Calendar

Sep
9
Sun
Our Part in This World
Sep 9 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Our Part in This World @ Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture

Watch Lily Rivkin’s compelling documentary “Heather Booth: Changing the World ”  about this Chicagoan’s lifelong social activism.   Reflect on the personal, cultural and community-changing  paths we each have taken in this world. Consider reading our founding EC Leader’s powerful short book, Our Part in the World. 

After the film, we will have a short time for reflection and conversation.

Sep
16
Sun
Vision: Repair, Repentance, Renewal
Sep 16 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

This month, we’ll be focusing our ethical thoughts on vision.  Repair, repentance, and renewal are part of the practice of intentional imagination and commitment to an envisioned future.   This week opens our new program season for our Ethical Community, and this platform is an excellent time to bring a friend who might be interested in who and what we are.

Any vision for the future also needs to include a vision for how we will express our repentance for the errors we’ve made in the past, for the hurt we’ve caused, for the damage we’ve done.  And then for how we will repair the hurt and damage, and move on to renewal.  We can apply that principle in our personal relationships, and we can apply it to the larger picture.  If we share a vision of every person’s human worth being honored, then seeing what that has not happened and repairing is part of getting to that future we envision.

Jone Johnson Lewis looks at some practical ways we can embody repair, repentance, and renewal in our ethical practice of vision.

Our Sundays begin at 11 am and end about 12:30, with time for socializing afterwards.

On this Sunday, at 1 pm we’ll have a special celebration of one of our oldest members.  All are invited.

Sep
23
Sun
Is There Room at the Table for … Fascists?
Sep 23 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

Group of Family and Friends Eating at a large Dining Table (Day Background)

We often sing a song: “There’s Room at the Table for Everyone.”  But do we need to include those whose values are not only contradictory, but whose values include destroying so much that we hold dear?  Political, personal bullies — what is our attitude towards their “place at the table”?  The short answer may be “no.”  A longer answer would have to consider, “which table?”

Our Clergy Leader, Jone Johnson Lewis, will explore the limits of tolerance and the value of boundaries in creating genuine inclusiveness, whether it’s in a community, a family, or an organization like ours.

And a special treat: music by DuPree, accompanied by Barry Kornhauser.

Our Sundays begin at 11 am and end about 12:30, with time for socializing afterwards.

On this Sunday, at 12:30 we’ll be taking a group photo — you’re invited to participate!

Image (c) Adobe, used with permission.

Sep
30
Sun
A More Beautiful and Terrible History
Sep 30 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

Award-winning historian Jeanne Theoharis debunks contemporary imaginings of the civil rights movement in her new book, A More Beautiful and Terrible History: The Uses and Misuses of Civil Rights History. By showing how the movement was unpopular, disruptive, coast-to-coast, leader-full, and courageously persevering in its time, Theoharis challenges exceptionalist narratives of American democracy that place the civil rights movement firmly in the past and calls attention to the crucial work that remains to be done.

Music by DuPree and Barry Kornhauser.

Jeanne Theoharis portrait

Jeanne Theoharis

JEANNE THEOHARIS is Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Brooklyn College, CUNY, and author or co-author of books and articles on the civil rights and Black Power movements, the politics of race and education, and social welfare and civil rights in post-9/11 America. Her biography, “The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks,” was named one of the 25 Best Academic Titles of 2013 by Choice. Theoharis’s work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, MSNBC, The Nation, Slate, The Atlantic, Boston Review, Salon, The Intercept, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. Her new book, “A More Beautiful and Terrible History: The Uses and Misuses of Civil Rights History,” came out in January.

Our Sundays begin at 11 am and end about 12:30, with time for socializing afterwards.

Oct
7
Sun
Songs of the Sanctuary (a Colloquy)
Oct 7 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm

This colloquy, facilitated by Dora Gray, Ph.D., is about the music desired at our gatherings here at Brooklyn Ethical.  What inspires you? What would you like to hear? Would you prefer to sit and listen to music, or is shared singing your style? What about theme-based music, that is, selections connected to a particular topic? Tell us your favorites from past gatherings, or come with a wish list, or just come to hear what others have to offer. You get to tell it all and you just may leave the colloquy with a new song in your heart!  Music by Dora Gray.

Tree with notes and musical symbols

© 2018 Adobe Systems Incorporated. Used with permission.

