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Faith

Feature

June 2015

'Do we still believe that something vital is in the making?'

By Phyllis Airhart

The United Church of Canada at 90

Feature

June 2015

Divorce in a fishbowl

By Trisha Elliott

Ending a marriage is tough. Imagine what it’s like when you’re a minister.

Feature

May 2015

Confronting the unbelievers

By Mike Milne

Reaction against a minister who came out as an atheist was swift and blunt. But questions persist about how to deal with clergy who no longer believe.

Feature

May 2015

A wretch like me

By Trisha Elliott

We all feel shame. Instead of running from it, maybe we should take a cue from the Bible and face up to our flaws and frailties.

Feature

April 2015

Moncton minister's Twitter following grows to 30,000

By Rhonda Herrington Bulmer

Feature

April 2015

Losing Mom

By Tim Johnson

A travel writer's personal journey through grief — and how it was vastly different from everything he’d been told to expect

Feature

April 2015

The next supper

By Gary Paterson

A painting by the late B.C. artist Bill Dixon reminds us that Easter is not an event, but a movement. A message from the United Church moderator.

Feature

March 2015

A sanctuary of their own

By Luc Rinaldi

A Toronto congregation is providing space for two female priests to do what Catholics won’t allow: lead worship

Feature

March 2015

Teenage Stephen Harper grappled with God, remembers his confirmation class teacher

By Tim Johnson

Feature

March 2015

The perils of too much certainty

By Larry Krotz

Once a top poet and bureaucrat, Duncan Campbell Scott is today a pariah for his policies of assimilation. What will be our own generation’s shame?

Feature

March 2015

Elephants in the room

By Trisha Elliott

Care to talk about tithing? How about evangelism? Confronting the United Church’s taboos.

Feature

February 2015

The unlikely ascent of Kathleen Wynne

By John Barber

Ontario’s first female premier has surmounted barriers all her life. But she’s never strayed far from her United Church roots.

Feature

February 2015

With this ring, I thee divorce

By Anne Bokma

Separation doesn't have to be adversarial. Some couples are seeking more meaningful ways to untie the knot.

Feature

February 2015

Interview with Moderator Rt. Rev. Gary Paterson

By Chelsea Temple Jones

The United Church head talks about end-of-life ethics, where the personal, the political and the spiritual collide

Feature

January 2015

Small print, big stakes

By Luc Rinaldi

Here’s one lesson they’re not teaching in Ontario’s Catholic secondary schools: The law says you don’t actually have to study religion

Feature

January 2015

Unravelling the mysteries of prayer

By Trisha Elliott

New research suggests that praying really can transform you — starting with your brain

Feature

December 2014

Away in a manger

By Anne Bokma

The enduring appeal of the Christmas crèche

Feature

December 2014

Encountering the Messiah

By Paul Knowles

Every December, the writer and chorister performs Handel’s most famous work. This year, he asks himself and other musicians: is it worship or entertainment?

Feature

December 2014

The outer edges of Islam

By Amir Hussain

Groups like ISIS pose a genuine threat to the West. But the bigger war is being waged within Islam itself.

Feature

December 2014

A season of song

By Gary Paterson

A message for Christmas from Moderator Rt. Rev. Gary Paterson

Feature

September 2014

Observer Survey 2014 : Part Two

By Samantha Rideout

Canadians don't know much about The United Church of Canada, according to our survey results.

Feature

September 2014

‘Where souls wake up’

By Trisha Elliott

Integral Christianity bills itself as the future of faith, recasting the Trinity as infinite, intimate and internal. The writer visits ground zero in Kansas City, Missouri.

Feature

July 2014

Debunking the human myth

By Alanna Mitchell

Science is blurring the lines between humans and other species. Maybe we’re not the pinnacle of Creation after all.

Feature

June 2014

Observer Survey 2014

By Observer Staff

What do Canadians think about organized religion?

Feature

June 2014

Why I hate coffee hour

By Jillian Bell

For introverts, going to church can be a minefield of forced sociability. But strong, silent types have gifts to offer too.

Feature

May 2014

The Observer marks its 185th year with more awards than ever before

By Observer Staff

Highlights include four National Magazine Awards nominations and Best Magazine awards in two church press competitions

Feature

May 2014

Divestment strategy

By Christine Boyle

A healthy profit shouldn't come at the expense of a sick planet, say activists. They're encouraging schools, churches and other institutions to freeze out fossil fuels.

Feature

May 2014

Big kids on campus

By Bethany Van Lingen

At Canadian universities, evangelical student groups have eclipsed their mainline Protestant counterparts

Feature

May 2014

The perils of redevelopment

By John Barber

So you have a new mission and big plans for your church building. Brace yourself. The road ahead could be rocky

Feature

May 2014

A no-fuss moderator

By Janice L. Meighan

Lois Wilson is as frugal with herself as she is generous with others. An excerpt from a new biography.

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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