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Ethical Societies meet regularly on Sundays for gatherings we refer to as Platforms (also known as Sunday Meetings, Sunday Program, or Platform Services). Platforms usually consist of a welcoming by a member, music, and a talk by an Ethical Culture Leader, invited guest, or layperson. These gatherings are intended to educate, stimulate personal growth, inspire reflection and action, and build a sense of community. They may also include a moment of silence, a reading of a story or quotation, a Q&A with the speaker, and time to greet each other. Themes range from ethical teachings (Ethical Culture history and philosophy) to ethical action issues (environmentalism, human rights, and social justice), to personal stories (journeys, passions, and talents). Platforms are free, open to the public, and tend to be followed by refreshments and an opportunity to socialize.
Here are some Featured Platform Talks from our Ethical Societies.
For more talks, visit these podcast and video libraries:
Before or instead of a Platform, Ethical Societies may have a Colloquy, a time for shared reflection developed by Leader Arthur Dobrin. Together participants explore a theme with music, readings, parables, and discussion. The purpose of colloquy is to inspire participants, in a communal setting, to develop practices of self-reflection and deep listening. Sharing thoughts and feelings on selected topics can help us live our lives in more awareness and congruity with our values. First the facilitator prepares a comfortable space with chairs in a circle, reading materials readily available, and distractions eliminated. Once everyone is seated the facilitator announces the topic, reads the first quotation, and poses a question associated with the topic. Participants are invited to share their name and responses, or pass, in order around the circle. Everyone is asked to use “I” statements and speak from their own experiences, thoughts, and feelings. Next the facilitator may play some music and/or read something, and again invite responses (either again in a circle or randomly).