As we observe the 20th anniversary of 9/11, we continue to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic. Twenty years ago, it was the smoke, ash, and chemicals released by the raging fires in the wake of the destruction of the Twin Towers that threatened the health and safety of survivors. Today it is the invisible virus that continues to threaten us all, while police violence that cuts off their breath always threatens Brown and Black men and women. On September 10, 2001, no one would have imagined the devastation that occurred here, at the Pentagon, and in Pennsylvania; in December 2019, no one would have imagined how a virus would take the entire world hostage.
How do we catch our breath? What lessons can we learn from each of these catastrophic events? As we begin this new chapter of NYSEC, what actions can we take to ensure a more just, equitable world — one where everyone, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, can breathe easy?
Dr. Nori Rost has traveled a circuitous path in search of truth and meaning. She was a minister with Metropolitan Community Church (a queer Christian denomination) for almost 20 years before making a UU turn 12 years ago. Until coming to join us at NYSEC, she served the All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church as their settled minister for 13 years. Nori has been accepted by the American Ethical Union to complete course requirements to be certified as an Ethical Culture Leader.
Nori calls herself an “optimistic humanist” and believes we each have within us something that calls us to our highest selves. Whether that’s the evolutionary impulse that first led us ashore, the universal innate experience of love or something else, she’s still following that call and is always in awe of the miracles and mysteries of life in its most common forms. She is passionate about social justice and has been involved in social rights activism since she was 17. She is an outspoken advocate for justice and equity and has received many awards and recognition for her work.
Nori holds a Master of Divinity from the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado, and a Doctor of Ministry from the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In addition, she holds a Certificate for Spiritual Direction from the Benet Hill Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
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.