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Sunday Speaker Series - Heidi L. Parker: "Secular End of Life Ceremonies"

  • North Syracuse Public Library 100 Trolley Barn Ln North Syracuse, NY, 13212 United States (map)

The Central New York Humanist Association welcomes guest speaker Heidi L. Parker on Sunday, June 7th, from 1:00-3:00pm. The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served at 1:00 and the program will begin at 1:15pm. There will be a 45 minute discussion to follow the talk, and anyone interested is invited to meet at the CopperTop Tavern on Brewerton Road after the meeting to continue the discussion. Note: This event was originally planned for our February  meeting, but had to be rescheduled.

Heidi L. Parker will speak on the importance of funerals and how to create one that is nonreligious, personalized, and meaningful.  She’ll discuss why it’s important to plan ahead, the role of funeral directors, and how a celebrant can improve the process.

Heidi L. Parker works as an independent wedding and funeral celebrant and is endorsed as a Humanist chaplain by the American Humanist Association.  She spent the summer of 2014 as an interfaith chaplain at Albany Medical Center, a Level-1 trauma center.

Heidi teaches Bereavement Studies classes at Hudson Valley Community College.  She created their distance learning courses, including Cross-Cultural and Religious Perspectives, which examines global traditions in death and grief.  

An active member of the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC), she holds their Certified in Thanatology (CT) designation and chairs the Public Education/Media Relations Committee.  She was elected to ADEC’s international Board of Directors in 2013.

Heidi’s communications credentials were built over two decades as a scriptwriter and video/live event producer.  A volunteer with Saratoga Community Hospice since 2007, she helped establish its life-journaling project and taught interview skills to volunteers.  She holds BA from the State University of New York at Albany, a Certificate in Bereavement Studies from HVCC, and is currently working on her Masters in Social Work.

Heidi is interested in trauma mental health, improving support for the newly bereaved, and the personalization of ceremonies that mark life transitions.

For more information, please visit

Earlier Event: May 17
May Social: Lunch & Museum Tour
Later Event: June 20
Walk in the CNY Pride Parade