Opening Words from Sun. April 23 by Jamie Frazier

Good morning! My name is Jamie Frazier, and like the amazing Mary Ann Perkins, who delivered Opening Words last week, today is also my first time on this stage.

By a show of hands, who here has participated in some kind of Trivia Night? Who has NOT ever played Trivia? That’s awesome! If you’ve played, you already know how fun it is, and if this is new to you, I promise you will enjoy yourself immensely.

Here is an example of what some of the questions will be like. Please make a note of your answers to see if you got them all correct at the end:

  • Who won four gold medals in track and field at the 1936 Olympics?
  • Which is the largest of the Great Lakes?
  • What was the real name of Dr. Suess?

I am a member of the FUNdraising team raising money for our Ethical Society, and on the evening of Saturday May 6, right here in this building, we are resuming our annual Trivia Night.

This year’s theme is “school days”, with trivia round subjects like the arts, history, science, mathematics, geography, and more. We have been working hard to design an evening of fun and getting to know one another.

I wanted to think of something to share that was above and beyond an advertisement for Trivia Night, in the spirit of Being Human Together and Eliciting the Best, and to bring value whether you are able to join us or not. What came to mind was the vital importance of having a community. I have been a part of several communities throughout my life, and they have brought me joy and sweet memories, comforted and supported me through times of grief, and actively helped me leave an abusive marriage. For these things, I am so very grateful.

When we experience all the happiness and sorrows of humanness together, then I believe we are better able to elicit the best in others and ourselves. It gives us the opportunity to challenge one other with encouragement and new ways to think about how we live our lives. This cannot happen in a vacuum, we need to interact with one another to have this experience.

I personally joined the Ethical Society because I wanted to create friendships with others with the same core values as myself. What I have found are the best concrete steps to take to develop your own community are two-fold: having fun and volunteering together. For example: you can have an evening at a Botanical Gardens concert, or you can work to grow a community garden. You can enjoy a meal together or volunteer at a food bank.

While Platform is wonderful, sitting in rows listening to music and a speaker isn’t very interactive. And some of us struggle even with open socializing during coffee hour, so having structure to our socializing is reassuring to those like me who love having friends, and yet find making new friends a bit awkward.

So we have brought you Trivia Night which is an opportunity to have fun with both old and new friends. You can sign up with individual tickets, so don’t feel you must fill an entire table yourself in order to register. We do welcome you registering a full table of 8, but you are not required to.

This is your chance to shine in whatever your favorite subject in school was (unless it was recess, which is my daughter’s favorite. No dodgeball will be played at Trivia Night!). We will also have some other fun games in between the rounds, and we have a few sponsorships available for those.

Today is the last day to sign up before the price increases from $20 to $25/person, so if you are free the evening of May 6, I do hope you will join us. Sign up after Platform during social hour downstairs, we accept cash, check, or PayPal.

Now, did you get the answers right?

  • Jesse Owens won four gold medals in track and field at the 1936 Olympics
  • Lake Superior is the largest of the Great Lakes
  • Theodor Suess Geisel was the real name of Dr. Suess

Thank you for the opportunity to share our event with you, and for helping us reach our goals to increase our financial support of the Ethical Society of St. Louis. Hope to see you there!

NOTE: The ideas and opinions in this post do not necessarily express the thoughts or opinions of the Ethical Society of St. Louis or its leadership.