By Susan Lesh
We have switched into Summer Mode here at Bergen. Our platforms have begun to be a little more informal, as discussions rather than talks. They begin a little earlier, at 10:30 am, but offer the same provocative, intelligent content that you expect when you come to the Ethical Culture Society. This summer many of our members take the lead in our platform offerings.
The discussion that began at our Community Weekend about how music has been a source of persuasion in social-change movements continues on July 7 with members Wes Matsui and Dan Rosenblum. Both Wes and Dan are knowledgeable in this area and it should prove to be an engaging, enlightening conversation.
Our ongoing “Being White and Its Hidden Assumptions” workshop continues with Sunday School graduate Mulenga Hibbert leading the morning. She’s a recent graduate of Montclair State University, and the discussion will center on “Perspectives on Race, Women’s Bodies and Health.”
Member Lisa Schwartz will help us explore our responses to today’s difficult political climate. It will be a timely discussion as we all struggle sometimes to cope with depressing and upsetting world events. She and Ron will also lead a platform where we will share how we individually got to Ethical Culture. It promises to be a heart-warming morning.
Members Terri Karp and Eric Sandhusen will guide us through a virtual Virtual Reality experience of our digital Ethical community—no special glasses needed! Member Paulo Ribeiro will talk about how local activism brings people together and can help heal divisions. Eric will lead our popular Do Tell! story-telling program with the topic of “Summer Vacations.” He’s very effective in encouraging people to “share or listen,” and we always learn something new about the people participating.
We’ll end the summer with our Ethical Education Committee and hear from some of our Sunday School children about their experience here at Bergen Ethical. As they depart for an ice cream social, the parents will continue to speak together about ways we can support our kids as they navigate challenges.
Some big news regarding the second-floor revision is that the estimate from the construction company came in at over $100,000, so the Board of Trustees has decided to postpone the renovation pending further information. The construction company will take a look at the architect’s plans and see if materials can be replaced with less expensive ones. We will also be looking into the language of the free pre-school initiative, which precipitated the idea for the renovation. We will be talking about the long-term viability of the construction and what it may mean for future rentals. Given so many unknowns at this time, we will spend time researching these and other questions, and continue to meet regarding a decision on whether to move forward.
I wish you all a healthy and restorative summer and I’ll see you in September!
Susan Lesh is president of the Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County.