Register for AEU’s 98th Annual Assembly!


I hope many members of the Baltimore Ethical Society will register for Ethical Culture’s Annual Assembly taking place this 2013 in nearby Fairfax, Virginia, June 13 through 17. The theme chosen for the Assembly is Inspiring Action: Making a Difference!

Not only will the Assembly be a time for Ethical Culturists to gather in friendship and for inspiration, it will provide lots of opportunity to learn about practical ways both to help BES flourish and to work toward humane criminal justice, a cause we began exploring as a movement last year at the Albany Assembly.

As one of the program planners, I am truly excited about the great workshops and activities that are being offered. Bart Lubow, director of the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative for the Annie E. Casey Foundation will be discussing ways to reduce juvenile incarceration, an important concern addressed by both our Society and its Ethical Action Committee this year. The Assembly will feature such outstanding workshop leaders as Marc Mauer, executive director of The Sentencing Project, Linda Gustitus, president of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, and Paula Cole Jones, director for racial and social justice for the Unitarian Universalist Association. If congregational development is an issue of interest to you, consider attending the workshop on membership growth and retention offered by Leader Mary Herman and Leader-in-Training James Croft. Sharing inspiration through the Ethical Culture story will be a topic discussed by Joe Chuman, Leader of the Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County, NJ since 1974 and part-time Leader of the New York Society for Ethical Culture since 2008, and me. Also, I’ll get to host leading progressive State Senator Jamie Raskin (D-MD) speaking on “One Nation Under the Constitution,” an address that will follow a pre-conference day of advocacy. Join Emil and me as we receive basic training in advocacy from the Secular Coalition for America (SCA) and visit Capitol Hill offices on Thursday, June 13.

You will also be able to take part in and enjoy informal sing-alongs and morning colloquies as well as hear from a representative of the Southern Poverty Law Center, this year’s winner of the Elliott-Black Award, for its dedication in the fight against hate and bigotry and its commitment to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society. On Saturday morning, Leaders of the Chesapeake Region Ethical Societies – Mary Herman, Jone Johnson Lewis, Amanda Poppei, and I – will offer a platform that explores how we nurture inspiration that sustains ethical action.

So, join me in Northern Virginia to help move Ethical Culture and BES forward! Register on line at or look for the hard copy of the Assembly brochure in our Society’s lobby.

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