The Blood Drive Team schedules and coordinates two Red Cross Blood Drives at the Society every year. The Red Cross provides posters and signs to help us promote the drive. They also promote our drives and encourage donors to sign up for the drive, so we attract new people to the Society’s building. We coordinate with the staff to set dates for drives and to be sure the temperature in the Becker Room, where the drives are held, is reduced sufficiently.
The Citizenship Empowerment Team is a newly formed team centered around a desire to wield our collective power to become more politically engaged in our community. Our current activities are focused on voter registration, poll access, and ballot education efforts for our membership leading up to the 2022 midterm elections. Any and all members or friends who wish to support these efforts are encouraged to join us every-other Sunday at 3pm via Zoom! We hope to see you there.
Ready for action to combat climate change? Climate Action Now! (CAN!) is an Ethical Society team whose mission is to build and support a community dedicated to addressing this global issue
Monthly meetings will feature a knowledgeable speaker discussing an aspect of climate change and will include 3-4 recommended actions participants can take related to that topic. A variety of actions will be suggested, ranging from individual behavior changes to collective political action. Information about the meetings and the suggested actions are posted on the Society’s website.
Participate in Missouri’s Adopt-a-Highway program, picking up trash on Lindbergh Blvd. from Monsanto Dr. to Old Olive Street Rd. Action occurs twice a year.
Two organizations in the St. Louis area provide support for refugees and immigrants who have come to the United States legally: the St. Louis International Institute and Welcome Neighbors. In previous years, volunteers have worked with these organizations as individuals and as a group. We have mentored families as they learn to make their way in this country, and we have served food to groups. In addition to the sorts of refugees and immigrants that have come here in the past, there are now refugees from Afghanistan and from the Ukraine, in this country on special arrangements. We will advise interested people on ways they can get involved in helping.
The Uganda Humanist Schools Trust (UHST) promotes education and encourages the development of ethical humanist values in Uganda. The Ethical Society's group organizes 1 - 2 fundraisers a year to benefit UHST with the goal of providing boarding scholarships to female secondary school students and providing reusable menstrual products for all menstruating primary and secondary students within the UHST school framework. Additional funds raised meet general needs of the schools and students.
The Ethical Ladies group aims to develop relationships and build community around female or feminine experiences in the context of ethical humanism. We have social events each month that can vary from brunch to coloring nights to hikes. We're always open to new ideas on ways to come together as well! We use an inclusive definition for “ladies” of all ages, and we welcome trans women and those who identify as women. We hope to see you at our events!
Facebook Group: facebook.com/groups/ethicalladiesstl
Monthly bike rides of generally easy difficulty focus on enjoying the trails in the area and each other’s company.
An inclusive group that fosters relationships and builds community through spending time together. Humanist Hangouts has social events each month that vary widely as we cater to a diverse group, but have included happy hours, game/movie nights, volunteer opportunities, local festivals, camping trips and post-Platform lunches. We primarily use Facebook for planning and communication; please see the link below. If you're old enough to vote, you are old enough to hang out!
Find us at: facebook.com/groups/humanisthangoutsesstl
The Men’s Forum is both an educational and social group. It meets in the Hanke Room every Tuesday, September through June, from 10:30 a.m. to noon. The Forum is usually attended by retired men but is open to everyone, members and non-members. The meeting generally consists of a presentation by an outside speaker or participant on various prepared topics, such as personal growth, ethical issues, current affairs, and historical events, followed by discussion and social time. Some participants stay for a “brown bag” lunch, or sometimes the group meets for lunch at a local restaurant.
A member-driven discussion group focused on science fiction (without getting into arguments about what exactly that means) novels and short stories. We read one book per month, chosen by a member of the book club who also volunteers to facilitate that month's discussion. This is a drop-in/drop-out club, with no attendance or hosting requirements. You are welcome to come once a year, or every month, as your schedule allows. We organize throughout the month by email and on our Facebook page: facebook.com/groups/433042893742818/
We meet the 4th Monday of most months, from 7 to 8 p.m. via Zoom.
This is a combination potluck dinner and play reading. Each month a different member of the group volunteers to be “Director.” During the month, the Director chooses a play (we have many scripts available in the Billie Teneau Play Collection, or the Director may use outside sources), casts it from among the members, and has one rehearsal, which is a read-through. The performance is on the third Sunday of most months. Everyone who isn’t in the play is the audience. On the night of the performance, we gather in the Becker Room at 5:30 p.m. for appetizers. Act I begins a little before 6 p.m. After Act I, we eat dinner. Then we watch Act II; then have dessert. Everyone, whether they’re in the play or not, should bring one of the following: appetizer, main dish or salad, dessert. Also BYOB. Meetings are publicized as Events in the Humanist Hangouts Facebook page; members are also notified by email.
