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Society

Feature

January 2017

The platitude trap

By Jonathan Orbell

Faced with senseless tragedy, many of us cling to religious clichés. But there's a different path.

Feature

December 2016

A black and white problem

By Anthony Bailey

Canadians are deceiving themselves if they think racism is only an American affliction. A recent deadly police beating casts our own prejudice in stark relief.

Feature

December 2016

Empty nests, broken hearts

By Anne Bokma

How today’s ultra-engaged parents suffer when their children take flight

Feature

November 2016

Neglected no more

By Evie Ruddy

The remains of dozens of children lie buried near the location of the residential school they attended in Regina. Local activists are determined to protect the site from being developed or forgotten.

Special Feature

October 2016

Ghost whisperers

By Elena Gritzan

Do the dead remain among us? Paranormal investigators are determined to prove what science rejects, Christianity scorns — and half of Canadians believe.

Special Feature

September 2016

Rainbow Muslims

By Davide Mastracci

More than half of Canadian Muslims believe it’s impossible to be an observant Muslim while living openly in an LGBT relationship. El-Farouk Khaki and Troy Jackson, co-founders of Unity Mosque, are proving there is another way.

Feature

July 2016

Mr. Trump comes to Cleveland

By Mark Giuliano

The eyes of the world will be focused on the Republican National Convention this month. A landmark church near the meeting site is offering a warm welcome while bracing for unrest.

Feature

July 2016

The disease of colonialism

By Larry Krotz

Can a straight line be drawn between rising rates of diabetes among Indigenous peoples and cultural assimilation?

Special Feature

June 2016

A new way to die

By Various Writers

Five United Church people who helped shape Canada’s groundbreaking laws about options at the end of life

Special Feature

June 2016

Spirit bear

By Pieta Woolley

Feature

June 2016

Remembering Gloria Taylor

By Chelsea Temple Jones

Feature

June 2016

All the lonely people

By André Picard

An estimated six million Canadians live in isolation. Social researchers are now calling it a hidden epidemic.

Feature

May 2016

Married to mental illness

By Denise Davy

The burden of caring for a spouse with serious psychological issues will test even the strongest relationship

Feature

May 2016

Sidebar: ‘He looked at me and said, “Look what you made me do.”’

By Denise Davy

Former NHL goalie Clint Malarchuk battled depression, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder for years and chronicled it all in his book, The Crazy Game. In 2008, in a fit of depression, he shot himself in the head. His wife, Joanie Malarchuk, was sitting beside him at the time. She talked to Denise Davy in a phone interview from Nevada.

Feature

May 2016

Spare the rod, protect the child

By John Barber

With the Trudeau government on the verge of banning spanking, critics ask: why has it taken Canada so long?

Feature

May 2016

Are vegans right?

By David Macfarlane

The writer is in the midst of a radical six-month change of diet. He’s discovering that no cheeseburger tastes as good as being ethical feels.

Feature

May 2016

Out in the wilderness

By Alison Brooks-Starks

For one week last summer, a United Church camp in Saskatchewan welcomed transgender kids and their siblings

Feature

May 2016

Special report: Syrian refugees

By Various Writers

More than 300 congregations mobilized to help Syrian refugees. A sampling follows.

Feature

May 2016

Anglicans at a crossroads

By Michael Coren

They will vote on same-sex marriage at their General Synod in July. The consequences could be far-reaching.

Feature

May 2016

Verbatim

By Kylie Taggart

‘Parts of our lives are beyond scientific understanding’

Feature

April 2016

Churches under the gun

By Anne Bokma

Shootings in the sanctuary. Pistols in the pulpit. The culture of violence is infiltrating U.S. places of worship.

Feature

April 2016

For gun-control activists, the cause is political — and personal

By Anne Bokma

Feature

April 2016

The United Church of Christ: two decades of demanding gun control 

By Anne Bokma

Feature

April 2016

Diagnosis: poverty

By Susan Peters

Being poor can actually shorten your life. A new tool is helping doctors query patients about their physical and financial health.

Feature

March 2016

A citizen of nowhere

By Feras Saedam

For stateless Palestinians like Feras Saedam, life can be one long identity-card crisis. Occasionally there’s a happy ending.

Feature

March 2016

The fighter

By Richard Wright

When he was 13 years old, Willie Blackwater stood up to his abuser at a B.C. Indian residential school. His defiance would eventually help change the course of Canadian history.

Feature

March 2016

Our national folly

By Trisha Elliott

Canada endeavours to be secular and multicultural at the same time. Who are we trying to kid?

Special Feature

February 2016

Interlove

By Colin Boyd Shafer

An intimate portrait series documents love between partners of different faiths

Feature

February 2016

Man problems

By Trisha Elliott

It’s not easy to be male these days. It’s even tougher to talk about it.

Feature

February 2016

Sidebar: What I learned about men in the United Church

By Gary Paterson

Columns

Moderator nominee Colin Phillips gives his nomination speech at General Council. (Credit: Richard Choe)

Hey, United Church — we could have talked about my disability

by Colin Phillips

A moderator nominee says the majority of commissioners at General Council weren't comfortable enough to truly engage him.

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Observations

Editor/Publisher of The Observer, Jocelyn Bell.

Observations: The rewards of letting go

by Jocelyn Bell

Editor Jocelyn Bell reflects on the upcoming changes for The United Church of Canada, the magazine and in her own life.

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Video

ObserverDocs: Two nurses tackle Vancouver's opioid crisis

Richard Moore is a resident of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. In this poignant interview, he explains the important work of nurses Evanna Brennan and Susan Giles.

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Columns

August 2018

Why Canada’s first-ever minister for seniors is long overdue

by Julie Lalonde

A gerontologist says she hopes that a ministry dedicated to elder issues will mean that seniors finally have a voice in policy making.

Columns

August 2018

Hey, United Church — we could have talked about my disability

by Colin Phillips

A moderator nominee says the majority of commissioners at General Council weren't comfortable enough to truly engage him.

Interviews

August 2018

'Photography was the way that I could share different Indigenous realities'

by Emma Prestwich

Award-winning photographer Nadya Kwandibens wants to change the perception of Indigenous people through her work.

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