Recordings of Sunday Platform addresses
Theme for the month: Love
From the intensity of romantic love, to the incredible depth of love for our children, to the straightforward friendly love of our chosen comrades, to the love we hold for all the human family, love is a central, governing theme in most of our emotional lives. It’s a common topic around Valentine’s Day, but using our love well and with intention is something for us to be mindful of year-round. What does it mean to love? What does who and how we love say about us? Why is love often so painful despite it being such a beautiful and necessary part of life? Is there a “right” way to love? Come learn how to put the concept of Love as Action into action!
Amy Miller is a clinical social worker in private practice in Webster Groves, where she specializes in communication, relationships, and personality types. Talking about How to Make Relationships Better is her favorite thing. She’s married to her best friend and is the proud and lucky mama of a sweet, funny 16-month-old girl.
The Ethical Society of St. Louis is a rarity. We are the only Ethical Society in the city of St. Louis, one of very few in this part of the US, and one of less than thirty Ethical Societies in the world. What difference can we make, small as we are? How can our community, seemingly so tiny in comparison with the many problems we face, have an impact for the good? Through love —love of each other, and love of the world.
Theme for the month: Hate and Fear
It’s pledge time! Time to kick off the Ethical Society’s annual pledge campaign. This year’s campaign theme is “Evolving, Together.” The theme is inspired by the opening of our new permanent Evolution Exhibit—which tells the story of the evolution of life, humanity, and cultures—as well as the ongoing “evolution” of the Ethical Society, as we grow as individual members and as a community. Learn more about this past year’s accomplishments and plans for the future, and celebrate our wonderful staff who support all our wonderful members. How can our financial support for our growing community evolve as well? Plus, hear the announcement of the fundraising total for the Uganda Humanist Schools project!
Rep. Bruce Franks, Jr. represents District 78 of St. Louis City in the Missouri House of Representatives. He was elected to his first two-year term in November 2016.
In addition to his legislative duties, Rep. Franks, Jr. is a small-business owner, operating Kwik Tax Services for six years in St. Louis City. In 2015 he was appointed Police Community Liaison by the St. Louis City Police chief. He also has served as a regional organizer for Generation Progress and is the founder of 28 to Life, a youth violence-prevention organization. Rep. Franks, Jr. graduated from Lindbergh High School in 2002 and has strived to serve his community in his adult life. He was born in St. Louis and lives there with his wife. They have seven children.
Theme for the month: Hate and Fear
Fear is a primal and powerful emotion, one that evolved to help humans (and other species) avoid dangerous circumstances. The automatic bodily responses that fear triggers are meant to help us handle the unknown and the possibly hostile. Yet many of our fears are actually unfounded, and fear responses often get in the way of our higher values and goals. How can we free our minds of irrational fears?
We live in a time when hatred seems to be festering all around. More forcefully than they have in decades, groups such as the Ku Klux Klan are asserting themselves in politics, while the “alt-right” foments racial and religious hatred with a passion. Rallies in major American cities and towns have seen genuine Neo-Nazis march openly in the streets. Reports of hate crime and bullying are up, and our political culture seems like a swamp of fear and hate. How should we respond? What are the most effective ways to counter hate? What really works to reduce hatefulness and to create a more loving culture?
The story of the history and evolution of our universe, our planet, and the life upon it is the scientific version of the origin myths that traditional religions offer. Dr. Claude Bernard, Professor of Physics Emeritus at Washington University and member of the Ethical Society, will present this history compressed into a one-year calendar – a format pioneered by Carl Sagan that allows us to better appreciate our small but important part in the vastness of time.
The slides from the presentation (pdf, 18 MB) are also available.
Theme for the month: Wonder
Wonder is often associated with religious experiences, with astral revelations and spiritual visions. But wonder isn’t exclusive to traditional religious ways of looking at the world – we can experience wonder regardless of our religious beliefs, drawing inspiration from the natural world and from our relationships with each other. In this Platform we’ll explore what wonder is, why it’s important, and how we can all live lives more wonderful.
Come hear and see what’s going on with the Uganda Humanist Schools and how the Ethical Society is helping Ugandan humanists transform young lives and lift up an entire community. If you would like to make a donation supporting the Uganda Humanist Schools please contact Kate Lovelady.
Power can be unleashed by the simple act of talking about your joys and passions and focusing on what you can influence. Learning that we have more control of our destiny through our intention awakens us to both our collective and individual power—our power to cultivate joy in the everyday moments of our lives and in our communities.
Jill Stratton, PhD is Associate Dean of Undergraduate Residential Learning at Washington University. With over 20 years in higher education, she has invested a great deal of time and energy in researching career joy, strengths-based leadership, and the concept of creative flow. Jill teaches the Psychology of Young Adulthood, Leaders in Context, and Bad Leadership at Wash U and is firmly convinced that the more time spent exploring flow and career joy, the more effective people will be in their lives and future careers.
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