Opening Words from Sun. December 1 by Travis Williams

Good Morning.

I’ve been a member of the Society for 6 years, my son Rush is turning 3 on Thursday, and today I’m celebrating my 1 year wedding anniversary to my amazing wife Trish.

I don’t know what my life would be like without this welcoming home. I came here after losing my wife Kelly and daughter Genevieve in child birth 7 years ago. I had heard of you all from my neighbor Carol across the street and read up on what to expect as a visitor on your website.

I was nervous, but looking forward to grabbing a yellow mug after platform and getting to know people. Unfortunately, after years of use and abuse, all the yellow mugs had disappeared by that morning.

A different me could have left and never looked back. Instead, I grabbed a white mug and muscled into conversations and made connections. I joined Ethicureans and worked to find other ways to meet people and get involved. I became a member and joined committees and teams. I helped organize the 1st lunch to raise money for the Humanist schools in Uganda. That Sunday, as I was taking a break and relaxing at a table, 2 young children spotted the extra food at my table and dragged their mother with them so they could continue their lunch.

Porter and Jessie both claim credit for that chance encounter that resulted in Trish and me getting married on this stage 1 year ago.

Every Sunday, we have a responsibility to live up to our claim as a “Welcoming Home for Humanists.” We all share in that responsibility, but I firmly believe that when it’s everyone’s job to do something, it’s no one’s job.

So, I would like to invite you to take personal responsibility to ensure no one misses out on the chance to know this place.

The Membership Team is organizing 2 new groups to meet that goal.

Coffee Hour Greeters will take the existing program of greeting every face as it enters our building and auditorium and extend it to Becker Hall after platform. We’re looking for volunteers to commit to one Sunday a month to look for new faces and yellow mugs and say hello. Thank them for coming and find out if they have any questions. You don’t have to know the answers, just be willing to put them in touch with someone that does.

The second program doesn’t have a name yet, but you can help with that. On Sunday, December 29th, we will be hosting an informational session on a program to help new members make the connections that lead to long-term happiness in membership. We are aiming to pair every interested new member with a peer from the Society to introduce them to people and groups that will foster the connections we all already enjoy.

If you’re interested in either of these programs, please let me know. You can find my contact information in the directory, flag me down anytime you see me here in the building, or meet with us Sunday, December 29th after platform in the Hanke room. We’ll have snacks!

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.