Please join us for our ESWoW Community Call on Nov. 20 at 12m PT, 1pm MT, 2pm CT, 3pm ET.
We'll be discussing gratitude in our lives and sharing what we are grateful for. We'll also touch on Buy Nothing Day - the day after Thanksgiving, most commonly known as Black Friday.
The number to join the call is 866-740-1260, access code 5766842#.
And please see the notice below about the Dialogue Group call.
Yours in Ethical Community,
Susan Rose, Leader
The Dial-In phone number for Sunday's ESWoW Dialogue Group Call is 209.647.1000. Access Code is 689836#. I just read Hugh's email dated 11.16, entitled "'Tis The Season . . . to be a Consumer . . ."
If you haven't had the chance to enjoy it yet, it is well worth your reading. There's a certain delicious pleasure in revisiting the old songs, stories, foods and traditions that accompany the holidays. Not too often to be tiresome and not too seldom to forget their traditional value. Who among us would like to have a brief gathering in honor of Winter Solstice? Please indicate your level of interest so we know if we should cook up some ideas, music, stories and such. We did a little something last year which I found quite enjoyable and unifying. If you think you'd care to join us, we can meet on Wednesday Evening, 12.21.11 at 5:30 p.m. Pacific, 6:30 Mountain, 7:30 Central, and 8:30 Eastern times. Does that sound good to you? Your suggestions and creative ideas for celebration are always welcome.
- From the Leader - Susan Rose - The Death Penalty - the ethical implications
- Community Call - October 2 - The Death Penalty - Where are We Now
- Dialogue Group - October 2 - Sally Leete
- Community Call - October 16 - Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Your Town?
- From the Ethical Movement - Bart Worden on September 11, 2001
The Death Penalty, Yet Another Look
Troy Davis was killed on September 21, 2011 by the state of Georgia. The cause of death, after an autopsy, was homicide. The intention of course was to say that because Troy Davis was convicted of homicide, he was executed, put to death, killed by the state of Georgia. But I think you could readily say that the state of Georgia, without any doubt whatsoever, committed homicide, defined as any killing of one human being by another.
So much has been written about the specifics of the Troy Davis case, so I won't go into details here. What has affected me most about this case, is the disregard for both human life, and the justice system of this country. How can we feel any confidence in a system which allowed the death penalty to be exercised, even when there was considerable doubt as to the guilt of the convicted.
We know that people have been put to death who have later been exonerated of committing the crime for which they were killed. Yes, we all make mistakes, but somehow Oops! or I'm sorry, just are not sufficient when an innocent person has been killed mistakenly. Read more »
September 11, 2001 - Sharing and Reflection Ten Years Later
The events of September 11, 2001, remain in the memories of those of us who experienced it. This special ESWoW Community Call is an opportunity to share our memories and experiences. What impact did this tragedy have on you? What impact has the terrorist assault had on our country and the world? And most importantly, how do we move forward, how do we continue to work for the values we see as so important, believing in the inherent worth of all human beings, and our ability to work together to make the world a better place for all?
Please join us for this special Community Call - Sunday, September 11, 2011. The call will take place at 4:30 pm Pacific Time, 5:30 pm Mountain Time, 6:30 pm Central Time, and 7:30 pm Eastern Time. The number for the call is 866-740-1260, access code 5766842#.
Know someone who might want to participate? Please invite them. As always, we're concerned for the safety of our call participants, and ask that you not call and drive.
Hugh Taft-Morales has shared some thoughts about this tragedy, where he was, what the impact was for his family. Please read his thoughts, and the comments of members. And please add your own thoughts and experiences.
In 2001, several Ethical Culture Leaders wrote about the terrorist attacks, and what an Ethical Culture response might be. Many of those pieces still feel very appropriate to me. Take a look and see what you think.
Welcome - Overview of Call
Opening Words Read more »
As I prepare to speak at the Baltimore Ethical Society on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, I struggle to make sense of the tragedy. I offer these thoughts to ESWoW visitors in the hope that they may allow more meaning and ethical commitment to grow from this wound in America’s psyche. The image of a wound came to me again this past July when staying in my cousin’s Battery Park apartment before speaking at the New York Society for Ethical Culture. As I headed uptown toward the Society that Sunday morning, I passed “ground zero” - the site where once stood the twin towers. Although most of the refuse and jagged metal had been removed or buried, the site struck me as a giant aching wound in the cityscape. Today, September 11, a public memorial site opens there with two huge sunken reflection pools marking the footprint of the disappeared buildings in which so many died. The pools are cut into the ground, and water pours like the tears of family members and friends of the deceased.
As I drove by, I was reminded of Maya Lin’s Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C., which knifes into a soft grassy knoll next to the Lincoln Memorial. I recall her saying that she wanted to cut the earth, revealing a wound that slowly heals but never fully disappears. Like Vietnam, the 9/11 horror of ten years ago will never go away. Like ground zero in lower Manhattan, it will always ache with deep and powerful suffering. Read more »
Catherine Bordeau, Leader-in-Training, working at the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture joins us for our Community call to discuss Youth in Ethical Culture.
The call will take place at 3pm ET, 2pm CT, 1pm MT, and 12m PT. Our calls usually last about 1 hour and provide an opportunity to connect with people from across the country.