Our purpose is to work for the general good of the Ethical Society, to provide programs of interest to members, to support selected social causes, and to have fun and foster friendship. We are proud of our many contributions to the Ethical Society, our recent growth in membership, and our increasing cultural diversity.
TWA meets on Tuesdays from August through June in the Becker Room. Gatherings begin at 10 a.m. with coffee and socializing. Programs begin at 10:30 followed by a brown bag lunch.
The Good Eatin’ Veggie Potluck group meets on the First Friday of each month at member homes or at the Ethical Society to share vegetarian and vegan foods. It is a great place to try new healthy recipes. The host and location will be posted in the weekly email blast or contact Jo-Ellen to be placed on the email list.
Have you ever wanted to travel somewhere exciting, but perhaps it is too far, too expensive, or the timing isn’t right? Maybe you’re ready to travel, and learning about someone else’s experience can help you decide where to go. Maybe you’re an armchair traveler. Regardless of what you are seeking, the Virtual Travel Club might be for you. Five meetings are scheduled during the year, with one presentation per meeting. You’ll see videos and slides of the traveler’s experience and get a chance to ask questions.
Meetings are on Friday evening at 7 p.m. Prior to the pandemic, we met in person at the Society; since the start of the pandemic, we have been meeting via Zoom. Join the email list to receive updates and reminders about the season’s programs.
The Divorce Support Group is a secular meeting, open to all people, to discuss any matters pertaining to separation and divorce (i.e., family, emotional, financial, and legal). Members are free to share their personal experiences in this safe, confidential, non-judgmental, and friendly setting. This is a small group with a conversation facilitator, and an occasional guest speaker, designed to provide emotional support, and a social network. Our focus will be respectful deep dive conversations about the challenges of marriage, the divorce process, and life post-divorce.
Meetings on the second Tuesday of each month in the Leaders Office from 6 to 8 p.m.
The purpose of the Finding Connections Book Club, facilitated by Alan Easton, is to read and discuss a variety of books to find connections. The Finding Connections Book Club will explore ethics through faith, philosophy and personal growth. Meetings will be held weekly on Saturday mornings at 10 AM. The participants select the group’s reading material. The group has read Living Buddha, Living Christ by Thich Nhat Hanh, When Bad Things Happen to Good People by Harold Kushner, The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown and How to Talk to a Science Denier by philosopher Lee McIntyre. About 5 people—Society members and non-members—typically attend our discussions.
The purpose of the Great Books Discussion Group, facilitated by Alan Easton, is to read and discuss original texts that raise topics significant to Western Civilization. For its reading material, the group selects anthologies published by the Great Books Foundation. The Foundation describes its mission as: "Through Shared Inquiry discussions of enduring literature, we advance social and civic engagement and help people of all ages think critically about their own lives and the world we share." This year we will read from the anthology CounterParts which includes selections from Hans Christian Andersen, Betty Friedan, Michel Foucault and David Sedaris. We meet for discussions from 7:30 PM to 9 PM the second Thursday of each month from September to May. About 5 people—Society members and non-members—typically attend our discussions.
Mindfulness meditation has been proven to promote physical and mental wellbeing, as well as help us to live more fully and intentionally. Our meetings include silent meditation practice and discussion of weekly topics related to mindful and ethical living. All are welcome to join us, on either a regular or drop-in basis: Tuesdays at 9 AM, in the Ethical Society's Youth Group Room.
Are you a person in religious transition? Find peer support in our weekly meeting at the Ethical Society, 7 p.m. on Mondays in the Hanke Room. Whether you’re transitioning out of religion or have been out of religion for years, it can help to discuss some of the insights and challenges of this experience. You can also join our Facebook group.
Tai Chi is a gentle, low-impact series of movements that bring body, mind and breath together. It was developed centuries ago in China and looks like swimming slowly in the air. Research has begun to substantiate its many health benefits. People of all ages and physical conditions can do this exercise. It can be done as meditation, relaxation, self-discovery, exercise, health improvement, and body awareness. Don Beere currently teaches the class on Zoom, Fridays at 10 a.m., ID 384 422 5785. He has been learning, doing and teaching tai chi for over 50 years. Everyone, including non-members, is welcome.
The Accessibility Team meets regularly with the facility coordinator to discuss and propose ways the Ethical Society can be more inclusive and accessible to people of all abilities and participation needs. We serve both internal and external individuals and groups. Large print programs, accessible modifications of restrooms, auditorium seating options for people with limited mobility and other needs, stage railings, and an additional family/accessible/gender neutral bathroom on the upper level are some of the tasks the team has implemented. The team is now in a strategic planning phase while we wait for the hiring of a new facility staff person. We invite new people to join our team.
