Recordings of Sunday Platform addresses
This Sunday we will celebrate our second annual Day of Deeds. Ethical Societies were founded on the principle of “Deed Rather Than Creed,” to quote the title of an 1879 New York Times article on the early Ethical Movement. What are some of the deeds currently underway at the Society? Find out about a few of them at this intergenerational platform, which will also feature special music by the Ethical Voices chorus. Speakers from the Sunday School, Coming of Age class, and Senior Connections project will share what inspired them to commit to their causes, and in turn inspire us to help and/or spread the word.
Kathy Kelly, a co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence (VCNV) spent four months of 2007 living among Iraqis who fled violence in their country. She believes that one way to prevent a “next” war is to continue to tell the truth about this war. Using anecdote and analysis, Kelly helps amplify the voices of people who’ve borne excruciatingly harsh consequences of a U.S. “war of choice.” Kelly, who has visited Iraq twenty-six times since 1991, lived in Baghdad during the 2003 “Shock and Awe” attack and invasion. VCNV urges U.S. lawmakers to end funding for the illegal and immoral war in Iraq.
Kathy Kelly co-coordinated Voices in the Wilderness, a campaign to end U.N./U.S. economic sanctions against Iraq. The U.S. government fined the group $20,000 for openly violating the sanctions. Rather than pay the fine, the group ended its ten-year campaign. However, with Voices for Creative Nonviolence, they continue working to end the war in Iraq and the Global War on Terror. Kelly has served time in U.S. prisons and jails for nonviolently challenging U.S. militarism. (She was sentenced to one year in maximum security prison for planting corn on a nuclear missile silo site.) She has taught in Chicago high schools and colleges for 16 years. As a war tax refuser, she has, since 1981, refused payment of all forms of federal income tax.
What is “horizontal religion”? Well, it’s not religion that you practice while lying down, but otherwise you’ll have to come out to the Ethical Society this Sunday to find out. As part of the answer to this question, we’ll continue our 2007-08 theme of Ethical Communication. Over the last two Sundays, we’ve heard about communicating with our unconscious and communicating with the wider culture in which we live. This Sunday we’ll try to define ethical interpersonal communication and explore how we can practice our ethical values in our everyday interactions. Buddhism has a concept of “right speech”-what does Ethical Humanism have to say about how we should speak and listen to each other?
What do we want our public face to be towards our culture, and how will our choices be demonstrated? We could function as weather vanes, swaying with the trends, affirming and accommodating our culture. We could be like steeples, fixed, unbending and pointing to something beyond. Or we could take trees as our model, being alive, rooted deep in the earth, the present and the real, flexible yet necessary. In the past these choices were seen as either to accommodate, oppose or transform. What differences will result by our choices?
Don Robert Johnson is a Leader Emeritus of this Society, having served here as Leader from 2002 to 2005. He was a trained and practicing minister for twenty years, a college chaplain and then Senior Leader at the N.Y. Society for Ethical Culture for twelve years. Don and his wife Beverly Collier currently live in southwest Virginia near the Blue Ridge mountains. Don recently served as sabbatical minister for the New River Valley Unitarian- Universalist congregation in Blacksburg, Virginia.
T.S. Eliot has written: “Between the idea / And the reality… Between the conception / And the creation / Falls the Shadow” (“The Hollow Men”). John Hoad will explore with us how to deal with that shadow – the gap between intention and performance. It requires that we get in touch with ourselves. John’s wife, Karen, runs a hypnosis practice (she studied under Don Mottin of Saint Louis), and observing her remarkable results, John has been studying how we connect with our subconscious mind for better control of our lives.
The theme for our 2007-08 season is communication: What kinds of communication qualify as “ethical” and how can we make deeper connections within ourselves, between each other and between the Ethical Society and the wider community? Come join us to hear about several exciting new programs this year that will help us make these deeper connections and get inspired and reinvigorated for your own ethical journey, whatever its focus may be—personal growth, political action, social service, meaningful work, lifelong education, strengthening relationships, friends and family ties.
The Ethical Movement seeks to prevent the ethical ideal from petrifying. No matter how sublime an ideal is for one time, it must be vivid in our own lives. The ethical ideal must ever be a growing ideal adapted to changes in society, changes in self, changes in the circumstances of life. – Felix Adler
At Platform, our Leader, Kate Lovelady and members Bob Pickard, Andie Jackson and Tucker Overmann will share with us a favorite piece of literature that has had a significant and lasting affect on their lives.
Dr. Nora Beiswenger considers herself a continuing student in many ways and has discovered that uncertainty can often lead to unexpected delight, that spontaneity can create new opportunities, and that audacity does produce remarkable responses. Crucial influences in the formation of her approach to life have come from family, friends, laughter, music, literature, film, and art. She is ready to “kick it up a notch” and share some of what she has learned.
Nora is a native of Michigan who earned B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Michigan before teaching English, American, and World Literature at Clarkson University in New York State and at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee, retiring in 1994. Her specialization was 19th and 20th century women writers. She is a member of the Ethical Society.
The founder of Ethical Culture, Felix Adler, was brought up in a Reform Jewish household, the son and grandson of rabbis who were influential in Germany and America. Although Felix eventually chose a different religious path, his roots had a strong influence on his ethics, his beliefs, and the practical organization of the movement he founded. This platform address will explore some of the history of Reform Judaism in the mid-to-late 1800s and its impact on early Ethical Culture, using as a source the study by Benny Kraut, From Reform Judaism to Ethical Culture: The Religious Evolution of Felix Adler (pre-reading not required!).
Kate Lovelady has been the Leader of the Ethical Society of St. Louis since 2005. Previously, she was Leader Intern at the Riverdale-Yonkers Society for Ethical Culture, the Ethical Society of Austin, and the New York Society for Ethical Culture.
Is there such a thing as ethics in television? KMOV Producer Tom Rogers will discuss the struggles of daily TV news coverage. Get an insider’s look at what goes on behind the scenes at a local television affiliate. Details at 11 a.m.
Tom Rogers is a promotion writer/producer at KMOV-TV, the CBS affiliate in St. Louis. His responsibilities include the production of the commercials that promote the anchors and reporters of NEWS 4. His career started at a small station in Charleston, South Carolina, and in the past 20 years has taken him around the country. He has received several Missouri Broadcasting Awards, Emmy Awards and, this summer, he won the top television promotions honor, the PROMAX Gold Medallion. Tom and his wife Kit are members of the Ethical Society.
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