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Justice

Feature

October 2014

Breaking bread in a hungry world

By Various Writers

Eight stories that will give you food for thought

Feature

October 2014

Exodus

By Vidya Kauri

Civilians fleeing the war in Syria make up the largest refugee population in the world. As the conflict rages on, aid agencies are stretched to the limit.

Feature

September 2014

Wage wars

By Susan Peters

As the pay gap between executives and employees widens, advocates for corporate responsibility say it’s time to take the air out of inflated salaries

Feature

July 2014

The dissenters

By David Berlin

Independent Jewish Voices operates on the margins of Canadian Judaism. But it has found common cause with church groups critical of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.

Feature

June 2014

The bitter truth about chocolate

By Tamasin Ford

In Ivory Coast, 800,000 children work in the cocoa industry despite efforts to eradicate child labour. Why does the problem persist?

Feature

March 2014

A Canadian genocide?

By Larry Krotz

A new museum in Winnipeg has become a flashpoint for how we interpret this country’s treatment of First Nations

Feature

March 2014

Burning issue

By Pieta Woolley

Plans to turn a small B.C. island into a coal-shipping hub have divided locals. As the conflict heats up, designated lay minister Karen May preaches patient activism.

Feature

February 2014

Through the cracks

By Kevin Spurgaitis

Community living offers hope to people with developmental disabilities, but troubling gaps remain. Just ask Chris Stafford.

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

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

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

All work and no pay

By Chelsea Temple Jones

Internships are supposed to kick-start careers. But increasingly, young people find themselves used by a succession of employers mainly concerned with getting work done on the cheap.

Feature

October 2013

The Advocate

By Karen Stiller

Aruna Papp grew up amid honour-based violence in India. Today she’s a world-recognized champion for vulnerable girls and women everywhere.

Feature

October 2013

A new chapter in an old tragedy

By Pieta Woolley

Generations ago, Aboriginal children were sent to residential schools. Today, thousands are caught up in the foster care system. Can’t Canada do better?

Feature

October 2013

Wronged

By Gary Stephen Ross

Ivan Henry spent 27 years in jail for crimes he didn’t commit. But the failure of the justice system did not end when he was finally declared not guilty.

Feature

July 2013

Three LGBTQ people explain what the United Church's 1988 decision meant to them

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

July 2013

Hard time on the outside

By Richard Wright

Billions are spent getting tough on crime, but precious little is invested in supporting ex-convicts as they readjust to daily life. For too many former inmates, getting out of prison is like serving another sentence.

Feature

July 2013

Rwanda’s great turnaround

By Tim Johnson

Though the genocide of two decades ago will never be forgotten, the tiny country has surged ahead, becoming one of the safest and most financially robust nations in Africa

Feature

June 2013

Standing up to big gold

By Roxana Olivera

A fight pitting Indigenous Peruvians against a multinational mining company highlights the real cost of the global boom in precious metals

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

Buy. Wear. Toss.

By Susan Peters

In the developed world, clothing has never been cheaper. But do overstuffed wardrobes make fashion victims of us all?

Feature

April 2013

The ugly Internet

By Kasia Mychajlowycz

Online misogyny is running rampant. Critics say that hate is hate, whether it’s expressed on the street corner or in cyberspace.

Feature

April 2013

Owning land is a Canadian right—unless you live on a reserve

By Richard Wright

One First Nation in British Columbia is rewriting the rules to land ownership. Will property rights for Aboriginals bring prosperity or assimilation?

Feature

March 2013

Making amends with Malawi

By Pieta Woolley

Backpacking in southern Africa 13 years ago, the writer vowed to raise money for AIDS orphans. She never did, but she also never forgot. Haunted by guilt, she returned last fall to pay her debt.

Feature

March 2013

Embracing our Aboriginal sisters

By Julie McGonegal

Colonizers targeted Indigenous women by undermining their leadership and stealing their children. Perhaps it's time to recover the power and potential of Aboriginal women

Feature

February 2013

The other survivors

By Pieta Woolley

Former students are not the only victims of residential schools. Their children — and their children’s children — also bear the scars of broken families and shattered communities.

Feature

February 2013

“Our life was the picture of normal until Terry came out”

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

January 2013

Refuge on Bloor Street

By Chantal Braganza

A Toronto church welcomes an influx of refugees fleeing poverty and repression in North Korea

Feature

January 2013

Manning up

By Evie Ruddy

Almost 40,000 Canadian women were abused by their spouses in 2010. Bruce Wood is part of a movement helping men work through their inner demons.

Feature

January 2013

Change maker

By Samantha Rideout

Samantha Nutt has never been one to pull punches. It’s what makes her a human rights heavyweight.

Columns

(Photo: cuatrok77/Flickr via Creative Commons)

Cormorants aren't the devil

by Douglas Hunter

Ontario's proposed new measures amount to a slaughter of an entire native bird species for no scientifically compelling reason, says this writer

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Editorials

The United Church Observer's editor and publisher, Jocelyn Bell. (Photo: Lindsay Palmer)

The new name of 'The Observer' revealed!

by Jocelyn Bell

"United Church" will no longer be on the cover, but our commitment to sharing denominational news and perspectives remains the same

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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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Society

February 2019

Marriage problems: Is the ancient tradition worth saving?

by Pieta Woolley

Bitterness and boredom seem to define many mid-life marriages, but we might not have to settle for apathy ever after

Ethics

February 2019

A Yukon artist and a Tlingit trapper create this stunning jewelry

by Amy van den Berg

The fur jewelry in Whitehorse boutique store V. Ægirsdóttir is creating a new possibility for future partnerships with the region's trappers

Columns

February 2019

Why white people need to stop asking, 'where are you from?'

by Mike Sholars

"...For all intents and purposes, Canada is the only home I really recognize or remember. But none of that matters if I look like I don’t belong, and that single question makes that abundantly clear every single time."

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