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Society

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

The passage of rites

By Larry Krotz

Secular ceremonies are becoming more elaborate all the time. Are they filling a need that used to be satisfied in church?

Feature

January 2013

Scared senseless

By Trisha Elliott

The 9/11 generation sees danger everywhere. How do we combat the culture of fear?

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

Full stomachs, empty souls

By Pieta Woolley

Studies suggest obesity is a problem in churches. Liberal Christians may scoff at the evangelical diet craze, but perhaps they’re on to something.

Feature

December 2012

Bernadette Dumas's parents needed a place to hide her. Decades later, she's still haunted by what she lost

By Chelsea Temple Jones

Years after she was sent to a United Church maternity home, she wants a national inquiry into the role of churches, social workers and health-care workers in their operation.

Feature

November 2012

Gateway ground zero

By Will Braun

Kitimat, B.C., is the proposed terminus of a controversial oil pipeline. But what does it mean for the local community?

Feature

November 2012

Cold comfort

By Chelsea Temple Jones

Out of the Cold programs shelter untold thousands every winter. Their success points to a bigger failure: society’s chronic indifference to poverty.

Feature

November 2012

Have ailment, will travel

By Anne Bokma

Canadians are increasingly crossing borders to access faster and cheaper hospital care. But does medical tourism carry too much ethical baggage?

Feature

October 2012

End-of-life ethics: 'a pioneer phase'

By David Wilson

What does religion bring to the bedside? Winnipeg faith leaders discuss euthanasia, physician-assisted dying and the meaning of death.

Feature

September 2012

Gloria's choice

By Chelsea Temple Jones

The 2012 Observer survey showed readers overwhelmingly support physician-assisted dying. Gloria Taylor's battle for the right to end her own life could provoke an unprecedented ethical debate.

Feature

September 2012

Uncivil disobedience

By Kasia Mychajlowycz

Is an aversion to leadership allowing a violent minority to hijack the message of today’s mass youth movements?

Feature

July 2012

Rights and wrongs at the edges of life

By Observer Staff

The 2012 Observer survey on life and death decisions reveals startling gaps between the views of churchgoers, the general public and the law

Feature

July 2012

Unpacking compassion

By Trisha Elliott

Feature

July 2012

Choosing a better death

By Richard Wright

Feature

July 2012

Little lives, big questions

By Pieta Woolley

Feature

June 2012

Where credit’s due

By Susan Peters

How an underprivileged Winnipeg neighbourhood fought back after the big banks up and left

Feature

June 2012

To spank or not to spank?

By Sarah Boesveld

Recent abuse cases have shone a new spotlight on an old controversy. For some believers, hitting your children is a God-given right. To others, it’s an inexcusable sin.

Feature

June 2012

Edward Greenspan picks apart the government's case for more prisons and longer sentences

By Edward L. Greenspan

One of Canada’s top defence lawyers says it's weak on evidence.

Feature

May 2012

This polyamorous trio is redefining what it means to be a family

By Pieta Woolley

Egalitarian, secular and non-institutional, the family’s relationship is founded on the personal freedom of each of the three partners

Feature

May 2012

Handmaids no more

By Laurel Walton

We were young, unmarried and pregnant. They forced us to surrender our babies. Now we're older, braver and determined to change an adoption system that still favours the privileged.

Feature

May 2012

A renegade Mormon sect in rural B.C. has long flouted Canada's polygamy ban — until now

By Brian Platt

For their part, Bountiful community leaders insist there is nothing wrong with their lifestyle, and the allegations by activists, investigators and former residents are baseless.

Feature

April 2012

New information suggests abuse in residential schools was far worse than anyone imagined

By Richard Wright

An adjudication process set up to compensate residential school survivors has been flooded with thousands of new claims.

Feature

March 2012

Dementia Sidebar: A light in the fog

By Trisha Elliott

Underneath the pain of dementia, faith runs deep

Feature

March 2012

The silent epidemic

By Kylie Taggart

In Canada today, a new case of dementia is diagnosed every five minutes. In 25 years, it will be one every two minutes. Are churches ready for a full-blown pastoral crisis?

Feature

March 2012

The locavore conundrum

By Larry Krotz

Buying locally sourced food seems like the right thing to do. But is it an ethical luxury that excludes the less fortunate?

Feature

February 2012

Without fail

By Anne Bokma

Everyone wants their kids to succeed. But we’re not doing them any favours by shielding them from life’s hard knocks.

Feature

February 2012

Brave new babies

By Pieta Woolley

Is reproductive technology advancing faster than our ability to grasp the ethics of it?

Feature

January 2012

Could Pathways work on reserves?

By Richard Wright

Feature

January 2012

Dropping in

By Richard Wright

Pathways to Education is a tutoring program that helps low-income students graduate from high school. Manitoba educators are hoping the innovative approach will also reduce dropout rates among First Nations students.

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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