UC Observer logo
UCObserver on SoundCloud UCObserver on YouTube UCObserver on Facebook UCObserver on Twitter UCObserver's RSS Feeds

Faith

Feature

February 2014

The agitator

By Chantal Braganza

Rev. Cheri DiNovo gave up ministry for politics, but her mission never wavered. She’s still an outspoken champion for society’s most marginalized.

Feature

February 2014

Camels and karma

By Peter Johansen

A visit to one of India’s most sacred towns got off on the wrong foot for author Peter Johansen. But maybe there was a reason for his bad luck.

Feature

January 2014

Back in harm's way

By Emily Loewen

Refugee advocates say new laws could increase deportations — and cause a spike in claimants seeking church sanctuary

Feature

January 2014

Miracle man?

By Anne Hines

Curious to see if celebrity faith healer John of God is the real deal, a United Church minister joins hundreds of followers at a Toronto rally

Feature

December 2013

Here comes controversy

By Anne Bokma

Some churches slip St. Nick into the Christmas Eve service, while others bar him at the door. Grab an eggnog and decide for yourself: Is Santa Claus naughty or nice?

Feature

December 2013

The gospel of secularism

By Samantha Rideout

Quebec’s charter of values is more than a ban on religious symbols. It’s a direct challenge to the place of faith in the public sphere.

Feature

December 2013

Stars of wonder

By Sam Wilson

The night sky above the Atacama Desert in Chile blurs the line between the heavens and earth

Feature

December 2013

The Program

By Larry Krotz

A nine-year-old boy hopes for one thing only at the Sunday school Christmas pageant: please let something go wrong

Feature

December 2013

Into the heart of holiness

By Gary Paterson

It’s Christmas Eve. The tree is up, the presents wrapped, but still you feel restless. The glow from a nearby church beckons. What will you find?

Feature

October 2013

Beyond belief

By Observer Staff

Ministers losing their religion? It happens. Some end up leaving the church. A few try to change it from within. The Observer explores the issue in three parts.

Feature

October 2013

Malignant metaphor

By Alanna Mitchell

How cancer mutated into a modern symbol of personal and collective sin

Feature

October 2013

A faith maligned

By Trisha Elliott

Christian colonizers discredited ‘voodoo’ as a deviant sect filled with pin-pricked dolls, zombies and curses. But these colonial caricatures bear scant resemblance to the Haitian Vodou practised today.

Feature

October 2013

The land of too much history

By Larry Krotz

Following in the footsteps of Jesus doesn’t have to mean closing your eyes to the complexities of the Holy Land

Feature

September 2013

United to the core

By Samantha Rideout

Feature

September 2013

Quality leaders, inspired supporters

By Samantha Rideout

Feature

September 2013

Worship that connects

By Samantha Rideout

Feature

September 2013

Rethinking the real estate

By Samantha Rideout

Feature

September 2013

About those empty pews

By Samantha Rideout

Feature

September 2013

Imagine your church in 2025

By Observer Staff

You have no illusions about the future. But this year’s Observer survey results show you’re cautiously hopeful and open to change.

Feature

July 2013

1988

By Various Writers

Twenty-five years ago, the United Church said yes to openly gay and lesbian ministers. Three people who were caught in the storm look back on the year that changed everything.

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

Justice

Photo: Courtesy of Josée Cardinal

How families cope when a loved one goes missing

by Justin Dallaire

A Quebec man went for a walk in the early morning of March 16, 2016, and hasn’t been seen since. His family, like many loved ones of the missing, finds it impossible to grieve — or give up hope.

Promotional Image

Observations

Jocelyn Bell%

Observations: Our magazine's plastic problem

by Jocelyn Bell

"While I can easily defend the use of a polybag on financial grounds, it would be unconscionable to deliver a cover story about plastics . . . in plastic."

Promotional Image

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.

Promotional Image

Features

April 2018

10 easy ways to kick our nasty plastic habit

by Susan Nerberg

It's not as hard as you think.

Features

April 2018

Tea bags and other surprising places plastics lurk

by Susan Nerberg

Hidden plastics rarely get recycled and often can’t be reused. Here we make some of the invisibles visible.

Features

April 2018

Drag queens help church raise money and awareness

by Darrell Noakes

The event, called “Take Me to Church,” after a popular song, was a fundraiser for LGBTQ youth in Saskatchewan.

Columns

April 2018

Why Canada needs a free-range parenting law

by Pieta Woolley

Features

April 2018

10 easy ways to kick our nasty plastic habit

by Susan Nerberg

It's not as hard as you think.

Faith

April 2018

4 science-trained faith leaders share what still gives them goosebumps

by Various Writers

"This greater knowledge amplified my belief in a mysterious God who still offers so much more for us to discover."

Promotional Image