Opening Words from Sun. January 30 by Lance Finney

Good morning.

When I wrote this talk, just a week ago, we didn’t know if this Sunday’s Platform would be all-virtual or hybrid. I had to write this speech with flexibility in mind, not having the type of consistency available that we used to be able to take for granted. This was a small unprecedented challenge for me, but I figured out a way to make it work.

That’s a tiny microcosm of how working in the pandemic has been for James and the staff over the last two years.

We, as a community, have faced many Unprecedented Challenges. James and the staff have led us through them, learning new skills, new technologies, and new ways of working to keep our congregation safe and together.

These new capabilities have given us Unprecedented Opportunities. Many congregations, both Humanist and traditional, have suffered greatly during the pandemic, and we are positioned really well to be a support for other Humanist communities through the pandemic, and possibly to blossom as national and world Humanist leaders when we finally emerge from the pandemic.

Capitalizing on these opportunities takes staff creativity, time, and effort, and, well, capital. As the Board of Trustees President-Elect and as the Chair of the Pledge Campaign this year, I’m asking you now to step up with your pledge for the next fiscal year. Members should have received their pledge packets within the last week.

How will your pledge help us grow? We have expanded our staff in the last few months to handle the technical and membership challenges and opportunities we have. We are considering reviving the search for a Second Leader. And the SEEK program needs Sunday morning staffing to educate our children in Ethical Values. This is on top of the ongoing costs of maintaining our beautiful building that will someday welcome us all back in for the renewed and revived programs and community events that we miss (for example, we couldn’t have a Pledge Luncheon this year, but maybe we will be able to next year).

The last two years have been very challenging, and the challenges aren’t over. But we have the opportunity to emerge with strong staff, technology, facilities, and energy for our congregation and beyond. Please send in your pledge form, so that you can be part of our response and our growth.

Thank you

Lance Finney
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.