At the Membership Meeting on Nov. 20, members debated the Board of Trustees’ recent decision to recommend that the Society change the name of its Sunday morning talk from Platform to Gathering. Members were polled, mostly via email and a few by postal mail, in the days following the meeting. In all, 79 votes were cast. The results: Gathering 38; Platform 14; None of the Above 27.
At the meeting, members voted unanimously to adopt the 2023 budget, which projects $243,314 in revenue and $242,407 in expenses. Esther Sandrof, co-chair of the Finance Committee, noted that the Society will benefit from the resumption of fundraisers, including the Skills Auction, as well as grant income. On the expense side, she cited bigger occupancy expenses due to inflation. Pledges, she noted, are 45 percent of the Society’s budget. Members will receive pledge packets by early December.
Members voted unanimously to revise the preamble to our Constitution to clarify the Constitution’s effective date.
Board President Jim Norman and Leader Curt Collier both spoke optimistically about the Society. “We are trying to make our Society a focal point in our community” Curt said, referring to this year’s Banned Book Festival and Rise Up! for Ethics Sunday, as well as plans for a speaker series in February on the topic of Church-State Separation, which will feature nationally known speakers. Curt praised members’ commitment to the Society, and said “My personal vision is to make the Society the center of Ethical Culture’s revitalization.”