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

Features

Feature

April 2018

4 natural alternatives to plastics

By Susan Nerberg

Can we phase out petrochemicals when it comes to making plastic? These researchers think so.

Feature

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.

Feature

April 2018

How Canadians became so addicted to plastic

By Susan Nerberg

First introduced as Bakelite in 1907, fully synthetic plastics weren’t mass produced until the mid-century.

Feature

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.

Feature

April 2018

What that recycling logo actually means

By Susan Nerberg

Contrary to popular belief, its presence doesn’t guarantee the product is reusable or recyclable.

Feature

April 2018

10 easy ways to kick our nasty plastic habit

By Susan Nerberg

It's not as hard as you think.

Special Feature

December 2015

To the ends of the Earth

By Alanna Mitchell

Travelling to the North and South poles brings moments of redemption amid overwhelming evidence of a planet in peril — April 2011

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

Grim reminders

By Pieta Woolley

What should be done with Canada’s remaining Indian residential school buildings?

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.

Special Feature

June 2015

‘Es complicado’

By Christopher White

Nothing about Cuba is straightforward or simple — including its impending reconciliation with the United States

Feature

June 2015

Forgive and feel better

By Vivien Fellegi

Brooding over past wrongs can exact a toll on our health. New research suggests that healing begins with letting go.

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

The Cosby Showdown

By Anne Bokma

I wasn't amused when comedian Bill Cosby came to town amid fresh allegations of sexual assault. So I and 30 others planned our own stand-up moment.

Feature

May 2015

Forever young

By Larry Krotz

Researchers are using cutting-edge science in a quest to defy mortality. How far should they go?

Feature

May 2015

Men, not monsters

By John Barber

Offenders labelled 'NCR: Not Criminally Responsible’ are often judged to be beyond redemption. Documentary filmmaker John Kastner offers a different take and is transforming public opinion.

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

Why kicking carbon makes dollars and sense

By Alanna Mitchell

Giving up fossil fuels will not only save life on Earth — it will also save us money

Feature

April 2015

Confronting the Sixties Scoop

By Anne Bokma

From the 1960s to the ’80s, some 20,000 Aboriginal children were removed from their homes and placed with non-Native families. Now adults, many want redress for the loss of cultural identity.

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

April 2015

Interview with Mary Jo Leddy

By Mardi Tindal

The writer, theologian and founder of Toronto's Romero House for refugees talks about faith in the public square

Feature

March 2015

Photo Essay: Extreme Downsizing

By Various Writers

Feature

March 2015

Extreme downsizing

By Anne Bokma

For tiny house enthusiasts, sometimes less is more

Feature

March 2015

Interview with Karen Armstrong

By John Suk

The former nun and author of more than 20 books on the world’s major faith traditions talks about the history of religion and violence

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

Boycotted beverage company to leave Israeli settlement

By Mike Milne

Feature

March 2015

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

By Tim Johnson

Feature

March 2015

Interview with Rev. Ed File

By Matthew Behrens

The retired United Church minister, now living outside Belleville, Ont., talks about the historic Selma-Montgomery march for civil rights in 1965, in which he took part

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