The Art Exhibits Team finds artists who want to exhibit their work at the Society and arranges for them to exhibit. We find artists at art fairs and art galleries and from referrals. Some artists contact us. We look for minority artists and artists whose work addresses social issues. Art must be two dimensional. Exhibits are six to eight weeks long. We host an artist’s reception for each artist, where we provide refreshments. We encourage Ethical Society members to suggest artists for our exhibits, to attend artist receptions, to help hang art, and to consider purchasing art. The art exhibits decorate our hallways and bring new people to the Society.
Selling books, CDs, DVDs and potato mashers every Sunday in the Becker Room during coffee hour. There are also additional books, CDs, and DVDs in the hall near the name tags. These items have been donated by Society members and friends. We are always collecting good salable items. Please ask before donating. All items are $1.00 each. There is a drop box on the end of the cart to pay for the books or you can pay Kent or Jo-Ellen. All profits go to benefit the programs of the Ethical Society
Focus on the long-term mission and well-being of the Congregation, not on administrative detail. Responsible for the overall direction of the Society. They represent and lead the Congregation in determining and monitoring appropriate organizational performance. Trustees serve three–year terms.
Support members who are ill or experiencing tough times. Visit, call, send cards, and provide assistance.
This Committee explores ethical ways to collect and analyze demographic data within our community, and determine how to use this data to advise the Board in our policies, activities, and initiatives as a Society. We are currently looking for members who are willing and able to commit to a three-year term helping us achieve a more diverse, equitable and inclusive society. Members only.
The Emergency Preparedness Team has written an Emergency Plan for the Society and updates the plan as needed. The plan is in a notebook in the office. We encourage the Society to have periodic fire and tornado drills, and we develop a schedule for these drills. We attend Cert Training classes and various seminars to understand current information about emergency planning. We coordinate with the Ladue Police Department to help in planning for various disasters. We encourage the Society to have a working AED device and fresh first aid supplies. The prevalence of cell phones and other devices makes it easier for us to anticipate the arrival of a bad storm and other potential disasters, but we still need to be vigilant and prepared. We provide Red Cross brochures about the flu, home disaster preparation, fires, and more to members. Members only.
Selects an individual or group in the St. Louis community that has provided courageous and dedicated service to maintaining the rights and dignity of their fellow human beings in some aspect of life - religious, social, political, economic, medical, educational, ecological, recreational, or artistic. This has been awarded annually since 1975.
Responsible for all aspects of managing and protecting the financial resources of the Society. This committee is chaired by the Ethical Society Treasurer.
The Fun(d)raising Team has a dual purpose: to sponsor activities that encourage a sense of community and enjoyment among Society members and to simultaneously generate additional revenue to support the Ethical Society. In 2018-19, the team sponsored three activities: a Fourth of July party; a game night; and a trivia night. Together they raised nearly $5,000. The team has not met since the start of the pandemic, but we hope to resume in the not-too-distant future. Members only.
The Legacy Committee is responsible for coordinating and promoting charitable giving to the Ethical Society. Such giving can be either through donations in a will or trust, by special gifts to the Ethical Society, or by investment in a Charitable Gift Annuity. The Ethical Society has greatly benefitted from the generosity of members who give more than their annual pledge, and the committee is here to facilitate this giving in whatever way best fits the needs and financial ability of the donor. The Charitable Gift Annuity program currently has 19 donors/annuitants who receive quarterly interest payments at very favorable rates with tax savings. The committee meets quarterly and reports to the Finance Committee. Members only
The purpose of the Membership Team is to befriend visitors to the Ethical Society and encourage them to become involved members. We seek to retain members and foster recognition that each person is an important and unique part of our community. We meet monthly to discuss ways to make visitors feel more welcome and to encourage new members to form lasting friendships and connections within the Society. We also choose and plan events and festivals for the Ethical Society to host booths at and get involved within the surrounding communities. Members only.
Formulate staff policy, advise the Senior Leader, and serve as a resource for employees in the event of a conflict. Reports directly to the Board of Trustees.
The Platform Speakers Team arranges for Sunday platforms that are stimulating and well presented with particular emphasis on ethical issues. The specific goals are (1) To invite speakers from outside and within the Society to speak at platforms on those Sundays when the Leader is not speaking; (2) To provide members to serve as platform chairs and members to give Opening Words; and (3) To establish platform procedures. We invite feedback from Society members regarding ideas for platform subjects, suggested platform speakers, and the format of our platforms. Members only.
Introducing the Ethical Society of St. Louis Sponsorship Program: A Journey of Connection and Growth!
