How relevant is The Observer?

Jobam

Well-Known Member
Messages
265
Reaction score
99
I have a paid subscription. I scan through it in under one minute. Then I drop it off at my church for others to read.

I like the new format and appreciate the digital and Facebook presence. Both allow more up to date, current, stories.

The Observer has never been my cup of tea.....as it does not speak to me. My church is a rural (small town) church and most of the articles are worldly issues. I can read about them anywhere, what I crave most is articles on church issues, struggles and successes. More reflective of what the everyday church goer experiences.

We all struggle with many of the same issues/concerns - would be nice to have some way of knowing that we are not alone in our membership struggles, relative church worship services and how other local congregations are meeting the needs of their spiritual communities and the outside world.

No use of pronouns is an issue for me as well. At least one article should be written and/or use pronouns that reflect a portion of people in our congregations.

Interviewing and/or having articles on how others are doing things really helps. While inclusiveness is important, many churches outside of larger cities just don't have the opportunity for diversity. Why not a story on how not to make Regional Councils and congregations not feel guilty when their membership doesn't reflect where we, as a faith community, want to be....not by choice, but by lack of demographics.

I would love to hear from churches that are not only Affirming but have an active LGBT ministry....especially youth.

Sunday school success articles, youth group articles/ideas, caring for seniors in church and community...the list goes on.

I don't need and/or want history. Present day challenges only interest me if they affect my local church. The rest of the info I can get in other resources.

What do folks here think about the relevance of The Observer?
 

Jae

Sensing Feeler
Messages
31,538
Reaction score
3,856
I have a paid subscription. I scan through it in under one minute. Then I drop it off at my church for others to read.

I like the new format and appreciate the digital and Facebook presence. Both allow more up to date, current, stories.

The Observer has never been my cup of tea.....as it does not speak to me. My church is a rural (small town) church and most of the articles are worldly issues. I can read about them anywhere, what I crave most is articles on church issues, struggles and successes. More reflective of what the everyday church goer experiences.

We all struggle with many of the same issues/concerns - would be nice to have some way of knowing that we are not alone in our membership struggles, relative church worship services and how other local congregations are meeting the needs of their spiritual communities and the outside world.

No use of pronouns is an issue for me as well. At least one article should be written and/or use pronouns that reflect a portion of people in our congregations.

Interviewing and/or having articles on how others are doing things really helps. While inclusiveness is important, many churches outside of larger cities just don't have the opportunity for diversity. Why not a story on how not to make Regional Councils and congregations not feel guilty when their membership doesn't reflect where we, as a faith community, want to be....not by choice, but by lack of demographics.

I would love to hear from churches that are not only Affirming but have an active LGBT ministry....especially youth.

Sunday school success articles, youth group articles/ideas, caring for seniors in church and community...the list goes on.

I don't need and/or want history. Present day challenges only interest me if they affect my local church. The rest of the info I can get in other resources.

What do folks here think about the relevance of The Observer?
No one I know reads it - including my family members who are in the United Church of Canada.
 

Mrs.Anteater

Even winter will come to an end
Messages
3,045
Reaction score
2,047
I am not sure what you mean with “ present day challenges”. It sounds like you want it to be all about. Hurchanf congregations and less about individual reflection/ life style? I remember that the Observer had a lengthy survey before it started with making more changes. I assume, this is what came out of the survey.
I have a paper subscription and mostly read the Observer cover to cover. I also find that it is worth giving it to others to read and I am bringing it to Quaker meetings for others who are interested.
I remember 10+ years ago, when it still had this local congregation insert pages in the middle where one could read about the local congregations sing alongs and fundraisers. Back then, it was really boring.
 

Luce NDs

Well-Known Member
Messages
41,487
Reaction score
3,609
Some people find reading much puts them to sleep ... they believe in the bible and yet haven't really read into it and the history as constructed with surrounding literature ...

Expect a great deal of psychosomatic effect! Sunday Mornings from the choir I see a lot of vacant faces ... I haven't a clue where they are ... even with a disturbing (Eris-in) sermon!

Is it naivete bliss ... being without concern and worry of what your young loved ones will be left with ...?
 

Jobam

Well-Known Member
Messages
265
Reaction score
99
I am not sure what you mean with “ present day challenges”. It sounds like you want it to be all about. Hurchanf congregations and less about individual reflection/ life style? I remember that the Observer had a lengthy survey before it started with making more changes. I assume, this is what came out of the survey.
I have a paper subscription and mostly read the Observer cover to cover. I also find that it is worth giving it to others to read and I am bringing it to Quaker meetings for others who are interested.
I remember 10+ years ago, when it still had this local congregation insert pages in the middle where one could read about the local congregations sing alongs and fundraisers. Back then, it was really boring.
I remember the survey well. I believe they used several suggestions to come up with where it is now. I like your comment about individual reflections....I like them when I can relate to them.

I would like to see a tech section - as to what local churches are doing - what's working and what's not. How to implement, buyers guide etc.

Who is using facebook/twitter etc and how. Who is streaming their worship services etc.


What type of music/hymns are being used. Is there anything new in the hymn writing front. How about a monthly section on new hymns/songs.

A regional council section that could highlight whats going on in their regions.

With huge geographical regions it would be interesting to see/hear how they involve local churches. How they keep the community of faith active and involved.

Celebrity interviews with people who are active in the United Church. Young and old...ok, mostly older....

That's a start......
 

paradox3

WC/ WC2 alumna
Messages
9,837
Reaction score
4,174
Toronto Conference used to have an insert with local news. I liked it when we had it. . . I wonder if the new Regions will do something similar.
 

paradox3

WC/ WC2 alumna
Messages
9,837
Reaction score
4,174
When it comes to reading the paper edition, I scan through it & tend to focus on the church-specific material.
 

