Opening Words from Sun. January 19 by Stephanie Sigala

As some of you know, I am the Pledge Chair for 2020. Don’t worry. I am not going to nag you about increasing your pledge. I want to talk a little bit about inspiration today.

Every so often I feel burned out. There are days when life is the pits and I am a cranky witch. Hard to believe, isn’t it? When that happens on Sunday, coming to Ethical is my cranky witch antidote. I don’t have kids so every Sunday I get my weekly dose of kid cuteness with the kids who say the Core Values. And the Core Values themselves are something that really inspire me. I know you have them memorized, right? This is a test.

  • Every Person is important and unique.
  • Every person deserves to be treated fairly and kindly.
  • I can learn from everyone.
  • I am part of this earth. I cherish it and all the life upon it.
  • I can learn from the world around me by using my senses, mind, and feelings.
  • I am a member of the world community which depends on the cooperation of all people for peace and justice.
  • I can learn from the past to build for the future.
  • I am free to question.
  • I can choose what I believe.
  • I accept responsibility for my choices and actions.
  • I strive to live my values.

See, here in the Ethical Society we operate from a very positive position. We can do all these great things because they are good ideas and WE CAN, not because we face an eternity of grinning imps with pitchforks! Plus Kate and James are terrific at giving us ideas about how to act better, not just be mad at the state of the world.

There are a lot of inspirational people here. You’re probably one of them. It’s not just our leaders, not the people on the stage, but most of all, the regular members. I bet you don’t know that there is a member here who takes a plastic bag for trash every time she takes a walk. EVERY single time. There are people who visit sick or elderly people very week and nobody ever hears about it. And what about the English language tutors or the voter registrars. We are a bunch of people who are out there doing good just because it makes us happy, not because it gets us through some future pearly gates.

Did you know that the Ethical Society of St Louis also inspires other Ethical Humanists? We are the biggest society, the only one with two leaders, and we are the bedrock of the American Ethical Union. Other societies want to be us. We have the biggest spire! Because of us, the other, smaller Ethical Societies can prosper. Together we can promote Ethical Humanism to a wide audience. I’d like to see a nation saying positive things like the Core Values! Don’t we need something positive right now!

I am looking forward to a new year of inspiration here in 2020. Everyone will miss Kate a lot. A lot! But we will have two new leaders with energy and enthusiasm. The Board is looking at new activities and ways that members can connect with each other. We will make all parts of the building accessible and welcoming. Personally, I’d like to see some more money in staff paychecks next year. Devotion to our ideals is well and good, but we are way behind in making thanks known in a concrete way. We can do lots of important things next year. Our Ethical Society is a great place.

And, by the way, The Pledge mural downstairs may have your picture on it. But even though well be adding pictures each week, we couldn’t fit all the inspiring people on it because it would have to be too darn big.

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.