Join us for the Inaugural Quarterly Teleconference for Humanist Celebrants

When: Wednesday, March 22 at 8pm EDT Teleconference Call-in Number: 712-770-4010 Access Code: 596-752 The Humanist Society is building a Celebrant Professional Community. The goal of this community is to support current humanist celebrants through mentoring, collaboration, professional, and business development. We are starting this effort with Quarterly Teleconferences. Therefore, be a part of the Inaugural teleconference on Wednesday, March 22 at 8pm...
On-Site Training for Celebrants: March 11, 2017

On-Site Training for Celebrants: March 11, 2017

The Humanist Institute is offering on-site training for individuals who are already celebrants or desiring to become Humanist Celebrants. Register Online Today! When: Saturday, March 11, 2017 Rutgers University Where: Rutgers University Inn and Conference Center 178 Ryders Lane New Brunswick, NJ 08901 United States Time: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm Cost: $75 Register Online Today! Learn how to prepare unique and inspiring humanist wedding ceremonies Find out how to care for individuals nearing the end of life and support their families during this time Discover what makes a humanist memorial service so different Gain an understanding of how humanists celebrate life events and milestones Learn how to get in the queue for giving local meeting invocations, and some examples of appropriate versus inappropriate things to say when invited to do so Acquire knowledge on what the Humanist Society has to offer   Schedule: 10:00 to 10:30 am:  Welcome & Introductions 10:30 to 12:00 pm:  Weddings 12:00 to 1:00 pm:  Lunch (Provided) & Discussion 1:00 to 2:30 pm:  End of Life Preparation & Memorials 2:30 to 3:00 pm: Invocations 3:00 to 3:30 pm: Baby Welcomings 3:30 to 4:00 pm:  Coming of Age Celebrations *All participants will be provided with supporting materials to begin (or add to) their personal library of resources i.e. sample ceremonies, suggested readings, creative ideas. Endorsed celebrants will be added to a local database. Lodging: Option #1 Rutgers University Inn and Conference Center Option #2 Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tower Center New Brunswick Note: There are several other nearby hotel options, these are just two close options. Questions: If you have questions about any of the event details, please visit: http://humanistinstitute.org/about-us/contact-us/ Trainers: Trainers represent the broad spectrum of humanist identities such as Secular Humanist, Ethical...
Humanist Celebrants Offer Free Weddings to Marginalized Communities Affected by Presidential Election

Humanist Celebrants Offer Free Weddings to Marginalized Communities Affected by Presidential Election

For Immediate Release Contact: Merrill Miller, 202-238-9088 ext. 105, merrillmiller@americanhumanist.org (Washington, DC, Nov. 21, 2016)—In solidarity with the social justice community, 74 humanist celebrants endorsed by the Humanist Society, an adjunct of the American Humanist Association, will offer free weddings to LGBTQ individuals, immigrants and other marginalized communities that fear they will be negatively affected by a Trump presidency. This initiative will aid individuals afflicted by racism, homophobia and religious discrimination by offering them the comfort and security found through becoming legally connected to the one they love without worrying about financial hindrances. It will also allow people to focus on marriage as a celebration of the humanist values of love and kindness in a time when the country is feeling torn apart by hatred. Humanist celebrants across the nation are taking part in the initiative, which will continue until Inauguration Day on Friday, January 20, 2017. “We are proud of our humanist celebrants for standing up as allies for the marginalized communities that will be most negatively impacted by the uncertain political climate and the prejudices of the religious right, homophobia and white supremacy,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association. “In officiating weddings, a time of love and joy, we are demonstrating the strength of love and compassion, values that resonate not only with humanists but with all people.” Humanist Celebrants conduct Humanist, secular, nonreligious, non-theistic and interreligious weddings, memorials, baby naming, and other life-cycle ceremonies. Click on this map to see a listing of celebrants by state. Note: Humanist Celebrants participating in the Free Weddings to Marginalized Communities Affected by Presidential Election program...
Humanism in Action through Nonbeliever Chaplaincy

Humanism in Action through Nonbeliever Chaplaincy

This post, written by Jason Callahan, originally appeared on TheHumanist.com. September 2, 2008. That’s the day I first arrived in Richmond, Virginia, from New York City to embark on a journey that didn’t have a specific destination. The financial crisis was underway and the immediacy of my need to figure something out led me to one of the only people who’d ever supported me up until that point: my former pastor. How ironic that a clear atheist would call upon someone who works for the church for advice. This was a relationship between two human beings interested in having and promoting wholeness. I attended seminary on what was called a “trial year” enrollment that was for learners the church wasn’t sure it could own. After my first year, I just wanted to leave. I was disgusted after observing how the beliefs and the norms of the community actually contributed to an increase in mental health issues around campus. I couldn’t go back to New York because things had already gotten worse economically, so I decided to stick it out. The lack of community engagement and compassion for those in need who visited the campus forced me to reach outside of that community in order to put my skills to use. I stumbled upon chaplaincy after graduation. My pastor had always stated that she got into ministry in order to be a chaplain, because people in hospitals have real needs that transcend any theology. She admitted that going to seminary and working in the church was nothing more than getting her “union card” from the only place that had the...
Death Cafes: Connecticut Humanists Invite Grim Reaper to Dinner

Death Cafes: Connecticut Humanists Invite Grim Reaper to Dinner

This post, written by Anita Peters, originally appeared on TheHumanist.com. So many of us are “dying” to talk about death but don’t know how, when, or with whom to begin the conversation. “Thinking about death is really about thinking about our lives and the lives of those whom we care about,” I told Dan Blinn (a fellow humanist celebrant in Hartford, Connecticut) and Chris Stedman (Yale’s humanist chaplain). We decided to start a series of so-called Death Cafes and invited humanists and the public to participate. At a Death Cafe, people come together, usually strangers, to share food and drink and to discuss their feelings and ideas about death. This is not a bereavement session. It’s an opportunity for communities to explore and reflect on life in the face of human mortality, to, as Blinn adds, “make people more aware about death with a view to helping people make the most of their lives.” We are participating in the Death Cafe movement, a life-affirming international social franchise started five years ago by Jon Underwood in London and later popularized by Lizzy Miles in the United States. Underwood developed the Death Cafe model based on the ideas of the Swiss sociologist Bernard Crettaz who, together with his anthropologist wife, studied funeral rites in their town and other cultures. When Crettaz’s wife died in 1999, he initiated meetings in local bistros to talk about death. From these first informal meetings, the Death Cafe model was born. Participants are seated at tables of six to ten participants, presided over by the organizer or a facilitator selected by the organizer. Refreshments are an...
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