Carolla

wondering & wandering
Messages
6,895
Reaction score
5,076
I have a subscription & enjoy reading the articles. I do find them interesting & relevant to issues of the day - for example the recent article re history of the Huron Carol. We have a friend who used to teach philosophy at the Grade 12 level - and he commented one day that he used articles from the magazine in his classes as they were usually thoughtful, well presented, not too lengthy or too academic, often spiritual/moral rather than religious - and thus triggered good discussion in class.

I find it interesting to read the letters to the editor - gives me some sense (albeit limited) of the variety of thought related to articles I have read.

It's my understanding that while there is a UC association with The Observer (I like that name BTW, rather than any of the others that were proposed) it is not actually a publication OF the UC - so I think this influences the content to differ from some of the stuff you might be looking for Jobam.

I agree that a tech section would be really helpful - it's a big complaint of mine that we straggle and struggle with old systems, lagging behind at our peril these days I think. From time to time I have started threads here to ask about this. Maybe it would be something we might even encourage EDGE Network to consider developing. Or maybe send a letter to the Editor of The Observer suggesting your interest in such a feature?
 

Mrs.Anteater

Even winter will come to an end
Messages
3,045
Reaction score
2,047
I suspect that the Observer will get away even further from daily UCC life more towards the spirituel but not religious crowd ( just by telling from the survey questions)- as it is clear that UCC is shrinking and they are needing more readers.
 

Pinga

Room for All
Messages
9,816
Reaction score
5,359
I get it. I usually plan to read it. Haven't lately.

I do not understand what logic they are using to post items with their facebook account. It doesnt seem relevant to the UCCAN Observer. I am thinking of unfollowing as just more noise.
 

GordW

Church-Geek-Oramus
Messages
1,808
Reaction score
1,426
Toronto Conference used to have an insert with local news. I liked it when we had it. . . I wonder if the new Regions will do something similar.
fewer and fewer Conferences did the insert over the years. I am guessing they were dropped largely due to costs (both in money and in people to write and edit and format). I have wondered if Regional Councils will take them up, but I will not be surprised if few to none do so.
 

Luce NDs

Well-Known Member
Messages
41,487
Reaction score
3,609
I am fascinated to read the conflict and eliminatory essence contained there for things people don't understand being a terrorism!

Peace is not for this place given the position that the divine takes in separating parts ... allowing one to have that Lear at the other ... Lady Macbeth ...
 

GO3838

Well-Known Member
Messages
290
Reaction score
144
I have a paper subscription and usually read it cover to cover.

How relevant is the Observer? I find it very relevant.

I like how the Observer is brave to explore and talk about issues that other churches won't: such as the article about sexual harassment in churches. A lot of denominations would just say "Sexual harassment? It doesn't happen in our pews." I think the Observer has a lot of guts to say "It happens in the church, too" and acknowledging it, and writing about what individuals can do if it happens to them. (Similarly, there have been articles about parental leave for clergy, bullying in churches, clergy divorce, etc.)

I like how the Observer includes "good news" type stories that put a smile on my face, like the article about a church with two cats who do double duty as mouse hunters and pet therapy for the congregation. Or the Moderator's "Night Before Christmas" re-imagined.

I like the frank movie and book reviews.

And I like the articles that no mainstream newspaper would cover, such as the salamanders in the Niagara Escarpment, or the high cost of feminine hygiene that politicians don't give a stuff about.

I love the United Church Observer!!!!!!!
 

KayTheCurler

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,381
Reaction score
3,597
I occasionally read articles that get posted online. Generally speaking - they are ok. I can accept that they are 'ground breaking and challenging' for some - but they seem to be about a year late to me!
 

Nancy

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,062
Reaction score
1,117
I particularly like the Letters to the Editor, and I enjoy some articles. I like to read about church issues because other publications I read don't highlight anything about church, unless it is something negative or extreme.
 

Inannawhimsey

M&M, Cascadian Lovers
Messages
10,583
Reaction score
3,090
The Observer and the Observed are one Whole
The Observer affects the Observed and vice versa
In a feedback loop
And in the real world (lol what a metaphysical term) how many Observers and Observed are there?

Keep Co-creating, citzens

Stay curious!!!
 

Luce NDs

Well-Known Member
Messages
41,487
Reaction score
3,609
The Observer and the Observed are one Whole
The Observer affects the Observed and vice versa
In a feedback loop
And in the real world (lol what a metaphysical term) how many Observers and Observed are there?

Keep Co-creating, citzens

Stay curious!!!
Few grasp that and thus the need for getting a gripe ... they're out there like busted heh gos ... on the wing ... OCH m'n ...

Out of this world and into Eire ... that' Sur ...
 

chansen

Pleasant Enough
Messages
10,269
Reaction score
7,085
I suspect that the Observer will get away even further from daily UCC life more towards the spirituel but not religious crowd ( just by telling from the survey questions)- as it is clear that UCC is shrinking and they are needing more readers.
They did that spirituality issue in cooperation with The Walrus a couple of years ago. They seemed to be trying some sort of crossover then. I don't know of a similar effort since.

I expect they will cease to exist in a few years. I actually like it and scan their website on occasion, but I don't like it enough to subscribe.
 

Nancy

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,062
Reaction score
1,117
Just got my issue in the mail yesterday. Changes are a-coming. So...change to the structure of the church; change to the United Church Observer (even a name change)….What next, I wonder? I can handle change, as long as it is towards something positive or improved.
 
Top