When Ethical Culture was founded in 1876, as a religious movement dedicated exclusively to the ethical ideals, devoid of the accouterments of the the historical religions, it was radical, distinctive and unique. And that uniqueness made it attractive to many who felt they could no longer embrace the traditional faiths. Ethical Culture also attracted luminaries from the upper classes which enabled it to generate a raft of progressive institutions.
But times have changed and so have the resources of the Ethical Movement. Today our uniqueness has faded and it is more difficult to make our mark in a universe of social change and non[profit organizations. We have also witnessed the emergence of humanist organizations espousing philosophies not so different from our own.
So, the question arises: In what ways does Ethical Culture remain relevant as we confront a reality with many competing organizations plowing the same fields? Joe responded to this challenge in his December 8, 2019 Platform address.
Sunday Platform is our most important and long-standing community event. These gatherings educate, stimulate personal growth, inspire reflection and action, and strengthen our community. Sunday meetings usually begin with music, followed by greetings and a talk given by a Society Leader, member, or guest. Platforms cover a variety of topics that reflect current events, pressing social issues, and Ethical Culture philosophy. A collection basket is passed and money is shared between the Society and a charity selected for that day. While contributions are always appreciated, Sunday meetings are free and open to the public. Each Sunday meeting is followed by a luncheon and social hour.
To view previous Sunday Platform addresses and interviews, visit the Ethical NYC YouTube channel.