What I learned about the SBNRs during My Year of Living Spiritually

Sun Dec 2, 2018
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Join us for a talk on the topic of the growing spiritual but not religious community with Anne Bokma, a regular writer for the United Church Observer.

One in four Canadians are “religiously unaffiliated,” up from just 4% in 1971. That number is even higher among Canada’s nine million millennials — 36% of them have no church affiliation. Many of these people identify as “spiritual-but-not-religious” (SBNR). In fact, according to an Angus Reid survey, almost 40% of Canadians are SBNR. These people are seeking an experience of the divine in ways that have nothing to do with pews, pulpits, and preaching. Anne’s monthly award-winning column, Spiritual But Secular, runs in each issue of the United Church Observer and reports on the wide variety of spiritual practices that attract the SBNR, from drumming circles to pagan rituals, meditation, forest bathing, community singing groups, ecstatic dance, yoga, pilgrimages, reiki, gratitude exercises, 12-step programs, tarot reading and more. For her 2017 My Year of Living Spiritually blog, Anne engaged in many of these practices herself. Does this group have something to teach churchgoers about finding purpose, meaning, and community? Anne’s extensive research on the SBNR reveals the motivations and desires of this growing group of spiritual seekers.

A full-time freelance writer based in Hamilton, Ontario, Anne has been a journalist for more than 30 years and has written for most of Canada’s major magazines and newspapers. Her work has been recognized with awards from both the American and Canadian Church Press, the Canadian Business Press, the Canadian Society of Magazine Editors, The Canadian Association of Journalists and the North American Travel Journalists Association. For the past four years, Anne has been the  “Spiritual But Secular” monthly columnist for the United Church Observer, reporting on the spiritual practices of the growing Spiritual-But-Not-Religious (SBNR) demographic. Her blog, “My Year of Living Spiritually,” a year-long experiment in attempting to live a more soulful life, is being turned into a book and will be published in late 2019 by Douglas & McIntyre.


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