By Jim Norman
In this first Focus column of my term as president of the Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County, I would like to take note of the challenges we face, both as the Society and in the larger society beyond, as well.
Our Ethical Culture Society, like society at large, needs to adjust to the continuing and continually changing Covid pandemic, if we are to continue functioning as a community.
For well over a full year, we have not been able to gather at our meetinghouse, but thanks to the great efforts and talents of a core group of dedicated members, we have managed to stay in touch electronically, through Zoom.
At the same time, we’ve been able to gather in small groups in each other’s backyards, and for walks in woodlands and through neighborhoods.
Now, just as it began to look as though we had beaten Covid through vaccination, mask-wearing, and social distancing, along comes a new variant that threatens to bring the reimposition of restrictions we had hoped would be a thing of the past.
Taking a hybrid approach
Still, we are working to develop a hybrid approach, combining a safe way of meeting in person at the meetinghouse with Zoom for members of our community who do not yet feel comfortable with face-to-face meetings.
If we are able to come together in the meetinghouse, we’ll find many improvements, thanks to the hard work of our Building Committee and our administrative director, David Bland. The first floor has been refreshed with newly painted walls throughout and with new flooring
The last year has brought significant organizational changes, as well, with the promise of more to come. Joe Chuman, our leader of nearly five decades, has retired. Joe is being temporarily replaced by Curt Collier, who will serve until we can find a suitable permanent leader.
Working toward a shared goal
In the meantime, I ask for your help in keeping us all together, working toward the shared goal of making our world a better place for all of us. None of us can do it alone, and certainly the title of president confers no special ability on me to do it.
So, as the year unfolds, please do all you can to help me and the very special people among us who do all the hard work to keep us moving forward together.
Jim Norman is president of the Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County.