Teleconference Recordings

The Humanist Society and AHA Center for Education host four teleconferences per year for our network of endorsees to build their skills and knowledge base for their work as humanist professionals. Below are the recordings of past teleconferences on a wide range of topics.

*Note: information in older teleconferences may be out of date.

2021 Q3: The Heart of Humanity: Humanism in Interfaith Settings

Dennis Augustine will provide some tips for fulfilling our roles as celebrants and chaplains in a sensitive and professional way while maintaining our integrity as humanists.

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2021 Q2: Ambassadors for Humanism

James Croft will speak about techniques on being the best possible ambassador for Humanism. Come check out easy and effective techniques and tools you can use, ask questions and share your ideas! 

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2021 Q1: Humanist Rituals

Lois Heckman will speak about the purpose and characteristics of ritual – across cultures, religions and of course, in a Humanist setting.

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2020 Q4: Serving Humanist Communities

Hear how humanist professionals (celebrants, chaplains, invocators, lay leaders) and groups (AHA chapters and affiliates) can work together to support and grow humanism locally.

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2020 Q3: Best Practices During COVID-19

Many celebrants and chaplains are having difficulty when it comes to distancing, expectations with masks, and people’s health behaviors. In our August teleconference, we will discuss the safety issues that we are experiencing, and solutions that are effective.

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2020 Q2+: End of Life Ceremonies during COVID-19

As COVID-19 continues, Celebrants are needed for more funerals and memorials that require additional considerations. We’ll discuss how death and mourning is different during a pandemic, how ceremonies and arrangements can be adapted, how to support grieving families, and how to practice self care throughout the process.

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2020 Q2: Facing COVID-19 Challenges

As the world copes with the impacts of COVID-19, our work as celebrants must adapt. Kathy Diedrich, Scott Rhoades, and Jamie Goswick discuss the challenges we face, the solutions we recommend, and the questions not yet answered. 

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2020 Q1: Humanist Invocations!

Enjoy a special presentation from Jocelyn and David Williamson — seasoned invocators, humanist celebrants, and leaders of the Central Florida Freethought Community — as they discuss the legal battle for secular invocations and how to deliver them in your own community.

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2019 Q4: Client Experience & Management

Whether you perform a few ceremonies a year or hundreds, thoughtful attention to client experience—from the first meeting to the big day—is paramount to retaining clients and ensuring they feel heard and cared for. On the other hand, your time as a celebrant is limited and delivering high quality services efficiently can be an opposing challenge, especially as you scale up your celebrant practice. In this presentation, Donna Forsythe, Humanist Celebrant and Director of the Celebrant Academy, shares her expertise regarding how to work with clients and manage workflow while planning polished and unique ceremonies.

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2019 Q3: Writing Meaningful Ceremonies

In this Humanist Society Teleconference, Lois Heckman shares knowledge and advice on how to work with clients to create deeply personal and meaningful ceremonies. The presentation primarily references wedding ceremonies, but the tips and tools discussed will be applicable across the spectrum of humanist ceremonies.

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2019 Q2: Introducing the Celebrant Foundation & Institute

In an effort to make more training opportunities available to our celebrants, the Humanist Society is partnering with the Celebrant Foundation & Institute (CF&I), an international non-profit organization that teaches and certifies modern day ceremony professionals to become professional certified Life-Cycle Celebrants ®.

In this presentation, the Executive Director of CF&I, Charlotte Eulette, discusses the various educational opportunities now available to Humanist Celebrants through CF&I covering weddings, funerals, and ceremonies across the life-cycle. Charlotte takes questions from celebrants following the presentation.

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2019 Q1: Marketing Your Celebrant Business

This teleconference offers an in-depth look at marketing strategies for both new and established celebrants to reach new clients and develop a tone of professionalism in your work.

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2018 Q4: Good Life, Good Death

People suffering from unbearable medical conditions should have the right to determine their own deaths. In this presentation, Dr. Martin Seidenfeld discusses the issues involved in the right suffering persons to determine their own deaths, and how The Final Exit Network works with qualified people to achieve death with dignity. View Recording

2018 Q3: Wise Woman Ceremonies

Wise Woman Ceremony affords an opportunity to honor a remarkable woman who is elder-wise or a younger woman who is wise beyond her years. The ceremony officiated for older women can celebrate a landmark birthday or entering into retirement. For a woman of any age it can recognize her accomplishments such as her volunteerism for community organizations and charitable work, or for her kindness, support, or mentorship of others such as co-workers, family or friends. The ceremony can celebrate the accomplishments of previous years and recognize the wisdom the woman brings to the world around her. As part of the celebration, new goals and dreams can be articulated, as well as all the future holds! View Recording

2018 Q2: Baby Naming, Adoption, and Transgender Naming Ceremonies

Experienced celebrants Kenna Covington, Victoria Gipson and Sarah Rivers Deal share their experiences with Baby Naming, Adoption, and Transgender Naming ceremonies. Naming and adoption ceremonies provide the opportunity to welcome a child to a family, an extended family and to the broader community, while transgender naming ceremonies offer support and validation for an individual as they embrace their new identity. View Recording

2018 Q1: Humanist Memorial Services

Requests for humanist memorial services are increasing every year.  Expand your celebrant practice and serve your community by offering memorial services to the secular community. Join Kathy Diedrich and guest, Miriam Jerris, for a wide-ranging discussion on humanist memorial services.  Topics to be covered include meeting with families, elements of a memorial service, pitfalls to avoid, memorial traditions and etiquette, and more.  Dr. Jerris is the Rabbi for the Society of Humanistic Judaism, a graduate of the first class of the Humanist Institute, Associate Professor for Professional Development of the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism and a Humanist Celebrant with many years experience offering humanist ceremonies across the life cycle.  View Recording

2017 Q4: Best Practices

A panel of celebrants share experience, tips and lessons learned.  Scott Rhoades, Donna Forsythe and Bob Diven speak to balancing celebrant work with other professional commitments, working with other celebrants and consideration when serving the LGBTQ population.

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2017 Q3: Continuing Education

Introducing the Humanist Institute and continuing education courses for celebrants. (Note: The Humanist Institute is now the American Humanist Association Center for Education)

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2017 Q2: Improving Ceremonies

Practical information on how celebrants can improve their ceremonies

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2017 Q1: Develop a Professional Community

Humanist Society board members talk about the new Celebrant Professional Community and initiatives moving forward

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