At the Ethical Society of St. Louis (ESSL), we are a community united by shared values and a deep commitment to making the world a better place. As we continue on our mission to share the ideals of secular humanism and create a welcoming environment, we're thrilled to introduce our exciting new initiative: The ESSL Sponsorship Program.
What is the Sponsorship Program?
Our Sponsorship Program is a unique opportunity for seasoned ESSL members, like you, to connect with and mentor our new members, guiding them through their initial journey within our community. This program is built on the principles of authenticity, enthusiasm, and shared values that make ESSL unique.
Why is this Program Important?
As ESSL thrives, so do our members. By taking on the role of a sponsor, you become an integral part of our mission to foster a supportive community. You'll help new members feel truly welcome, supported, and inspired to dive into the world of secular humanism, participate in our activities, and contribute to the positive impact we make on the world.
Your Opportunity to Shine!
The Sponsorship Program is your chance to share your authentic ESSL journey and enthusiasm with new members. Your experiences, insights, and personal connection will play a pivotal role in making ESSL an even more welcoming place.
Join us in this exciting adventure of connection, mentorship, and community building. Let's inspire, guide, and support our new members as they embark on their journey within ESSL. Together, we will continue to spread the values and love that define the Ethical Society of St. Louis.
Coming of Age is a two-year program that marks the passage of young people from childhood into adulthood. It culminates in a speech before the community, in which each participant explores their values and identity as they move into young adulthood. Participants spend time discussing their new levels of responsibility and how they will negotiate their relationships. We examine a wide variety of the world's religious traditions, including the one that brings us together: Ethical Humanism. They visit other religious congregations and contemplate how different belief systems help people grapple with the same issues and questions that all humans encounter.
Coming of Age meets on Sundays from 10 a.m. until noon, September through May. It is preferred, but not required, that advisors become members.
Our chapter, Chapter 33 of Navigators USA, is a neo-scout group that welcomes all people: kids and adults, no matter what gender, race, lifestyle, ability, religious or lack of religious belief. We believe the greatest challenge for the future of our planet is whether we will learn how to get along with people different from ourselves. The national mission is to help kids and their parents spend more time outdoors, getting to know what nature has to offer while getting to know each other.
Ethical Navigators Council: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Ethical Society Nursery School was founded by Ethical Society members more than 50 years ago to provide a supportive, educational environment in which each child is accepted as unique. Our school strives to enhance self-esteem, promote positive social skills, and encourage the natural curiosity and creativity of the preschool child. Attention to self-help skills contributes to a child's feelings of capability and independence. In this environment, children enjoy problem solving and feel free to take risks in their exploration of the world. Age-appropriate activities are geared toward all facets of growth: physical, cognitive, emotional as well as social. Please contact us with enrollment questions.
SEEK – our Sunday Ethical Education for Kids -- offers children in grades K through 6 a supportive and richly diverse community where they can learn about the values that are foundational to Ethical Humanism as well as engage in activities that put these values into action. SEEKers gather in teams (grades K-2, 3-4, 5-6) whose lessons are designed around our Core Values, social and emotional learning, and monthly Society themes. This allows for continuity of learning within families as children discover meaning in the material at levels that suit their development. There are also periodic workshops and activities led by a variety of Society groups and members.
We meet on Sundays from 10 a.m. until noon, September through May. It is preferred, but not required, that advisors become members.
Youth Group offers teens a safe, respectful, and confidential environment where they can freely discuss and explore topics that are relevant and important to them. Youth Group members work together to organize service activities, fundraisers, and creative events that have become Society traditions. A highlight of each year is the annual weekend—“Youth of Ethical Societies” (YES) Conference—with other Ethical Humanist teens from around the country.
We meet on Sundays from 10 a.m. until noon, September through May. It is preferred, but not required, that advisors become members.
The purpose of Visitors’ Connect is to welcome interested visitors and answer their questions about the Ethical Society, during weekly half-hour meetings before Sunday Platform. We inform people of the philosophy of the Ethical Society and also the many activities one can participate in, thereby creating a friendly Welcoming Home for Humanists, with the hopes of increasing membership. Members only.
Each Sunday, Welcome team members provide friendly faces to Platform attendees. They welcome new and returning visitors, give directions, help with assisted listening devices, and manage the weekly collection. Each Welcome team has a regular one-Sunday-a-month assignment under the guidance of team leader(s). Arrival is one half hour before Platform and ends when tablecloths and listening devices are put away after Platform. Being a Welcome team member is a great way to meet new people and to help them feel at home in our community. Members only.
Being human, together.
Ethical Society of St. Louis is a welcoming home to Humanists, and community is very important to us. We want you to feel a part of our community and that, for many people, means more than just coming to our Sunday Programs.