Dora Gray is a Life Coach and Reiki Master-Teacher practicing in New York City.  She is an author, poet, and musician.  The focus of her work is to assist others in healing mind, body and soul, leading to successful outcomes in all areas of life.  She holds a Master of Education, is a former NYC educator in both public and private sectors, and, and is currently a staff writer for a major NYC agency.  Dora holds a Doctor of Philosophical Theology, and is an ordained Interfaith Minister and Wedding Officiant in NYC.  She fuels her work with her passion for writing and music, and empowers others to live their lives in a state of authenticity.  As a member of the BSEC family, she serves as Chairperson of the Ethical Living Committee, and is a member of the BSEC Writers.

A colloquy is an opportunity for sharing ideas and listening to others.  Come join us and feel free to participate!

Oct
14
Sun
Charley Horwitz Platform
Oct 14 @ 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Charley Horwitz Platform @ Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture

The Charley Horwitz Platform celebrates community building through peaceful resolutions, activism, and inclusion. The annual event is named for the late BSEC president Charley Horwitz.

The celebration kicks off at 11am at the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture! Join us for our special platform commemorating the life and work of Charley Horwitz, and participate as we highlight our common ideals of community, activism, and inclusion. Then stay for a special reception (light snacks and drinks served).

KEYNOTE: DR. ROBYN SPENCER

DR. ROBYN C. SPENCER is a historian and expert on social protest after World War II, urban and working-class radicalism, and gender. She teaches survey and seminar courses on African American Heritage, Civil rights and Black Power, and Black women’s history as an Associate Professor of History at Lehman College, City University of New York.

Keynote speech followed by a Q & A session with Dr. Spencer

AFTERNOON ACTIVITIES

Spend the afternoon meeting other organizers, activists, and supporters in the movement for inclusive communities, ethical living, and mindful connection with our neighbors.

YOUTH EVENTS

Young people (13 years to 25 years) are welcome to participate in activities promising to broaden an understanding of social justice, and encourage your natural activism.

Sessions led by Ethical Education instructors and volunteers

CHILDREN’S EVENTS

Children (12 years and younger) and their parents will enjoy entertaining, enlightening, and educational activities with authors and illustrators, including readings and learn-to-draw workshops.

Oct
21
Sun
Sanctuary: Finding and Making a Safe Harbor
Oct 21 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Sanctuary: Finding and Making a Safe Harbor @ Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture

As human beings, we seek and create sanctuary — places or groups of refuge, belonging, acceptance, meaning.We are, as humans, community-seekers.  What makes a community both meaningful and a safe harbor, and what can we do to make our own communities more meaningful — including  but not only this Society for Ethical Culture?

“Sanctuary” and “holy ground” are similar ideas (sanctuary derives from a root word meaning “holy”).  What is our holy ground? The place where all can meet to seek “the highest” — which for us in Ethical Culture, means important ideals and values.

“A true community is not just about being geographically close to someone or part of the same social web network. It’s about feeling connected and responsible for what happens. Humanity is our ultimate community, and everyone plays a crucial role.” – Yehuda Berg

Our Clergy Leader, Jone Johnson Lewis, is our speaker.

Our Sundays begin at 11 am and end about 12:30, with time for socializing afterwards.

Oct
28
Sun
Can I Be Black and Humanist? A Continuing Conversation on Race, Faith, and Identity
Oct 28 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Can I Be Black and Humanist? A Continuing Conversation on Race, Faith, and Identity @ Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture

Christian Hayden, member of the Philadelphia Ethical Society, took a humanism pilgrimage to Ghana 2015 – 2016 where while serving, he engaged with ideas on what it meant to be humanist and black. But before that he had already begun a journey reconciling his blackness within the context of living in the Brooklyn’s East New York and Philadelphia’s Southwest communities, and the greater world around him.

Nov
4
Sun
This Thing Called YOUth: The value of transparency and authenticity in working with youth.
Nov 4 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
This Thing Called YOUth: The value of transparency and authenticity in working with youth. @ Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture

Today more than ever, youth are finding it difficult to measure up to society’s expectations of achievement and self-promotion. This age of technology, social media and free information can inform, as well as injure.  While it’s easy for youth to educate themselves on the Internet, it’s also as easy for them to get overwhelmed and misled by claims to fame by their peers on social media. At a time of adolescence where the need to, either boldly stand out, or fit in feels necessary, many youth fall victim to anxiety, isolation and depression instead.

As we send youth out into the world It become more and more important to give them opportunities to gain a sense of who they are, what grounds them, what lifts them, and what skills and tools can they use to navigate their unique personality and identity in life.  They need us to be transparent as role models and authentic about what our experience taught us in life.

Gena Jefferson, Founder and Executive Director of JAIA: Just As I Am YOUth Empowerment, shares how we can lay the foundation for promoting self-awareness and self-efficacy in today’s youth.  


