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Essays

Feature

September 2016

Secretly spiritual

By Lucille Joseph

As she rose up the ranks to become a Toronto business executive, the writer felt compelled to keep her quest for deeper meaning hidden. Why she’s decided to talk now.

Feature

September 2016

Home

By Various Writers

They say there’s no place like it. Five recently uprooted writers reflect on the true meaning of the word.

Feature

October 2015

‘God bless you’

By Nancy Fornasiero

The words come easily after a sneeze. Why do we choke on them in other situations?

Feature

May 2015

The Cosby Showdown

By Anne Bokma

I wasn't amused when comedian Bill Cosby came to town amid fresh allegations of sexual assault. So I and 30 others planned our own stand-up moment.

Feature

May 2015

A wretch like me

By Trisha Elliott

We all feel shame. Instead of running from it, maybe we should take a cue from the Bible and face up to our flaws and frailties.

Feature

April 2015

Losing Mom

By Tim Johnson

A travel writer's personal journey through grief — and how it was vastly different from everything he’d been told to expect

Feature

April 2015

The next supper

By Gary Paterson

A painting by the late B.C. artist Bill Dixon reminds us that Easter is not an event, but a movement. A message from the United Church moderator.

Feature

February 2015

Interview with Moderator Rt. Rev. Gary Paterson

By Chelsea Temple Jones

The United Church head talks about end-of-life ethics, where the personal, the political and the spiritual collide

Feature

December 2014

Away in a manger

By Anne Bokma

The enduring appeal of the Christmas crèche

Feature

December 2014

Encountering the Messiah

By Paul Knowles

Every December, the writer and chorister performs Handel’s most famous work. This year, he asks himself and other musicians: is it worship or entertainment?

Feature

December 2014

A season of song

By Gary Paterson

A message for Christmas from Moderator Rt. Rev. Gary Paterson

Announcement

New Observer editor and CEO, Jocelyn Bell. Photo by Lindsay Palmer

New editor named

by Observer Staff

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Editorials

Jocelyn Bell%

Observations

by Jocelyn Bell

We’ll miss you, David Wilson

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Video

ObserverDocs: My Year of Living Spiritually

by Observer Staff

Anne Bokma left the Dutch Reformed Church as a young adult and eventually became a member of the United Church and then the Unitarian Universalists. Having long explored the "spiritual but not religious" demographic as a writer, she decided to immerse herself in practices — like hiring a soul coach, secular choir-singing and forest bathing — for 12 months to find both enlightenment and entertainment.

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Society

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.

Faith

November 2017

Involuntary pilgrim

by David Giuliano

The return of a tumour sets David Giuliano on a path he calls his ‘Camino de Cancer’

Faith

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.

Society

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.

Faith

November 2017

Involuntary pilgrim

by David Giuliano

The return of a tumour sets David Giuliano on a path he calls his ‘Camino de Cancer’

Faith

November 2017

Grey matter

by Trisha Elliott

Is consciousness just a function of the brain — or something more?

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