories of the decision.

Feature

March 2018

This church music director is blind and madly talented

By Paul Knowles

Kara Shaw discusses performing on national stages, the blessing of being adopted and her disabilities.

Feature

March 2018

How a medical miracle gave this writer a new perspective on Easter

By Noelle Boughton

Noelle Boughton has a new perspective on faith's greatest miracle — thanks to the medical miracle that resurrected her younger brother.

Feature

March 2018

Very Rev. Gary Paterson weighs in on Trudeau's apology to LGBTQ Canadians

By Alison Brooks-Starks

When Prime Minister Trudeau apologized to LGBTQ Canadians back in November 2017, Very Rev. Gary Paterson was one of 11 people asked to be on the advisory council for feedback. Here's what he has to say.

Feature

March 2018

Handmade dolls go to Parliament Hill

By Nicole Laidler

Dolls of Hope campaign advocates on behalf of the estimated 1.3 million Canadian children currently living below the poverty line.

Feature

March 2018

United Church of Canada proposes new regional boundaries

By Mike Milne

The UCC has mapped out new regions based on geography, relationships, and culture

Feature

March 2018

Church counts ‘hidden homeless’ in Belleville, Ont.

By Kate Spencer

Bridge Street United has found a new way to address homelessness in its city.

Feature

March 2018

United Church helps family member who shared her story at MMIW inquiry

By Betty Ann Adam

Last November, Danielle Ewenin shared her story about her sister, Laney, at the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

Feature

March 2018

Church organist has been leading worship for 86 years

By Wendy Lowden

And Louise Pelley is still going strong at 98 years old.

Column

March 2018

Should churches give a portion of land sales to Indigenous communities?

By Christopher White

Rev. Christopher White weighs in on a question about donating portions of land sales to Indigenous communities.

Feature

February 2018

Visiting Walden Pond: The roots of simple, spiritual living

By Anne Bokma

Henry David Thoreau's iconic refuge is where he learned to live simply, intentionally and at one with nature

Feature

February 2018

How this rock star helped save Walden Pond

By Anne Bokma

Feature

February 2018

Why I felt more welcome at a spirituality conference than in the United Church

By Alison Brooks-Starks

Ever Wonder conference in Edmonton draws longtime United Church members seeking a broader perspective on faith

Feature

February 2018

Churches challenge refugee policy

By Sheima Benembarek

Feature

February 2018

Meet the world's strongest church organist

By Alison Brooks-Starks

‘Music’s my real love. Powerlifting is a fun hobby.’

Feature

January 2018

How positive thinking can bring churches possibilities

By Julie McGonegal

Building on strengths rather than dwelling on negatives has brought healthy change to many secular organizations. The approach can work for churches, too.

Special Feature

January 2018

Exploring the world's oldest creation story in northern Australia

By Alanna Mitchell

The rock art in Kakadu National Park is not just the dusty archive of a primeval religion. It is part of an enigmatic, sophisticated animist faith that lives on.

Feature

January 2018

One resolution you should actually keep

By Kristy Woudstra

Ring in the New Year by tuning out your inner critic

Feature

January 2018

A preacher's kid pretended to be devout, but secretly she felt swamped with doubt

By Anne Bayin

"Terrible and painful as it was, Dad’s death liberated me. Along with grief, a burden was lifted."

Feature

January 2018

'A good death is being at peace with God, with others and with the self'

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

WCC celebrates 70 years of solidarity

By Amy MacLachlan

Founded in 1948 to promote Christian unity, the World Council of Churches marks a milestone while looking ahead to the future of ecumenism

Feature

December 2017

The unremembered midwife at Jesus' birth

By Ian Porter

On this night, a child is born.

Feature

December 2017

Montreal memory

By Martha ter Kuile

The day a routine delivery of Christmas hampers took a strange and wondrous turn

Feature

December 2017

New editor named

By Observer Staff

Longtime Observer managing editor Jocelyn Bell has been appointed the new editor and publisher of The United Church Observer.

Feature

December 2017

Activist politician returns to pulpit

By Patricia Clarke

'I’ve accomplished what I set out to accomplish'

Feature

December 2017

Verbatim

By Jon Tattrie

‘Both politics and church bring people together’

Feature

November 2017

No date yet for Vosper hearing

By Mike Milne

Feature

November 2017

Roads to reconciliation

By Nicole Laidler

A United Church-funded documentary preserves the difficult memories of residential school survivors

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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