Gena C. Jefferson, LCSW, Interfaith Minister, Spiritual Life Coach, Performer.

After serving 22 years in the NYC Public School system as a Teacher and Social Worker, Gena founded her private practice Psychotherapy and Consulting Company GJefferson Counseling Svcs. Also, within that same year, 2010, she founded “JAIA: Just As I Am Youth Empowerment”.

JAIA is a personal and spiritual development leadership program for teens and young adults ages 13-24.  JAIA’s mission is to empower youth/young adults towards self-mastery, service & leadership through the use of Universal Life Principles and Mindfulness techniques, for the purpose of encouraging mental health & promoting positive youth development.

Gena has Master Degrees, in Special Education, Educational Administration and Social Work from varied institutions. She was ordained by the Interfaith Council of New York, and holds a Certification in Spiritual Life Coaching from the Inner Visions Institute for Spiritual Development.

Gena is passionate about creating environments where people feel safe, empowered and free to express their individuality and to live their very best life!

Nov
11
Sun
Memory: Re-Membering the World
Nov 11 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

Memory is a strange experience. We would like to think that our minds record what has happened, like a video tape, but instead, we store bits and pieces of the experience, and our minds construct what we call a “memory” in the moment of remembering — or re-membering, putting the pieces back together in a story that serves this moment.   Memory, including our personal history, is constantly being re-membered. Some stories empower, and some stories get in the way of effective living.

The same is true of social memory, whether it’s culture or history. We have been taught, perhaps, that history is about what happened long ago.  But here too, we re-member what happened — we patch together a story that hangs together well (or not) and that informs us for the future.  Some stories empower, and some stories get in the way of effective living.   As one example: what stories are we telling this week about our country, the election?  Which re-membering will serve to heal the world, to serve goodness?

Our Clergy Leader, Jone Johnson Lewis, will reflect on the power of how we construct memory, both personal and social.

Our Sundays begin at 11 am and end about 12:30, with time for socializing afterwards.  This Sunday, we will be sharing parts of our platform to one or more Societies via video.  We are going to experiment with sharing the response period, taking questions from both our Society and those sharing the platform.

 

Nov
18
Sun
Intergenerational Festival: “Wampanoag.” ​ Led by Remi Gay
Nov 18 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Intergenerational Festival: “Wampanoag.” ​ Led by Remi Gay @ Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture

This inter-generational festival of appreciation is led by Remi Gay, a former board officer and long-time member of Brooklyn Ethical who has been granted permission by Native American elders to perform rituals honoring our earth and its bounty. Through song, dance and story, Remi will lead us in this seasonal favorite for children and adults alike. Please bring a dish to share. Open to the public as always.

Platform meeting is followed by Munch With the Bunch, an opportunity to share coffee, snacks, and conversation with others.

Nov
25
Sun
Thanksgiving Colloquy
Nov 25 @ 11:00 am
Thanksgiving Colloquy @ Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture
What brings you joy at this time of year or any time of year? We will create mini posters of words, drawings, magazine cutouts, quotes or poems that will remind us of what brings meaning to our lives. We will have an opportunity to share our memories and creations with each other.

SPECIAL REQUEST: If anyone can bring in magazines we can use for cutouts for mini posters…either before or the day of, that would be wonderful!

Dec
2
Sun
Being Open to the Mysterious
Dec 2 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

Will Rogers once said, “It ain’t what we don’t know that gives us trouble, it’s what we know that ain’t so.”  Richard Feynman said it in different words, “”I think it’s much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong.”  When choosing between uncertainty and false certainty, knowing that we don’t know is usually the better choice.

Tree In Mysterious Forest

Romolo Tavani / Adobe Stock Images / used with permission

The world, and our universe, are full of inspiring mystery, and so are our everyday lives.  Mystery isn’t the same as superstition, where we assume that we know the cause of an action or consequence. Our Clergy Leader, Jone Johnson Lewis, will reflect on what it means to accept mystery in our lives.

Music by DuPree, accompanied by Barry Kornhauser.

Our Sundays begin at 11 am and end about 12:30, with time for socializing afterwards.  Feel free to bring some snacks to share.

Our Ethics Matters theme for December is Mystery – The practice of embracing life and the universe with humility and awe; understanding the limits of human knowledge.

