By Jim Norman
In my column last month, I asked you all to help me meet the challenges I face as president of our community during trying times. Now, I’d like to refine that a little. I’m asking you all to help yourselves, by stepping up and volunteering for one or more of the many tasks that need to be done to keep our Society strong and relevant to our lives.
One of the challenges we’ve faced over the last year and a half has been how to stay together as a cohesive community during a global pandemic that has forced us to stay apart, depriving us of the weekly opportunity to encounter each other face-to-face in our meetinghouse.
Keeping us connected
Thanks to the amazing work of some of our members, we’ve managed to stay in contact and even get together despite the corrosive effects of Covid. I want to recognize Diane Koszarski for her great work in organizing socially distant backyard get-togethers and wilderness walks, which have helped many of us to stay connected to one another.
David Bland, Eric Sandhusen, Perry Stein, Rob Eigenbrod, and Peter Kasturas have worked tirelessly to master the Zoom platform that has kept us in touch for committee meetings and platforms. And the Web expertise of Terri Karp and the long-distance Focus editing by Theresa Forsman have been vital to the success of our communications. Mary Matsui and the Reopening Task Force have kept track of the sometimes confusing and quixotic requirements needed to respond to Covid.
Let’s stay relevant in the community
Now that all this hard work has led to our being able to get together in our renovated meetinghouse, other positions need to be filled. We need ushers and greeters to help welcome people attending our Sunday morning platforms in person. And there’s a new need each Sunday: vaccination monitor. Anyone entering our building will need to have been vaccinated, and someone must be available each Sunday to check for proof of vaccination. We can all help make this process go more smoothly, by emailing a scan of our vaccination cards to David Bland (firstname.lastname@example.org), so he can build a list of people who don’t need to be asked for proof of vaccination.
For continued contact with the community at large, and to assure that we continue to play a relevant part in it, we also need Society representation in organizations like the Martin Luther King Memorial Committee and the Teaneck Senior Citizen Housing organization.
Be willing to say yes
So, if you get a call from one of our Society committee members asking you to get involved, please remember how important volunteerism is to the continued viability of our Society, and be willing to say yes and help us all stay strong and stay together.
While I am on the subject of people who have given so much to our Society, please join me in remembering our dear friend, colleague, mentor, and unfailingly steady guide and true compass, Linda Bennett, whose all-too-short retirement ended with her passing last month. If we are able to keep the question “What would Linda do?” in our minds, she will continue to be a great help as we move forward.
Jim Norman is president of the Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County.