For the first time in years, my travel scheduled allowed me to be in Baltimore for the Martin Luther King Jr. Parade. Even though my recent hip surgery made it hard to march, I was so glad I could cheer on our BES contingent.
After 25 years of teaching I will admit that having a different routine in the summer is important to me. It’s not that I spend most of the summer doing nothing – a persistent myth that bothers hard-working teachers.
May Day, also known as International Workers Day, is officially May 1st. This year, in Maryland, it came a few days later. But then the millions of Americans who work for low wages have always had to wait for victories.
This month I want to share more existential reflections about change, a deeply paradoxical experience. In so many ways, it’s what we most strive for. Change allows for new experiences, dynamic growth, and flourishing life.
Good things sometimes require money. So, isn’t it time we begin understanding that money is not a dirty word? You will be receiving more information about what is necessary to keep BES flourishing. If you believe in our mission, in our deeds, and in our community, this is your opportunity to express your values by supporting our shared work with a generous pledge.
One of the best gifts to yourself is a healthy dose of gratitude. I am not talking about gratitude that others show you, although that is a very nice present to receive! I am speaking of the gratitude you express to others,…or to the planet, or to your pet, or just about anything. Studies have shown that feeling and expressing gratitude contributes to your mental and physical health.
Most of you know that while you see me at work in Baltimore, I live inside the Washington, D.C. beltway. As a result I felt the impact of the federal government shutdown in a number of very concrete ways. To begin with, my wife Maureen was furloughed. An analyst for the Library of Congress, she was sent home as “non-essential.”
At the Baltimore Ethical Society (BES), whenever the topic of Ethical Culture’s unique place in the secular-religious spectrum comes up, people express a wide diversity of opinions. Some members embrace Ethical Culture fully as their religion. Others say that for them it is not a religion at all, but more of a philosophy or a way of living.
For me the Assembly really began when Emily Newman, Kate LaClair, and I successfully got attendees “mixing it up” during an icebreaker. Members shared “odds and ends” about their Ethical Culture experience. The jovial, loud conversation among those members was a testament to their eagerness to get to know one another. Later that night the fifty people attending the sing-along proved Ethical Culturists also know how to have a good time!
Over the past year the Baltimore Ethical Society has grown and signs are that it will continue to grow. From June 2012–May 2013, BES has added 24 new members to our roster, increasing membership total to 74. Our Sunday attendance is growing steadily making the room feel almost crowded some Sunday mornings!