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Interviews

Feature

August 2018

Paul Douglas Walfall reflects on his powerful General Council speech

By Emma Prestwich

'There needs to be a dialogue in the United Church of Canada from coast to coast, that we are able to listen to the experiences of the races in our church and not only to listen, but to believe what people are saying to us.'

Feature

August 2018

'Photography was the way that I could share different Indigenous realities'

By Emma Prestwich

Award-winning photographer Nadya Kwandibens wants to change the perception of Indigenous people through her work.

Feature

July 2018

Jamil Jivani sheds light on why young men radicalize

By Suzanne Bowness

In his book 'Why Young Men,' Jamil Jivani talks about his own experience as a troubled youth.

Feature

June 2018

United Church moderator reflects on righting injustice and what gives her hope in this exit interview

By Mike Milne

We talk to Rt. Rev. Jordan Cantwell as she wraps up her term as United Church moderator in July.

Feature

May 2018

Why I decided to leave the Catholic Church in my 60s

By Angela Mombourquette

After a lifetime devoted to Catholicism, a Nova Scotia teacher is settling in with the United Church of Canada. Here, she explains why.

Feature

May 2018

The two words Rev. Cheri DiNovo wants to hear from the United Church

By Alex Mlynek

The Toronto minister talks about her disappointment over the church’s silence when she officiated the country’s first legalized same-sex marriage 17 years ago – and why she wants an apology.

Feature

May 2018

Grassroots environmentalist says climate change remains a ‘people problem’

By Sarah Shanley Hope

In this interview, Solutions Project executive director Sarah Shanley Hope talks about community connection — and a clean-energy future

Feature

April 2018

Burmese dissident speaks frankly about his country’s persecution of the Rohingya

By Samantha Rideout

On a recent Canadian tour, Maung Zarni talked about the need for truth.

Feature

April 2018

Martin Luther King Jr: Remembering an icon

By Kenneth Bagnell

On the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s death, we republish highlights of his 1962 interview with The Observer.

Feature

March 2018

How plastics are threatening our Great Lakes

By Susan Nerberg

Program director for Environmental Defence Keith Brooks reminds us why we shouldn’t forget the Great Lakes when discussing plastic pollution.

Feature

March 2018

Refugee clinic doctor reveals our bumpy relationship with newcomers

By Pieta Woolley

In this interview, Dr. Martina Scholtens explores her 10 years at a Vancouver refugee clinic and her recent book, "Your Heart Is the Size of Your Fist."

Feature

February 2018

Interview with Tanya Talaga

By Julie McGonegal

The journalist and author of ‘Seven Fallen Feathers’ talks about racism, resilience and reconciliation

Feature

January 2018

Interview with Pauline Dakin

By Marjorie Simmins

The Halifax journalist and the author of ‘Run, Hide, Repeat: A Memoir of a Fugitive Childhood’ talks about trauma and forgiveness

Feature

December 2017

Interview with Keith Martin

By Anne Bokma

The non-religious chaplain talks about helping university students find meaning without God and his United Church-sponsored ministry to millennials in Guelph and Waterloo, Ont.

Feature

November 2017

Interview with Rev. Martin Rumscheidt

By Paul Knowles

The New Hampshire-based minister talks about growing up in Adolf Hitler’s Germany and his father’s complicity in the Nazi extermination of Jews

Feature

October 2017

Interview with Sister Teresa Forcades

By Nancy Fornasiero

The Benedictine nun, physician and feminist theologian from Catalonia, Spain talks about her social activism

Feature

September 2017

Interview with Kim Pate

By Trisha Elliott

The newly appointed Senator talks about standing up for marginalized groups within the justice system

Feature

June 2017

Interview with Peter Wohlleben

By Gary Kenny

The German forester and author of ‘The Hidden Life of Trees’ talks about tree speech and why plants have rights

Feature

May 2017

Interview with Kamal Al-Solaylee

By Sheima Benembarek

The bestselling author and journalism professor at Ryerson University talks about his latest book — an exploration into the experience of being brown

Feature

April 2017

Interview with Jim Wallis

By Mardi Tindal

The peace and social justice advocate, and founder and editor of Sojourners magazine talks about faithfulness in the era of U.S. President Donald Trump

Feature

March 2017

Interview with Jane McAlevey

By Katie Toth

The longtime American labour organizer talks about the role of faith in building successful social movements

Feature

February 2017

Interview with Michael Bell

By Donald Grayston

The University of Windsor’s senior scholar for international diplomacy and former ambassador to Israel, Jordan and Egypt talks about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Canada’s response

Feature

January 2017

Interview with Wendell Berry

By Murray MacAdam

The acclaimed author of award-winning poetry, social criticism and novels talks about his faith and the call to resist consumer culture

Feature

December 2016

Interview with Rev. Walter Brueggemann

By Alicia von Stamwitz

The American theologian and United Church of Christ minister talks about political engagement, prophetic morality, biblical justice and his vision for a neighbourly economy.

Feature

November 2016

Interview with Thomas Krattenmaker

By Katie Toth

The USA Today columnist talks about how Jesus’ life can act as an ethical compass today — a theme he explores in his new book, ’Confessions of a Secular Jesus Follower’

Feature

October 2016

Interview with Joan Chittister

By Nancy Fornasiero

The Benedictine nun, human rights advocate and co-chair of the Global Peace Initiative of Women talks about her writing, the Catholic church and the current U.S. political climate

Feature

September 2016

Interview with Scott Brison

By Trisha Elliott

The president of the Treasury Board and Liberal MP for Kings-Hants, N.S., talks about faith, equality of opportunity and what it means to be a good citizen

Feature

July 2016

Interview with Sister Helen Prejean

By Alicia von Stamwitz

The Roman Catholic nun, prominent American anti-death penalty activist and author of the bestselling 'Dead Man Walking: The Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty That Sparked a National Debate' talks about racism, human dignity and America’s broken criminal justice system

Feature

June 2016

Interview with Charlie Angus

By Rob Thomas

The NDP MP talks about the suicide crisis in Attawapiskat and his latest book, which details the troubled relations between Canada’s Indigenous and settler communities

Feature

May 2016

Interview with Anthony Bailey

By Noah Richardson

The co-ordinating minister at Ottawa's Parkdale United Church talks about his congregation's commitment to love and tolerance in the face of a hate crime

Columns

Moderator nominee Colin Phillips gives his nomination speech at General Council. (Credit: Richard Choe)

Hey, United Church — we could have talked about my disability

by Colin Phillips

A moderator nominee says the majority of commissioners at General Council weren't comfortable enough to truly engage him.

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Observations

Editor/Publisher of The Observer, Jocelyn Bell.

Observations: The rewards of letting go

by Jocelyn Bell

Editor Jocelyn Bell reflects on the upcoming changes for The United Church of Canada, the magazine and in her own life.

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Video

ObserverDocs: Two nurses tackle Vancouver's opioid crisis

Richard Moore is a resident of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. In this poignant interview, he explains the important work of nurses Evanna Brennan and Susan Giles.

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Columns

August 2018

Why Canada’s first-ever minister for seniors is long overdue

by Julie Lalonde

A gerontologist says she hopes that a ministry dedicated to elder issues will mean that seniors finally have a voice in policy making.

Columns

August 2018

Hey, United Church — we could have talked about my disability

by Colin Phillips

A moderator nominee says the majority of commissioners at General Council weren't comfortable enough to truly engage him.

Interviews

August 2018

'Photography was the way that I could share different Indigenous realities'

by Emma Prestwich

Award-winning photographer Nadya Kwandibens wants to change the perception of Indigenous people through her work.

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