By Theresa Forsman
At the spring Membership Meeting on May 29, the prospect of name changes for the Society and its Sunday Platform received wide support, Leader Curt Collier outlined plans for new programming, and the members in attendance unanimously elected officers and committee chairs for the coming year.
Curt thanked all members for their continuing contributions to the Society. He also briefly mentioned ways in which he envisions the Society expanding its community outreach and partnerships across the generations. His ideas for programming, designed to attract new audiences and to expand our offerings for people who may be looking for a home for their values, include:
- A summer employment program, Youth Resiliency Corps, for youth to work with Curt on climate resiliency and community organizing.
- Reinvigorating our Society’s strong commitment and connection to the LGBTQ community.
- Creating programs involving science, theater, and art.
- Creating a venture called On Brand, to focus on the art of communicating through social media.
- Starting a group called Analyticus–math for revolutionaries.
Curt said he is looking forward to the return of the Skills Auction and to continuing Seeds Before Creeds environmental-action work, as well as continuing our longstanding adult education offerings, Conversemos, Mindfulness at Midday, Socrates Café, Job Club, and Ethical Eating.
Officers and committee chairs
The membership in attendance unanimously elected the following officers and committee chairs:
Jim Norman, president; Eric Sandhusen, vice president; Tracey Kelley, secretary; Lucy Lettis, treasurer
Esther Sandrof, Finance; Ron Schwartz/Ed Gross, Membership; Ed Lipiner, Building; Anne Wallman, Social Action; Mary Lavelle, Ethical Education; Elaine Fondiller, Program; Silvia Acosta, Adult Education; Afina Broekman, Social Affairs; Joanna Ebert, Family Programming; Theresa Forsman (with Terri Karp), Communications; Susan Lesh, Festivals
The membership also unanimously elected members to some Special Committees:
Nominating Committee: Lisa Schwartz, Eric Sandhusen, Diana Gross
Leadership Advisory Committee: Wes Matsui, Ron Schwartz
In a departure from the past, the installation ceremony for officers and committee chairs will take place at the June 5 platform rather than as part of an evening event.
Following a proposal by Ron Schwartz that the Society consider changing the name of the Society and the Sunday platform, the membership had a wide-ranging discussion on possible name changes and on possible procedures for deciding on the changes. Society President Jim Norman noted that hearing members’ opinions on the potential name changes and procedures for deciding on the new names was valuable information for the Board of Trustees.
Railings for stairs
In response to a question from Pam Berglund, Building Chair Ed Lipiner reported that plans for railings for the two sets of stairs (up to the lawn and up to the portico) on the Larch Avenue side of our meetinghouse are underway. He said that shortly after a contract, currently in process, with the installer is final, the work is expected to begin.
Theresa Forsman is a longtime member of the Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County.