On the third Sunday in May, 1993, four guests and twice as many volunteers sat down together in the Dempsey Center here in Brooklyn to begin a journey of building community in the face of one of the worst epidemics of our time. We are still far from a cure for AIDS, yet there have been strides made that have increased awareness, treatment and understanding.
Over the past 25 years, the HOPE Dinners have provided a sage and nourishing environment to celebrate personal and collective milestones, declare our hopes and dreams and mourn our losses. One constant throughout the years is the love that has found its way into the home-cooked, nutritious food, the friendly conversations and the material and spiritual support for our guests.
This month marks the 25th anniversary of the HOPE Dinners. We have served over 20,000 guests and hosted 300 HOPE Dinners and counting.
We would like to acknowledge our Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture member, the late Donna Roberts, and Rev. Janine Deitz for starting the HOPE Dinners. Thank you, Donna and Janine, for showing us the powerful legacy of building helping and
This past Monday, January 15th, 2018, we gathered with hundreds of families to honor and celebrate the legacy of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Together we sang, danced, heard stories about those who have dedicated their lives to the fight for human and civil rights and shared with our children our hopes for a more just and kind world.
Kindness really was the key word to define this event, which depended on the kindness of many to happen:
Thank you to the 5th Prospect Park BPSA scouts for helping us set up, decorate and for designing the beautiful signs that covered our walls all over the building. Thank you to Fiona and Janice (for all you do), to Prajna, who was the amazing face painter to hundreds of excited kids basically on her own, to our amazing teachers and friends, Simba, storae, Lea, DuPree and Barry, who helped make the magic happen, to Tahra, who was there with me from noon to 10pm, decorating, welcoming people and cleaning and always with a smile, to the parents (and your kids) who showed up and helped us set up and staff our many stations, spread the word and made donations, such as Kymberly, Clyde, Stella, Columbia, Ted, Gus, Claude, Rachel, Lucy and many more in all kinds of ways. Thank you to the members who showed up to help us run the event, such as Nancy, Burt, Lisel (and the wonderful volunteer family you brought with you), to Jason for being so helpful when I asked for things to be changed and moved around, and the members and parents who helped us by coming to the event and helping us publicize it. Please forgive me if I have forgotten anyone or was not aware of what you have done. We thank you all.
Lots going on right now at BSEC, and we’re at the edge of making our platforms even better! Here are some ways you can contribute:
1) MUSIC: The Sunday Committee voted to form a Music Subcommittee to help bring live music including community singing to more platform meetings. We’ll schedule a first meeting soon, but want to make sure we include everyone who is interested — from performing to leading songs to joining (maybe!) a chorus to helping keep this effort organized. If you’d like to be included in the planning meetings or just like to be involved in some way, clickhere to respond or send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with MUSIC in the title.
2) RECORDING PLATFORM TALKS: BSEC would love to move into the 21st century and have audio and/or video of our great platform talks online so we can see them again and so that people who weren’t there can see them. That will take a few volunteers willing to learn to use a fairly simple video camera that the Society would provide to “film” platforms, and/or manage an audio recorder to be sure that it’s present and turned on during the platform talk. Then, and this could be a different person, take the recorded video or audio, and edit it slightly to begin and end smoothly, and then upload to a designated location on the internet where our website can link to it. We can train you to do that, if you’ve got a desktop or laptop computer with sufficient power. Ideally, we’d find four or more people willing to do this for most talks (not colloquys which are more personal). We can draw on the experience of other Societies to make this successful and not too difficult. — most of them use volunteers for this task. Are you interested? Need more information? Pleaseclickhere to respond or email me at email@example.com and put RECORD PLATFORMS in the subject line, please.
