Issue # 82 - October 2021

Oct. 1 - 3, Rhinebeck, NY
The Omega Institute
with Dr. Terri Daniel
(see article below)

Oct. 8-9 - ONLINE


Oct. 30 - ONLINE
Free Introductory Session

Oct. 28-Dec. 16 ONLINE
12 CE Credit Hours
 (see article below)


Nov. 12-14 - ONLINE

Dec. 11-12 - ONLINE


Jan. 30- ONLINE
A Professional Symposium

Cautious Optimism

Many thanks to the long-time friends and supporters who've followed our work since we launched The Afterlife Conference back in 2009. We are deeply grateful for your continued interest as we evolve into our new identity as The Conference on Death, Grief and Belief.

If you've read our last few newseltters, you've seen what our emerging new focus looks like as we carefully construct our new brand, hoping to attract a new audience while maintaing the old one. It's no small task trying to be all things to all people, but we're doing our best.

Hence, you will find a wide range of content here, where we try to unpack spiritual perspectives from A to Z (Atheism to Zoroastrianism?). Yes, we shine a harsh light on the dark side of religion, but we also embrace mysticism and encourage spiritual exploration. Yes, we hint at politics here and there, because sometimes there's no escaping it.

Bottom line... we're creating a platform that supports the SBNR (Spiritual But Not Religious) path (see related article, below). And we hope you'll join us in exploring spiritual inquiry without identifying with religious doctrines or being enslaved by dogma.

Maybe we can introduce some new buzzwords in the culture! How about "intellectural mystics," "spiritualist skeptics," or even "spiritual atheists?"

Send us your suggestions!

Rev. Dr. Terri Daniel, CT, CCTP
End-of-Life Advisor, Interfaith Chaplaincy, Bereavement and Trauma Support
Join the conversation in our
Death, Grief and Belief Facebook Group!

Are You "Spiritual But Not Religious?"
If you identify as Spiritual But Not Religious, you're in good company. Do you know there’s an acronym for that? It’s called SBNR, and it’s a new buzzword that signals a growing trend.

Being spiritual without being religious is a topic of heated debate in many theological circles,and as you might expect, opinions are divided along party lines. Traditional, conventional religious people think it’s terrible to “cherry pick” spiritual ideas and cobble together a “personal theology.” And on the other side of the aisle, progressive thinkers and mystics can’t imagine relating to the spiritual realm any other way. READ MORE...

An Earthly Farewell to our Friend John Shelby Spong
June 16, 1931 - September 12, 2021
"Hell is an invention of the church."

These words -- and so many others spoken publicly by Bishop John Shelby Spong -- paved the way for countless Christians to free themselves from stifling doctrines and toxic beliefs. He was a pioneer in breaking down religious structures and promoting a more inclusive, more flexible, more educated and more reasoned way of thinking.

In 1989 he ordained the first openly gay male priest in the Episcopal Church, and would later go on to ordain dozens more LBGTQ+ clergy in the diocese. His books boldly and brilliantly dismantle religious dogma and magical thinking narratives, with titles that include Why Christianity Must Change or Die, Jesus for the Non-Religious, and Rescuing the Bible From Fundamentalism.

We had the great honor of spending time with him when he was the keynote speaker at our 2016 conference. Read THIS ARTICLE from our blog to see what he had to say about prayer as a "hysterical attempt to turn the holy into the service of the human."

U.S. Decline of Christianity Continues at Rapid Pace
Photo: (DAVID MCNEW/AFP via Getty Images)
As a fitting follow-up to our tribute to Bishop Spong, this report from the Pew Research Foundation supports the fact that his work -- and the work of other scholars and pioneers like him -- has begun to pay off.

  • "The religious landscape of the United States continues to change at a rapid clip. In Pew Research Center telephone surveys conducted in 2018 and 2019, 65% of American adults describe themselves as Christians when asked about their religion, down 12 percentage points over the past decade. Meanwhile, the religiously unaffiliated share of the population, consisting of people who describe their religious identity as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular,” now stands at 26%, up from 17% in 2009." READ MORE...

Dr. Peter Fenwick on
The Survival of Consciousness After Death
Research on near-death experience is at the cutting edge of consciousness studies, and offers a convincing model for the understanding of what happens when we die. Peter Fenwick is a neuropsychiatrist and neurophysiologist who is known for his pioneering studies of end-of-life phenomena. In this video, he describes what happens to our consciousness as we approach death and beyond. He discusses near-death-experience (NDE), death-bed-visitors, and the different transitional phases of the dying process.

What the Bible Says About Abortion
Unless you've been living under a rock, in a seculded monastery or in another dimension, you've probably been involved in at least one conversation in which someone claims that abortion is a sin and against biblical beliefs.

Guess what? It isn't.

Here are two excellent information sources:

Something to Open Your Heart

Scholarships Still Available for
Weekly Online | Oct. 28-Dec. 16 
Scholarships are availabale for the Spirituality and Chronic Illness  class offered by the University of Redlands Graduate School of Theology. Follow these steps to apply:

  1. Visit this link.

  1. Scroll halfway dow the page to "Course Enrollment & Registration," and choose the Spiritual Journeys in Chronic Illness course.

  1. Register with the code MHS50OFF to receive 50% off the course fee. 

Grief Workshop with Dr. Terri Daniel
at The Omega Institute October 1-3
We are very excited to announce a unique workshop that will be held on the beautiful campus of The Omega Institute in update New York, October 1-3.

Dr. Terri Daniel joins Dr. Donna Holland Barnes, author of The Truth About Suicide, and Heather Stang, author of Mindfulness & Grief to present MAKING PEACE WITH LOSS, which will offer practical tools for tending to the pain of grief, creating a healthy space for mourning, and integrating losses into a new reality. CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

Coming in November .. The Beautiful Dying Expo

We are proud to support The Beautiful Dying Expo, a FREE virtual event where you can take actionable steps and gain the knowledge you need to plan your final celebration. Learn from experts in diverse fields related to death, dying and bereavement via live and recorded workshops. Register here.
Contact us: