Just because we need to stay home and can’t go to the meetinghouse these days doesn’t mean we’re not getting together. Our platforms and most of our programs and classes are continuing online with robust participation. In addition to moving longstanding programs online, our inventive Society has created new opportunities for getting together, virtually, in order to compare notes, have fun, stay informed, and stay connected.
We’d love to have you join us. If you’ve never used Zoom, the online platform for our meetings and events now, someone from our Tech Team would be glad to help you. Just contact Membership Co-Chair Lisa Schwartz (email@example.com), who will arrange assistance for you. You can also check out simple instructions in our Web site’s article, “How to Make Friends With Zoom,” at https://ethicalfocus.org/using-zoom/
Here’s what some organizers and participants have to say about our Society’s online offerings:
Game Night: “Members and friends of the Society have been gathering on Zoom each Sunday and Thursday to play games together. Players enjoy a variety of trivia games, word games, geography games both through their Web browsers and with pad and paper. Whether they’re novice or experienced gamers, there’s something for everybody.” Paulo Ribeiro
Mindfulness at Midday: Meditation, Movement, and Discussion Group: “Thank you very much for a very unique and accepting environment to acknowledge the stresses, fears, and angers that we share, and to embrace the strength and confidence that we are trying to sustain.”
“In the midst of the discouraging newsfeeds and the weird stress of sheltering in place, I have found Mindfulness at Midday a very strengthening exercise. Meditation, light chair yoga, and discussion from an intimate circle of participants works quite well as a Zoom gathering. Dwight’s guidance leaves me feeling centered and ready to persist!” Two participants
Platform: “I think Sunday’s platform (April 12) demonstrated one of the key positive features of online meetings, namely, that there is a lively exchange by participants in the controversial aspects of the topic. It also allows us to pivot from prepared remarks to aspects of the main topic that the participants find particularly engaging.” Richard Bernstein
Socrates Café: “I love Socrates Café because we choose our topic at the meeting, so I really can’t ‘study up’ ahead of time. I can only bring the notions and biases I already have. Then I find people there who are evidently reasonable, but they often think quite differently from me. And surprisingly, they defend their position with intelligence and vigor! Challenges to my set ideas are infuriating, but also energizing. I’m forced to think through my position on the spot. On some occasions, I’ve even changed my mind!” Terri Karp
And so much more: “Whether you call it adult education, Ethical enrichment, or lifelong learning, our Society has lots of opportunities to fill your otherwise self-isolated moments with connection, conversation, and community! The classes and get-togethers represent a wide range of interests, in both their creation and attendance. We are fortunate to have friends and members willing to offer these programs, a rich variety of opportunities to try out new things and get to know each other better. Best of all, most require only your curiosity and presence.
We gather via Zoom for fun and learning at Game Night, Socrates Café, Conversemos, Ethical Eating for Healthy and Humane People and Planet, Mindfulness at Midday, Inspirational Images, and more. For a list of all classes and programs, please see the Focus newsletter, our events calendar, and our social media. When you attend any of these programs, you support the very life of our Ethical Society, and create a welcoming group for newcomers to join. This kind of “distance socializing” is how we will sustain a vibrant, growing community in times of social distancing. If you haven’t joined in yet, please accept this as your invitation. You’ll find that it’s the most comfortable way to get outside your comfort zone!
As varied as our current programs are, we would like to further expand our offerings and outreach. Members have suggested a film-appreciation group and personal journaling workshops, which are currently in the works. Do you have a special skill, talent, knack, or interest that others might want to learn about? Consider putting together a description of the program, and the Ethical Enrichment Committee will be glad to help you develop, schedule, and promote it!” Eric Sandhusen