Sundays at the Ethical Society are very busy! Visitors are welcome at all our programs. Below are the activities that a typical Sunday includes. Starting at 10:30 a.m., we have greeters and ushers to help you before our main program, the Platform. Feel free to ask anyone for information.
Please see our parking page for directions and information. Our building is fully handicapped-accessible. Please see our Floor Plans page to determine the location of the rooms.
There is childcare in the fully equipped Ethical Society Nursery School, on the upper east corner of the building. Older children and youth are welcome to take part in our Sunday School or Youth Group. See the Sunday School page for more information. Children of any age are also welcome to accompany you in any of our adult activities.
8:00 - 9:30 a.m.
9:45 - 10:45 a.m.
The 9:45 Forum hosts speakers from inside and outside the Ethical Society. A typical forum meeting includes a presentation followed by discussion. Forum meets in the Hanke Room, on the lower floor, directly to the right as you enter the back west door. Newcomers are welcome, and everyone is invited to share their thoughts, but no one is required to do so.
- Colloquy is a small-group meditative experience with a format that includes time for contemplation (accompanied by music) and sharing of personal thoughts around a weekly theme. Colloquy meets in the Board Room, on the upper floor in the northwest corner of the building, through the office area. Average Colloquy attendance is approximately 12 people. Newcomers are welcome, and everyone is invited to share their thoughts, but no one is required to do so.
Please note that Colloquy only occurs on a few dates during the summer. Check our eNewsletter for the dates.
10:00 - 10:45 a.m.
10:00 - noon
- Sunday School — All our Sunday School children (preschool to grade six) are together in the Library on the lower level for this first hour of special presentations and projects, and adults are welcome to observe or take part. During the second hour, they are in classrooms. Please see our Sunday School page for more information on our various children and teen classes and peer groups.
11 a.m. - Noon
- Platform (Main Program) is the name of our main Sunday gathering, on the main floor in the auditorium. There are several doors to the auditorium; the large south doors have greeters that can give you a program and a visitor’s information packet. There are hearing devices available for the hearing-impaired.
Platform usually includes musical selections (of a wide variety), Opening Words by a member, reading of the Core Values by a Sunday School student, a brief "say hello to your neighbor" moment, a minute of silence to calm the mind, a Platform presentation, and "Call to Action" announcements about community events.
The main event of Platform is an address of approximately 30 minutes on an ethical, personal growth, or social justice theme or issue. The Platform Address may be given by the Leader, members of the Society, or visiting speakers. (You can listen to past platforms on our podcasts page.) We also have festival Platforms that include stories, readings, and more music. Additionally, we sometimes have community singing of songs from a wide variety of sources.
- Sunday School continues during the second hour. Please see our Sunday School page for more information on our various children and teen classes and peer groups.
Noon - 12:30 p.m.
Noon - 1:00 p.m.
- Social/Coffee Hour is a great time to meet other members and visitors, which is held downstairs in the Assembly Hall. We want to be respectful of all our visitors and realize that many people are introverts, preferring to be more anonymous. If you wish to meet other people, take a yellow mug, designating you as a visitor. Otherwise, take a white mug, just like members do.
- Post-Platform Discussions occasionally take place as a question and answer session with the speaker and will be announced at the end of Platform as to the location.
- First Sunday Lunch generally occurs on the first Sunday of each month. This is another great opportunity to meet people. Typically, there is a meat and a vegetarian or vegan entree with a side dish or two, dessert, and a beverage. This event is held downstairs in the Assembly Hall.
Various Afternoon Times
- Occasionally, there are concerts, workshops, meetings, small-group gatherings, or other events going on Sunday afternoons. Check the newsletter for the latest events.
Several Sundays Per Year
Several Sundays throughout the year are designated for festivals that celebrate the seasons.