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Society

Feature

December 2017

For people with disabilities, the door to Canadian citizenship is often closed

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

This northern Alabama county voted almost unanimously for Donald Trump

By David Macfarlane

One year after the election, we travel to Winston County to try to understand why.

Special Feature

October 2017

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

By Justin Dallaire

At first, he used the drug about once a month. Then it was every few weeks. Then every few days. Before he knew it, addiction had a grip on him.

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

As Indigenous elders die, a new generation turns to technology to keep languages alive

By Richard Wright

“Someone once said to me that if you lose your language and culture, you are just a descendant of Ojibwe people, but not Ojibwe.” “I want to be Ojibwe.”

Feature

October 2017

I've made 10,000 meals for my family over the years. Sometimes, I hated it

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

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

By Justin Dallaire

"Universities are supposed to be places for the exchange of ideas, not for ideological war."

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.

Special Feature

July 2017

Meet 11 immigrants putting down roots in Canada and the United Church

By Various Writers

"Lima was a bit difficult. It’s a Catholic society; I was never out of the closet there."

Feature

July 2017

Just peachy

By Jeff Mahoney

Feature

June 2017

Undocumented people share how they live outside the system

By Kristy Woudstra

Up to half a million people are living in Canada without official status. The 'sanctuary city' movement is growing, but the fear of deportation persists.

Feature

June 2017

Inuit in Ottawa for medical treatment 'extremely homesick'

By Ian Coutts

Canada's capital plays host each year to thousands of Inuit needing medical attention they can't get back home. Two local residences offer some comforts of home, but the experience can still be disorienting.

Feature

May 2017

My sister's big, beautiful, boisterous family

By Sara Jewell

The writer’s younger sister and her husband have seven children. Four of the kids were adopted internationally. Four have special needs. It all adds up to one boisterous household full of love.

Feature

May 2017

The pealing of church bells may soon be a distant memory

By Bertrand Marotte

"It had great meaning culturally and socially, and I personally think it’s a little bit sad that we don’t have these aural community markers anymore in ways that we used to."

Special Feature

April 2017

6 acclaimed Canadian authors write letters from the heart to their grandkids

By Various Writers

Sally Armstrong, Margaret Atwood, David Suzuki and others share incredible wisdom and love.

Feature

April 2017

Living young in Canada’s oldest town

By Mike Milne

With the highest percentage of seniors in the country, Qualicum Beach, B.C., offers a glimpse into our greying future.

Feature

April 2017

Addiction struggles led my nephew to crime and imprisonment. Is there hope for him on the outside?

By Julie McGonegal

"My sister has said the only peace she knows is when her son is in prison. When Justin is out, she is perpetually on edge with worry, always on the brink of a breakdown."

Feature

March 2017

Q&A with Don Evans

By Kevin Spurgaitis

The executive director of the Victoria-based, United Church of Canada-affiliated Our Place Society and the former acting executive director of Vancouver's First United talks about the opioid crisis in British Columbia

Special Feature

March 2017

Canadian seniors are another face of the opioid epidemic

By Kevin Spurgaitis

When you picture drug abuse, Canada's elderly may not come to mind. But the over-prescription of painkillers has left many addicted.

Feature

March 2017

How different regions are tackling the opioid crisis

By Kevin Spurgaitis

Special Feature

March 2017

Liberal Christians in the United States test their faith against a demagogue

By Paul Wilson

After Donald Trump’s election, The Observer visits United Church of Christ congregations to learn more about how the denomination is responding to “the new reality.”

Feature

March 2017

Pilgrimage to the Washington Women’s March

By Katie Toth

Feature

March 2017

Why do white people keep crossing the line between appreciation and appropriation?

By Pieta Woolley

In the United Church alone, encounters with the songs, clothing, symbols and practices of other cultures is constant: the Huron Carol, Guatemalan stoles, Celtic and Coptic crosses, four-direction prayers.

Feature

February 2017

The secret lives of cows, chickens and pigs

By Larry Krotz

What really happens on farms today? Many urbanites believe the worst. The writer heads into the countryside to see if the stereotypes are true.

Feature

February 2017

Hate is on the rise everywhere, but how can we overcome it?

By Douglas Tindal

The writer explores our most troubling emotion.

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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