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Interviews

Feature

September 2013

Interview with Michael Dowd

By Ambury Stuart

The American evolutionary apostle talks about his science-based spirituality

Feature

July 2013

Interview with Kathleen Wynne

By Mardi Tindal

Ontario’s first female premier and Canada’s first openly gay provincial leader talks about faith, politics and community

Feature

June 2013

Interview with Gordon Lightfoot

By Karen Hilfman Millson

Canadian musical icon and former choirboy talks about his beginnings, faith and activism in conversation at St. Paul's United in Orillia, Ont.

Feature

May 2013

Interview with Chris Stedman

By Katie Toth

Harvard University's humanist chaplain talks about atheists, Christians — and how the two can set aside their differences to work together

Feature

April 2013

Interview with Ron Klusmeier

By Ken Gallinger

Pioneering composer talks about contemporary church music and his ongoing "Tour of a Lifetime"

Feature

March 2013

Interview with Charles Taylor

By Liette Michaud

Internationally acclaimed Canadian philosopher talks about building bridges between different cultures and faiths

Arts Feature

February 2013

Interview with John Swinton

By Chelsea Temple Jones

Scottish theologian and former mental health chaplain John Swinton talks about disability and dementia — and why churches have got this “inclusion” thing all wrong

Feature

January 2013

Interview with Chris Hedges

By Evie Ruddy

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of "Death of the Liberal Class" talks about how liberal institutions have helped the rise of the Christian right

Feature

December 2012

Interview with Phyllis Tickle

By Karen Hilfman Millson

American author and lecturer talks about religion, spirituality and the emerging church movement

Feature

November 2012

Interview with Parker Palmer

By Alicia von Stamwitz

Parker Palmer, bestselling author, educator and founder of Seattle's Center for Courage & Renewal, talks about democracy, the “mentality of scarcity” and revitalizing mainline churches

Feature

October 2012

Interview with Colin Mochrie and Debra McGrath

By Ken Gallinger

Debra McGrath and Colin Mochrie are one of Canada's best-known comedy couples. They talked about their faith and humour at their home in Toronto.

Feature

September 2012

Interview with Nora Carmi

By Kasia Mychajlowycz

Born a Palestinian Christian in Jerusalem just months before the founding of Israel, Nora Carmi talks about support for her dwindling community of Christians in the Holy Land

Feature

July 2012

Interview with Mardi Tindal

By Ken Gallinger

The United Church moderator talks to her former Spirit Connection co-host, Ken Gallinger, about her three years in office

Feature

June 2012

Interview with Shane Claiborne

By Pieta Woolley

Theology-school dropout and author talks about environmentalism, anti-militarism and service to the poor.

Feature

May 2012

Interview with Douglas Todd

By Pieta Woolley

The Vancouver Sun's religion reporter and 'The Search' blogger answers the deep questions

Feature

April 2012

Interview with Kathleen Norris

By Alicia von Stamwitz

The American essayist, poet and bestselling author of "Dakota: A Spiritual Geography" and "The Cloister Walk" talks about writing, monastic spirituality and mysticism

Feature

March 2012

Interview with Diana Butler Bass

By Pieta Woolley

The sociologist, author and theologian explains why North America’s largest religious group — mainline Protestantism — is struggling

Feature

January 2012

Interview with Pamela Palmater

By Ken Gallinger

The head of Ryerson University's Centre for Indigenous Governance talks about the crisis in Attawapiskat and other First Nations reserves

Feature

December 2011

Interview with Rev. Brent Hawkes

By Ken Gallinger

The minister of Toronto’s Metropolitan Community Church presided over the state funeral for Jack Layton last summer. He recently spoke to The Observer.

Feature

November 2011

Interview with Mary Hynes

By Cory Ruf

The host of CBC Radio’s “Tapestry” program often engages in wide-ranging discussions with the most interesting thinkers on faith and spirituality. She recently talked to The Observer.

Feature

October 2011

Interview with Linda McQuaig

By Mike Milne

Three years after the global financial meltdown, the co-author with Neil Brooks of “The Trouble with Billionaires” talks about how growing income inequality is changing Canada

Feature

September 2011

Interview with Marcus Borg

By Therese DesCamp

American biblical scholar talks about his recent books — 'Putting Away Childish Things' and 'Speaking Christian' — and the importance of story and language

Feature

July 2011

Interview with John Dominic Crossan

By Ken Gallinger

Jesus Seminar co-chair and author talks about Jesus and the Roman Empire

Feature

June 2011

Interview with Tom Harpur

By Ken Gallinger

Anglican priest and author talks about his latest book, 'Born Again,' and his path of faith from childhood to age 82

Feature

May 2011

Interview with Maude Barlow

By Frank Dabbs

Author and social justice advocate talks about the values that inform her work and the ideas that sustain her

Feature

April 2011

Interview with David Hallman

By David Wilson

Author and former United Church program officer talks about his new memoir, August Farewell

Feature

March 2011

Interview with Rev. Cindy Bourgeois

By Larke Turnbull

The first known transgendered person to be ordained in the United Church talks about her ministry at Central United in Stratford, Ont.

Feature

November 2010

Interview with Jim Short

By Ken Gallinger

Reserve chaplain talks about his eight months with the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan

Feature

October 2010

Interview with Preston Manning

By Frank Dabbs

The founder of the Reform and Canadian Alliance parties and CEO of the Manning Centre for Building Democracy talks about the centre’s faith-politics interface program and Christianity today.

Feature

June 2010

Interview with Lois Wilson

By Ken Gallinger

Former United Church moderator and Canadian senator talks about the state of the union on the occasion of the United Church’s 85th anniversary

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.

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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."

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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.

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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."

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