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Ethics

Feature

January 2013

Scared senseless

By Trisha Elliott

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

Feature

November 2012

Animal rights and wrongs

By Kasia Mychajlowycz

Some say wildlife exhibits promote conservation; others contend they’re a cruel form of entertainment

Feature

November 2012

Decoding our good side

By Kevin Spurgaitis

For centuries, theologians described empathy as a gift from God. Now neuroscientists suggest it's simply evolution in action.

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

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

May 2012

The 7 Deadly Sins

By Various Writers

Greed, lust, envy, wrath, gluttony, pride, sloth: let our writers tempt you with their contemporary takes on the seven notorious no-nos.

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

The problem with Bountiful

By Brian Platt

A renegade Mormon sect in rural British Columbia has long flouted Canada's polygamy ban, citing religious freedom. Prosecutors have been stymied - until now

Feature

March 2012

Seven innovations for a better world

By Karen Stiller

These clever fixes may not solve all of humanity’s problems, but they promise to improve the lives of millions

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

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

December 2011

‘Church is for everybody’

By Chelsea Temple Jones

To be genuinely welcoming, congregations need to treat people with intellectual disabilities as more than guests

Feature

November 2011

Journey of discovery in the Galapagos

By Tim Johnson

One man’s personal evolution meets Darwin’s famous theory

Feature

November 2011

The ultimate outsider

By Will Braun

The Bible tells us to love our neighbour, but what if he’s a pedophile?

Debate

October 2011

Do you give the time off?

By Ken Gallinger and Ruth McQuirter Scott

You own a machine shop. A new Canadian who is clearly the top contender for an apprenticeship has made an unusual request: in return for starting work earlier, could he have Friday afternoons off to attend prayers at his mosque? You wonder how your longtime employees will react. Do you hire him?

Feature

October 2011

Interview with Linda McQuaig

By Mike Milne

Three years after the global financial meltdown, the co-author with Neil Brooks of “The Trouble with Billionaires” talks about how growing income inequality is changing Canada

Feature

October 2011

The fairest fowl

By Chantal Braganza

This Thanksgiving, breed goodwill with a pasture-raised turkey

Feature

October 2011

Water for sale?

By Cory Ruf

Abundant fresh water is part of the Canadian identity. Prolonged drought is becoming part of the American reality. Are water exports far off?

Feature

September 2011

Pacifism in a post-9/11 world

By Kevin Spurgaitis

Does traditional pacifism still have a role in the 21st century?

Feature

September 2011

ObserverDocs: Planting a better future

By Lisa Van de Ven

Detroit’s urban agriculture movement shows that communities everywhere can reap new life when people refuse to surrender

Feature

September 2011

Planting a better future

By Lisa Van de Ven

Detroit residents are reclaiming derelict urban spaces one garden at a time

Environment

Song leader, police and gate blockers in front of the Kinder Morgan gates. Photo by Kimiko Karpoff

A Kinder Morgan protest in photos and song

by Kimiko Karpoff

A faith leader reflects on protesting the pipeline with the Water Protectors from the Tsleil-Waututh nation.

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Editorials

The United Church Observer's editor and publisher, Jocelyn Bell. Photo: Lindsay Palmer

Observations: #MeToo

by Jocelyn Bell

Our hope is that by giving voice to these #MeToo stories, a new conversation about sexual misconduct can begin.

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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.

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Society

June 2018

Why some women of colour are hesitant to say #MeToo

by Jacky Habib

Three women share their stories in the hope of creating safe spaces they never had.

Environment

May 2018

A Kinder Morgan protest in photos and song

by Kimiko Karpoff

On April 28, 2018, faith leaders from many traditions, including the United Church, stood in solidarity with Water Protectors from the Tsleil-Waututh nation to protest the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion in Burnaby, B.C.. Kimiko Karpoff captured the day in pictures.

Faith

June 2018

After 93 years, this will be the United Church's last General Council meeting

by Mike Milne

When the United Church meets in July, top priorities will be a streamlined governance structure and Indigenous ministries.

Justice

June 2018

#MeToo in the United Church

by Trisha Elliott

9 women share their stories of harassment and sexual assault in the United Church.

Columns

May 2018

On grief and the healing power of gardening

by Paul Fraumeni

A writer reflects on how growing tomatoes is helping him find peace while dealing with the loss of loved ones, including his son.

Editorials

June 2018

Observations: #MeToo

by Jocelyn Bell

Our hope is that by giving voice to these #MeToo stories, a new conversation about sexual misconduct can begin.

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