We look forward to getting to know you and personally welcoming you to our society. We are an intentionally inclusive community that welcomes people of all races, religious backgrounds, cultural origins, and sexual orientations. The women, men, youth, and children of BSEC make this place alive and vibrant. Your involvement is invited, and we would love to have the opportunity to welcome you to membership.
You’ve been attending Sunday platform services and experienced the warmth of the BSEC community. You find that you’re in fundamental agreement with the tenets and mission of Ethical Culture, and you’re ready to explore what BSEC membership could mean for you.
Welcome! We place a high value on exploring membership in our
community, even though the process of joining is not complicated. Any person, 15 years of age and older is eligible for membership as long as she or he is prepared to join other members in assuming responsibility for the mission and financial health of the community.
Why join an Ethical Society?
The benefits are many. It is inspiring to experience a culture that challenges us personally and verifies our innermost values. Ethical Societies are laboratories where we learn how to face the discord in life and create harmony. You can meet and socialize with a diverse group of like-minded people, clarify your personal philosophy of life, support others and accept the support of others during all the stages of life, and celebrate what it means to be alive. Ultimately, Ethical Societies become a portable state of mind and culture as well as our personal community.
Who may join?
Membership is open to anyone who is at least 15 years of age and willing to become an active, contributing member of our community. The nature and extent of participation depends upon individual needs and interests. All members make an annual financial pledge to support the Society’s programming and outreach, but no one is excluded from membership because of an inability to pledge.
Are there other benefits?
Members are encourages though not required to participate in all activities of the Society. Members have the right to: vote in all elections and referendums put before the membership, attend Board of Trustee meetings, propose amendments to the by-laws and constitution, serve on Society committees, participate in American Ethical Union (AEU) activities, received the monthly newsletter and the quarterly publication of the AEU.
What does it cost to join?
The Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture is our community—members create it and support it. We are a self-sustaining organization, supported by time, energy, creativity and financial pledges and contributions of our members, friends and by income-generating activities held in our building. Members are required to make an annual financial pledge to contribute to the maintenance of the organization, its programs and its building.
Members making less money or struggling with unusual financial circumstances can elect to give an amount that makes sense to them. And members can increase pledges as their circumstances change or as the Society becomes more meaningful to them.
Member pledges sustain the people, facilities, and programs of the Society. You stipulate the amount that you pledge. You can elect to contribute that amount in one lump sum or to pay it in quarterly, monthly, or weekly installments. The Society will send you statements for tax purposes.
Here’s how joining works:
Spend some time with us. Come to Platform on Sundays and join us afterwards during the Potluck Lunch to talk. Find out about our activities—and get involved. Visitors are welcome to attend all Society events, classes, and social activities. So come and see if this in the kind of community that you would suit you.
Learn about us. Read our literature. Come to an adult education class, specifically one that provides background on the history and philosophy of Ethical Culture. We also urge you to attend one of our post-Platform welcome sessions on Sunday mornings for informal question-and-answer about the Society.
Consider joining: If you’d like to consider joining, please contact us – of our membership development committee – about your interest. He’ll set up a brief meeting with you to discuss areas of congregational life you want to explore and give you the paperwork you’ll need to fill out.
Fill out an application form. You can obtain a form by asking the Leader for a copy. The form asks if you agree with the principles of the Ethical Culture and intend to support the Society’s future growth. After you’ve submitted the form, our Leader will present your name to the Membership Committee and the Board of Trustees. We will inform you of acceptance and formally welcome you on a Sunday morning after the next board meeting. We look forward to having you as part of our community!