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Observations

Jocelyn Bell%

Observations: Our magazine's plastic problem

by Jocelyn Bell

"While I can easily defend the use of a polybag on financial grounds, it would be unconscionable to deliver a cover story about plastics . . . in plastic."

Faith

April 2018

Yes, a swan parade actually exists

by Keith Reynolds

For 28 years in Stratford, Ont., swans have paraded through the streets on the first weekend of April, waddling from their winter pens to the banks of the Avon River.

Ethics

April 2018

Why inaction is the devil we should actually fear

by Christopher Levan

"We miss the fact that the real devil in our society is how so many allow evil to happen. The devil is not in our action but in our inaction."

Columns

April 2018

Float tank benefits: Does this therapy actually help?

by Anne Bokma

Flotation tanks cut off the outside world and offer an inner immersion.

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Features

April 2018

What that recycling logo actually means

by Susan Nerberg

Contrary to popular belief, its presence doesn’t guarantee the product is reusable or recyclable.

Features

April 2018

Tea bags and other surprising places plastics lurk

by Susan Nerberg

Hidden plastics rarely get recycled and often can’t be reused. Here we make some of the invisibles visible.

Culture

April 2018

3 fascinating books shed light on the refugee crisis

by Lisa Van de Ven

Recent fiction about the refugee experience invites readers to broaden their emotional borders.

Interviews

Photo: Flip Schulke Archives/Corbis via Getty Images

Martin Luther King Jr: Remembering an icon

by Kenneth Bagnell

On the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s death, we republish highlights of his 1962 interview with The Observer.

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Video

ObserverDocs: Playing by Heart

by Observer Staff

United Church music director Kara Shaw was born prematurely, became almost totally blind and was later diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Today, the 28-year-old showcases her unique musical ability, performing piano on local and national stages.

Features

Photo: Darrell Noakes

Drag queens help church raise money and awareness

by Darrell Noakes

The event, called “Take Me to Church,” after a popular song, was a fundraiser for LGBTQ youth in Saskatchewan.

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Faith

For queer Christians of colour, finding church isn’t easy

by Jenna Tenn-Yuk

Is it possible to find a place where race, queerness and faith identity can all belong?

To the Point

Michael Coren%

Teaching sex-ed in schools is no sin

by Michael Coren

'Unfortunately, much of the resistance to teaching schoolchildren about sex and sexuality comes from Christians, and the general view out there is that all Christians fall into this camp.'

Features

April 2018

10 easy ways to kick our nasty plastic habit

by Susan Nerberg

It's not as hard as you think.

Columns

April 2018

Why Canada needs a free-range parenting law

by Pieta Woolley

Justice

January 2018

Jehovah's Witnesses cover-up

by Kristy Woudstra

Canadian survivors of childhood sexual abuse are coming forward to reveal how their church failed them — and protected their predators

Faith

April 2018

2017 Press Awards

by Observer Staff

Various organizations have honoured The United Church Observer with awards for editorial excellence this past year. Here are some of the highlights so far.

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Justice

Photo: Courtesy of Josée Cardinal

How families cope when a loved one goes missing

by Justin Dallaire

A Quebec man went for a walk in the early morning of March 16, 2016, and hasn’t been seen since. His family, like many loved ones of the missing, finds it impossible to grieve — or give up hope.