3) MANAGING THE SOUND BOARD: Wouldn’t it be great on a Sunday if we had an assigned person of 5 or 6 people who are knowledgeable and skillful about how to work our sound system, so there are fewer glitches and some ease in handling the glitches that do arise? Here‘s a job that usually takes just a few minutes on a Sunday, and with training is pretty simple. It does mean being there when you’re scheduled and being in the room to handle the changes in volume required for different parts of the program. Or you could volunteer to the be the person to keep this organized, scheduling and reminding volunteers. Training in using the sound board and sound system will be provided, and you’ll learn about how to handle any upgrades and changes that are made later. Platform presiders are urged to take this training, too. Pleaseclickhere to respond or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and put BSEC SOUND in the subject line, please.
Thanks for thinking about whether you can help make our platforms better and more available!
We were so happy to see you all on our first class September 10th! It was exciting to meet so many new friends and to welcome our old friends back to Ethics for Children. Below you will find a short description of our classes and what is coming in the weeks ahead.
Exploring Ethics (ages 3-6) Teacher Simba Yangala
Our first day of Ethics for children in Exploring Ethics. It was a fun Sunday morning to see all the beautiful children. Our high light was the story “A Sea of Pink”. It’s a story a boy who was told on his first day of school by other children who were not so nice to not wear pink t-shirt. Other children came to his rescue and made a day of children wearing pink shirts. He felt welcome and safe.Sea of Pink is the story that originated the Pink Shirt to School day, a worldwide anti bullying campaign. It’s about the power of kindness and getting together to do what is right. With our beautiful tangled up yarn, we made a web of friends together. Learn more about it by watching the video below. See you next Sunday.
Growing Ethics (ages 7-9) Teacher storae michele
The Growing with Ethics group created a roadmap of the year together! We discussed dates and holidays we were excited about and discussed what our journey into the future will look like. Afterwards, we wrote letters to our future-selves, that will be mailed at the end of the year. These messages included our personal hopes and dreams for the year.
Living Ethics (ages 10-12) Teacher Lea Bender After a sweet opening circle in the playground with all of the age groups, our Living Ethics group gathered in the Poly Prep library for our first meeting of the school year! Our theme this month is Welcome and Community. We shared times we felt like outsiders and also about places where we feel welcome. Gus said he felt like an outsider on the first day of EfC last year, but now EfC is one of the places where he feels safe and welcome. We also talked about times we helped others to feel welcome when they were new or felt left out. Later, we got on our feet with some get-to-know-you games and finished class by talking through the monthly themes for the year. Next week we will also be making creative maps of our lives. I’m already looking forward to next Sunday!
Taty and Lea here! Hope you are having a wonderful summer. We are looking forward to fall already!
There will be lots of new additions to our kids class this year, such as regular yoga and midfulness classes, permaculture and volunteering and service days and arts as regular part of our program for all the classes, but there are also some major staffing changes.
We will all be back in the fall and Simba will continue to teach the youngest children, but Taty and Lea are switching hats!
As many of you know Taty Sena and Lea Bender have both had two jobs at BSEC, Taty as the Outreach Coordinator and Lea as the EfC Director and both as EfC teachers. Starting in August, Taty will be taking over the role of EfCDirector and Lea will be picking up the teaching of the Evolving Ethics class. Lea has taught this age group at EfC in the past and is excited to return to do it again this year. This will allow Taty to be available to parents and visitors during class times and attend all platforms in her role as Outreach Coordinator, a job that is more streamlined with the role of EfC director than with that of teacher.
We also have an amazing and caring new teacher join our program: Storäe Michele. Storäe is a very dynamic teacher with over 10 years teaching experience and a very unique set of talents. we are so excited to have her join our team! Check out her bio at our teachers page HERE.
And to celebrate all the changes, we are offering a Family and Friends Early Bird discount. If you sing up for classes before September 8th this year, you can use the code EFC2017 for a 20% discount rate when paying for our semester or yearly fees. Just visit our registration page at: http://bsec.org/sign-up-for-ethics-for-children-classes/ and use the coupon on the bottom of the page.
And feel free to share it with your friends and family.They can also email email@example.com, with subject “Subscribe” if they want to be added to our EFC mailing list.