“The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science.”
― Albert Einstein

“Many of the past generation and many of today have found three abiding values:
the quiet meditation on life,
the reaching out toward the universal and the infinite,
and the courageous facing of one’s profoundest wishes.
With these as our calling, let us sense and share the glory and mystery of everyday things.
Let us look with sympathy upon humanity’s age-long dilemmas.
Let no questions be taboo.”
― Sophia Lyon Fahs, whose writings inspired Ethics for Children lessons used at the Society in the 1950s and 1960s

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence. One cannot help but be in awe when [one] contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery each day.” ― Albert Einstein

“The Cosmos is all that is or was or ever will be. Our feeblest contemplations of the Cosmos stir us — there is a tingling in the spine, a catch in the voice, a faint sensation, as if a distant memory, of falling from a height. We know we are approaching the greatest of mysteries.” ― Carl Sagan

 

Dec
9
Sun
Mysteries: Challenges to Know the Unknown
Dec 9 @ 11:00 am
Man on path and doorway with aged clock

(c) Adobe Stock Images. Used with permission.

Muriel Tillinghast, Brooklyn Ethical’s Ethical Action Committee chairperson, has brought interesting programs to us before including for Enhanced Discussion and the Lucy’s Children group.  On this Sunday, she’ll look at historical and political mysteries.

Our Sundays begin at 11 am and end about 12:30, with time for socializing afterwards.  Feel free to bring some snacks to share.

Our Ethics Matters theme for December is Mystery – The practice of embracing life and the universe with humility and awe; understanding the limits of human knowledge.

Dec
16
Sun
Winter Solstice 2019
Dec 16 @ 11:00 am
Winter Solstice 2019

There are times we feel like we are in the shadows. And there are times that we realize that even in the shadows we are not alone. In what ways can we remind one another that we are each other’s brave space?
Join us for our multigenerational Winter Solstice festival to celebrate the values and spirit of the season with music, food and light.
Music by DuPree, accompanied by Barry Kornhauser.
Please bring a dish to share if you can.

Dec
23
Sun
Winter Solstice – Bring Light
Dec 23 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Winter Solstice - Bring Light @ Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture

Winter solstice is the longest night of the year. Many religions and faiths honor this time with lights. Come together. Light a candle. Join Rebecca Lurie in this colloquy (participative circle) to reflect and share feelings, needs, strengths, offerings with our community. Bring a favorite candle or 2 to light if you wish.

We begin at 11 am and end about 12:30 pm, with social time afterwards.

Dec
30
Sun
Kwanzaa: A Colloquy on the Seven Principles
Dec 30 @ 11:00 am
Kwanzaa:  A Colloquy on the Seven Principles @ Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture

Kwanzaa is a 7-day holiday, December 26 – January 1, originally created in the 1960s by Maulana Karenga as both a humanistic alternative to Christmas, and an explicitly African American holiday. Karenga later evolved his idea to being an addition, not necessarily an opposition, to Christmas, and Karenga has encouraged diverse groups to celebrate, still honoring how the principles are rooted in African and African American culture and history. In this colloquy, led by BSEC members, we’ll reflect together on the principles, learn a bit about the holiday if it’s new to you, and share a potluck meal afterwards. You’re encouraged to bring a dish inspired by African, African American or African Caribbean cultures if you can do so.

Jan
6
Sun
Ethics Begins With Choice
Jan 6 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

Making and acting on wise choices is the root of ethics.  How do we make wiser choices and then act on them? Our Clergy Leader, Jone Johnson Lewis, will reflect on the role of choice in our lives. Music by DuPree, accompanied by Barry Kornhauser.

In the 1990s, Brooklyn Ethical and other Ethical Societies identified the Eight Commitments of Ethical Culture under the leadership of Lois Kellerman, then Clergy Leader.  The first of the commitments was this: Ethics begins with choice.

Our Sundays begin at 11 am and end about 12:30, with time for socializing afterwards.  Feel free to bring some snacks to share.

Our Ethics Matters theme for January is Choice – The practice of making and acting on wise choices; opening up new options to choose from.

 

Jan
13
Sun
Colloquy: Patience is Power
Jan 13 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Colloquy: Patience is Power @ Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture

A Chinese proverb reminded us: Patience is power: with time and patience the mulberry leaf becomes silk.
Very different in some of our communities, therefore we tend to view racism through a lens of less patience without power.
Join us for a candid discussion on topics of patience and racism and on how and what to do for a more just/equable society.

TBA: Sunday Platform Meeting
Jan 13 @ 11:00 am
Questions

Adobe Images

Detailed description coming near the date of the platform.

Our Sunday platform meetings begin at 11 am and end about 12:30, with time for socializing afterwards.  Feel free to bring some snacks to share.  Check the calendar for other Sunday events on most Sundays, 9 a.m. and 10 a.m.

Check the calendar for other opportunities for growth and community most Sundays at 9 and 10 a.m.