HuffPost spoke to the Society along with a number of Humanist groups nationwide about what they’re doing to stay connected during the coronavirus pandemic:
For decades, members of the New York Society for Ethical Culture, one of America’s oldest secular congregations, have gathered on Sundays for a lecture they call Platforms. These meetings began in the late 1800s as a radical alternative to the weekly gatherings of traditional faith groups, giving attendees a chance to listen to music and speeches about social justice issues and philosophy ― without any of the God talk.
This week, in light of New York City’s drastic new efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic, the 144-year-old humanist society is trying things it has never done before.
The society is putting together daily virtual classes for members ― guided meditations, poetry sessions, chair yoga. And for the very first time, they live-streamed their Sunday Platform.
Losing a physical community has created a real feeling of loss for members, many of whom are at the age of “retirement or plus,” president Liz Singer told HuffPost. This meant that the society had to quickly learn new ways of gathering.
“We must do this live and we must have interaction,” Singer said about their new initiatives. “Being a humanist does require another human to be connected to.”