The number for the call is 866-740-1260 and the access code is 5766842#.
Please join us, invite your friends.
For safety reasons, we ask that you not drive while participating in our calls.
This is an article originally published in the newsletter of the Baltimore Ethical Society. It is based on a Platform address given by Hugh as Leader of the Baltimore Ethical Society on May 1, 2011. (SR)
The theme of my May 1 Platform on "leadership" was that we all have the potential - in our own unique way - to be leaders. I then asked, "How does a community where everyone is a leader keep chaos at bay?" I mean if a parade was made up of nothing more than drum majors, wouldn't it just degenerate into a crowd of people each marching in different directions to the beat of their own drummer?
Well, in part, what holds us together are our wonderful shared collection of beliefs, ways of living, ethical relationships, and caring communities. We are also held together by our common history from Felix Adler to today. For me, however, what really holds us together are the values we share. While they have evolved through our history, they maintain a consistency and heart.
I concluded my talk by sharing the three values I tend to promote in my "elevator speech" - that two-minute explanation of Ethical Culture you offer to an inquirer in the time that you are riding in an elevator together. A member of the Baltimore Society suggested I share these values again in this newsletter, and so I do. I ask you to consider them over the summer.
The three values I find that best reflect what Ethical Culture means to me are as follows:
1) respect and celebration of the inherent worth of every person;
2) the importance of creating flourishing ethical relationships; and Read more »
Opening Words - There is no power greater than a community discovering what it cares about. - Meg Wheatley Read more »
On Friday, June 17, 2011, Rose Walker died. She had just had her 101th birthday less than two weeks before. Rose had been ill for some time. She died at a hospital in Florida with family and loved ones around her. This news was shared with me just prior to the Platform at the AEU Assembly, and we were able to include a short memorial tribute to her as part of the Platform. Rose was a member of ESWoW.
Other pieces are being written about Rose, particularly those who knew her as the driving force of the National Ethical Service. I will share links to them when I get them. I will also share more information about the memorial service for Rose as I get it, and we might even do a memorial call to honor her memory.
I knew who Rose Walker was since I was three and my parents first took me to the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture. Who was Rose Walker? Why she was the lady with the hats, of course. And then, as I got older, she was one of the ladies sitting in the garden after a Sunday Platform meeting - still with her hat on - talking about important things. I had no idea what the important things were then. Now I know that those were meetings of the local group of the Women's Conference - now the National Ethical Service and I have a better understanding of why United Nations Day was always observed at the Brooklyn Society and why the Children's Sunday Assembly students always went trick or treating for UNICEF, and knew what the acronym stood for and understood a fair amount about UNICEF programs. Read more »
This Sunday is Father's Day. It is American holdiay with not as much history as Mother's
Day – or so I thought until I did a little google searching. I found the following on
The first observance of Father's Day actually took place in Fairmont, West Virginia on
July 5, 1908. It was organized by Mrs. Grace Golden Clayton, who wanted to celebrate the
lives of the 210 fathers who had been lost in the Monongah Mining disaster several months
earlier in Monongah, West Virginia, on December 6, 1907. It's possible that Clayton was
influenced by the first celebration of Mother's Day that same year, just a few miles away.
Clayton chose the Sunday nearest to the birthday of her recently deceased father.
A day created to celebrate a particular person in a particular role, with the expectations
that it be a joyous occasion for all, does not always have its intended effect.
I hope for you that you had a wonderful nurturing experience with your father, and that if
you are a father that that is a wonderful experience for you. Yet I want to acknowledge
that not everyone's experience of fatherhood, either on the receiving end – as a child of
a father, or the giving end, as the father of a child(ren) is a positive one.
Perhaps your father spent hours playing with you, talking with you, teaching you to swim,
to ride a bike – trying to teach you to ice skate, as my father did. And yet perhaps
there were other times when you thought he didn't see you, understand who you really are. Read more »
ESWoW member Leonard Weis died on May 3, 2011. I've already written a bit about him and his wonderful life. He was an active ESWoW member, and we needed to collectively remember him and honor him. So we did what was most fitting for someone who participated in almost everyone of our ESWoW calls. We held a memorial service for Len in our latest Community Call.
The notion of having a memorial service by teleconference sounds bizarre. Yet it was what was most appropriate for ESWoW to do as a community.
We had several members on the call, and were also joined by Len's adult children, Becky Weis Nord and Stephen Weis. They were able to give us a fuller picture of Len's life. I smiled so much to hear about Len as a loving and adventurous grandfather, and how he influenced his children to live very ethical lives.
The strangest thing was to have a Community Call without Len. He has participated in so many calls, that I have always missed his presence when he hasn't been able to be on. It was good for people who had connected with Len, who considered him to be a vital part of their lives, even though they had never met him in person. People shared just how deeply Len had affected them, how he had been a wonderful exemplar of living an ethical life.
Ceremonies are an area in which Ethical Culture excels. Our ceremonies are about the individuals affected by that which is being celebrated. We celebrated Len's life, and we gave support to each other, knowing that there are people who will feel the great loss of a dear friend, and family members who have such a great change in their lives. Read more »