Opening Words from Sun. May 10 by Amanda Verbeck

Good morning, everyone. I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting lately. Maybe it’s the pandemic, maybe it’s having to postpone my wedding that was supposed to be held today, maybe it’s my general anxiety, or maybe it’s just a natural part of transitions like wrapping up my time as Board President here at the Society. Honestly, it’s probably all of these things and much more. So, what have I discovered in my most recent ruminations? There are a few things that stand out.

The first is that we are all very lucky. Even when things seem at their worst, I know how fortunate I am. I am grateful every day for the people and support systems in my life, including the Ethical Society.

I’ve also come to appreciate (even more) the importance of simplicity and flexibility. In my time on the Board, I’ve realized how easy it is to get bogged down in the data, reports, and minutia. It’s honestly overwhelming at times. I find myself appreciating the phrase “keep it simple” more each day. We don’t need to make things more complicated than they already are.

And finally, people are what matter most. This might seem like an obvious statement for a humanist to make, but it is worth saying over and over again. “Every person is important and unique.” In the end, we are here to build and be part of a community.

In the past year, I have had the opportunity to work closely with many of you—our amazing members, volunteers, and staff. We have accomplished so much! And the culmination of this year’s work is coming up this week with our Annual Membership Meeting. The meeting will be held online via Zoom this Thursday (May 14) from 7p-9p. We’ll review the past year, plan for the upcoming year, and vote on our Board nominees, budget, and bylaw changes. We are required to have at least 10% of our membership present, so please plan on joining us for this important gathering. And since we are hosting the meeting virtually, please try to log on early at 6:45p to help us keep things moving logistically.

In preparation for the meeting, I encourage you to check out the annual report ahead of time. In the spirit of simplicity, I’ve changed the format of the report to make it much shorter and more accessible. Voting will take place electronically this year. The same online ballot may be used to vote at the meeting or as an absentee ballot. If you prefer to mail in your ballot, a pdf version is also available for download. You can download, review, and access the annual report and ballot on our website’s Members’ Information page. I look forward to seeing you all again on Thursday!

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.