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Society

Feature

June 2018

The Swedish tradition of death cleaning explained

By Fiona Tapp

The practice of a final tidy up is making its way to North America. Here’s how to lighten your load one last time.

Feature

June 2018

“Thank you for being my dopted parents”

By Allan Wilson

Eighteen years after his teen son died of cancer, this writer celebrates a new type of fatherhood when he becomes legal guardian of a man with disabilities.

Feature

June 2018

When friends decide to co-parent: A look at the modern family

By Raizel Robin

A year after Ontario allowed platonic friends to be the legal guardians of a child, Raizel Robin reports on this new way of parenting.

Feature

June 2018

5 steps to help you start death cleaning

By Fiona Tapp

The Swedish tradition of a final tidy up might sound depressing, but it will lighten your load physically, mentally and spiritually.

Feature

June 2018

Why some women of colour are hesitant to say #MeToo

By Jacky Habib

Three women share their stories in the hope of creating safe spaces they never had.

Feature

May 2018

Syrian refugee finds beautiful way to help those he ‘left behind’

By Mugoli Samba

Soon after moving to Canada, Ousama Alkhatib helped launch an arts program for Syrian newcomers in Toronto that also gives back to refugees still in camps.

Feature

May 2018

These Canadian Muslims are tackling Islamophobia with kindness


By Sarah Treleaven

From free coffee to stand-up comedy, Muslims are finding creative ways to deal with stereotypes

Column

March 2018

Humanitarian in Haiti discusses her work and Trump's recent remarks

By Jackie Gillard

After her high school graduation in 2010, Morgan Wienberg decided to go to Haiti to help after the earthquake. She has never left.

Feature

March 2018

14 writers share their moving final conversations with loved ones

By Various Writers

These stories will make you laugh, cry and rage. Maybe they’ll spark a fond memory. Or perhaps they’ll prompt you to consider the things you need to say now, before it’s too late.

Feature

February 2018

Canada has yet to begin the process of reconciliation

By Stephanie Strachan

We now have a responsibility to Tina Fontaine and Colten Boushie to face our structural racism and work toward decolonization together.

Feature

February 2018

Every Canadian needs to read Senator Murray Sinclair's response to Stanley verdict

By Kristy Woudstra

After the acquittal of Gerald Stanley for the death of 22-year-old Colten Boushie, many expressed their anger, hurt and frustration on social media, including Senator Murray Sinclair, who chaired Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Feature

February 2018

Screen time: Painless ways to curb your smartphone addiction

By Trisha Elliott

Lent is the perfect time to stop getting distracted by your mobile

Special Feature

January 2018

Jehovah's Witnesses cover-up

By Kristy Woudstra

Canadian survivors of childhood sexual abuse are coming forward to reveal how their church failed them — and protected their predators

Feature

January 2018

Photos celebrating children with Down syndrome and their families are pure joy

By Kristy Woudstra

Feature

January 2018

One resolution you should actually keep

By Kristy Woudstra

Ring in the New Year by tuning out your inner critic

Feature

January 2018

The good death

By Pieta Woolley

Anglican professor Donald Grayston made dying in peace a lifetime project. His example is inspiring others to plan a meaningful exit.

Special Feature

December 2017

A Canadian pilgrimage

By Jonathon Reed

An adventure photographer's cross-country cycling journey spotlights less-familiar layers of our national identity

Feature

December 2017

Inaccessible

By Kristy Woudstra

Immigration rules say would-be Canadians with disabilities can put an ‘excessive demand’ on the medical system. Families and supporters are fighting back.

Feature

December 2017

Move over, Freud

By Ian Coutts

Philosopher-therapists are using their abstract discipline to help people lead more meaningful lives

Feature

December 2017

Halifax blast remembered

By David Gilchrist

A century ago, on the frigid morning of Dec. 6, 1917, a blast rocked the city of Halifax, obliterating everything within an 800-metre radius of the waterfront, damaging hundreds of other buildings and killing nearly 2,000 people.

Special Feature

November 2017

Trump country

By David Macfarlane

A northern Alabama county voted almost unanimously for Donald Trump in 2016. One year later, the writer, together with photographer Nigel Dickson, travels there to try to understand why.

Special Feature

October 2017

Fall from grace

By Justin Dallaire

Don Hume was a United Church minister nearing retirement. Then he tried crack cocaine.

Feature

October 2017

A tale of two cancers

By Catherine Gordon

One year after the writer discovered she had breast cancer, her sister in California received the same diagnosis. They both recovered, but their experiences were worlds apart.

Feature

October 2017

Language lifeline

By Richard Wright

As Indigenous elders pass on, a new generation is turning to technology to keep ancestral tongues alive

Feature

October 2017

10,000 meals

By Anne Bokma

As Canadian families prepare to mark Thanksgiving, the writer reflects on the routine and ritual of breaking bread together

Feature

October 2017

Indigenous cuisine

By Kristy Woudstra

One of Canada’s hottest food trends has been millennia in the making. In Toronto alone, three Indigenous restaurants opened their doors over the past year, putting the spotlight on First Nations cuisine and traditions.

Feature

September 2017

Clamour on campus

By Justin Dallaire

Ideologies are colliding at Canadian universities, and free speech is caught in the crossfire

Feature

September 2017

Sidebar: Free speech flashpoints

By Justin Dallaire

Feature

September 2017

Sidebar: ‘Most students are very respectful of diverse political and religious views’

By Justin Dallaire

Rev. Ralph Carl Wushke, a United Church minister and ecumenical chaplain at the University of Toronto, talks about free speech on campus

Feature

September 2017

The other residential schools

By Trisha Elliott

Nine Canadian boarding schools for the deaf and blind have faced legal action. Former students remember the abuse and displacement they experienced as children.

Society

Sandy and Allan Wilson.

“Thank you for being my dopted parents”

by Allan Wilson

Eighteen years after his teen son died of cancer, this writer celebrates a new type of fatherhood when he becomes legal guardian of a man with disabilities.

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Editorials

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

Observations: #MeToo

by Jocelyn Bell

Our hope is that by giving voice to these #MeToo stories, a new conversation about sexual misconduct can begin.

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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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Society

June 2018

Why some women of colour are hesitant to say #MeToo

by Jacky Habib

Three women share their stories in the hope of creating safe spaces they never had.

Environment

May 2018

A Kinder Morgan protest in photos and song

by Kimiko Karpoff

On April 28, 2018, faith leaders from many traditions, including the United Church, stood in solidarity with Water Protectors from the Tsleil-Waututh nation to protest the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion in Burnaby, B.C.. Kimiko Karpoff captured the day in pictures.

Faith

June 2018

After 93 years, this will be the United Church's last General Council meeting

by Mike Milne

When the United Church meets in July, top priorities will be a streamlined governance structure and Indigenous ministries.

Justice

June 2018

#MeToo in the United Church

by Trisha Elliott

9 women share their stories of harassment and sexual assault in the United Church.

Columns

May 2018

On grief and the healing power of gardening

by Paul Fraumeni

A writer reflects on how growing tomatoes is helping him find peace while dealing with the loss of loved ones, including his son.

Editorials

June 2018

Observations: #MeToo

by Jocelyn Bell

Our hope is that by giving voice to these #MeToo stories, a new conversation about sexual misconduct can begin.

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