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Society

Feature

February 2019

For those with dementia, music brings comfort, connection and joy

By Trisha Elliott

It can also trigger memories. One day it might prove key to unlocking them.

Special Feature

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

Feature

February 2019

6 Black Canadian icons we all need to celebrate

By Jackie Gillard

From a pioneering Black minister to a doctor who attended to Abraham Lincoln after he was shot, these Canadians have amazing stories.

Feature

January 2019

Our Whole Lives sex-ed program should be offered by United churches, says minister

By Anne Bokma

Rev. Shannon Mang says the program is designed to empower young people to better understand their bodies, healthy relationships and sexual orientation.

Feature

January 2019

Pope Francis is giving away his custom Lamborghini

By Pieta Woolley

Raffle proceeds go to charity and the winner will get the keys at a private ceremony with Pope Francis at the Vatican

Feature

January 2019

Cecil Smith, a 15-year-old girl, represented Canada at the first Winter Olympics 95 years ago

By Amy van den Berg

The figure skater's presence at the 1924 Games sparked interest in the sport and launched her career.

Special Feature

January 2019

Illusuak Arts Centre symbolizes the reclamation of Labrador Inuit culture

By Susan Nerberg

The newly completed building is part of a larger cultural revival in the self-governing region of Nunatsiavut.

Feature

January 2019

U.S. non-theist group calls school field trips to giant ark unconstitutional

By Emma Prestwich

A debate over religious freedom is playing out in Kentucky, where two creationist attractions are located.

Feature

January 2019

Cree filmmaker wants Mattel to make Barbie that looks like her

By Emma Prestwich

"There is a lot of work nowadays that keeps Native people in the past. We don’t exist now and I’ve always hated that."

Feature

November 2018

Calgary church offers caffeine fix

By Mario Toneguzzi

Knox United Church now has a café with free WiFi in its sanctuary.

Feature

November 2018

Canadian joins migrant caravan to change how the world sees them

By Alex Mlynek

Paola Gomez didn't like how the media has been portraying people in the caravan, so she wanted to help share their stories. She spoke to Alex Mlynek.

Special Feature

November 2018

Found WWII letters from Canadian hero reveal beautiful love story

By Christine Estima

Writer Christine Estima traces a story of romance and fate after stumbling upon the letters in a Toronto market.

Feature

November 2018

Cindy Blackstock is quietly teaching Twitter how to refer to the first peoples in Canada

By Amy van den Berg

The advocate is targeting those in the media and anyone who wants to join these conversations, but doesn't know how.

Feature

November 2018

Liberal MP on racism in politics and the backlash she's received for speaking out

By Glynis Ratcliffe

Celina Caesar-Chavannes recently stepped down from her role as parliamentary secretary to the minister of international development due to negative attention.

Special Feature

November 2018

War Amps: The story of how a Methodist minister started the 100-year-old organization

By Trisha Elliott

Lt-Col. Sidney Lambert helped start the organization at the close of the Great War. It is still doing vital work for Canadians with disabilities.

Feature

October 2018

Why Christians need to take a stand against nationalism

By Michael Coren

If we truly believe the Gospel message, we have to condemn a worldview that expunges people's humanity, says this writer.

Feature

October 2018

Canadian artist who painted horrors of post-war Europe was nearly forgotten

By Trisha Elliott

Mary Riter Hamilton created more than 300 paintings that capture the death and destruction of the Great War. But years later, some of her works ended up molding in a library.

Feature

October 2018

Tranquil Sri Lanka and futuristic Dubai

By David Craig

Sri Lanka remains relatively undiscovered, a wonderful benefit for the inquisitive traveller of today.

Feature

October 2018

This small Newfoundland mining town has its own amazing 'Come From Away' story

By Jennifer Bain

The community of St. Lawrence, on the Burin Peninsula, hopes to draw in tourists with its tale of a terrible disaster and the people who came to the rescue.

Feature

October 2018

Canadians are taking advantage of our urban harvest

By Jonathan Forani

Look closely in cities across the country, and you’ll find alleyways, backyards and campus lawns brimming with fruit. Much of it used to simply rot, but that’s changing as more people discover the hidden treasures of the urban orchard.

Feature

October 2018

Two Canadian teens are battling suicide with messages of hope

By Emma Prestwich

"We see a lot of people struggling, and just not knowing who to turn to and what to say about how they’re feeling."

Feature

October 2018

Here's why Southern Africa is the trip to take next year

By David Craig

It's a journey that should be on everyone's bucket list.

Special Feature

October 2018

Day of the Dead helped me find peace after losing my mom

By Nancy Fornasiero

"Maybe a departed loved one simply visits in the form of a beautiful memory that warms, rather than breaks, one’s heart."

Feature

October 2018

Country's most iconic intersection is still inaccessible to people with disabilities

By Ben Waldman

One disability activist says Winnipeg has a chance to show it values his rights by opening Portage and Main.

Special Feature

October 2018

Dinner for one? Why so many Canadians are choosing to eat with strangers

By Alanna Mitchell

The revival of community dinners reveals that we long for more than good food—we want human connection.

Special Feature

October 2018

4 Canadians with disabilities on the challenges they've faced in the workforce

By Diane Peters

Of the 14 percent of people in Canada with a disability, only half are employed. Companies are losing out.

Feature

September 2018

Thousands of Ontario students protesting Doug Ford’s changes to curriculum this Friday

By Mugoli Samba

High school students across the province are taking part in We The Students Do Not Consent protests this Friday at 1 p.m.

Feature

September 2018

Queen's Park likely hasn't seen the last of this 73 year old

By Alex Mlynek

Sally McLean was arrested after she refused to leave the Ontario legislature's public gallery in an act of protest. Here, she explains why she thinks she is obligated to stand up against injustice.

Feature

September 2018

New small-business projects aim to prove that 'downtown is for everyone'

By Will Pearson

Instead of treating low-income people and others on the margins like a drain on local economies, some small businesses are making them part of the solution instead.

Feature

September 2018

11 Ontarians share their opioid stories in this powerful project

By Mugoli Samba

The Opioid Chapters hopes to add nuance to the public discussion on opioids.

Faith

Chris Pratt's church, while claiming to accept everyone, states in its doctrine of faith that marriage should only be between one man and one woman. (Photo: Chris Pratt/Instagram)

Celebrity megachurches need to clarify LGBTQ acceptance: pastor

by Emma Prestwich

Zoe Church, where actor Chris Pratt worships, may not truly "open their doors" to everyone, like he claims.

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Editorials

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

'The Observer' will soon relaunch with a new name and design

by Jocelyn Bell

Our magazine will be going through some changes, but we see blue skies ahead

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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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