February 15
A weekly newsletter to keep you informed.
What's in this week's news?
themeAmanda Returns from Standing Rock
A Reflection from Amanda 

So, how was Bismarck?! Since I got back on February 12th, folks have been asking me how my time supporting the UU Fellowship of Bismarck, ND was...and of course, wanting to know how things are at Oceti Sakowin, the main camp at Standing Rock. I can tell you a lot about the UU Fellowship, a small congregation of about 60 members who have provided immense logistical support for Oceti Sakowin and the Water Protectors. Over the months, they've accepted and distributed donations from across the  country, gone on clean-up trips to camp, and provided hospital and jail support for Water Protectors. Even now, as the main camp is being dismantled, they look toward the future and how they can support those who are remaining to fight the pipeline and those already in the legal system because of their witness. This little congregation has been mighty indeed, and it was a pleasure to get to know some of the people there and their minister, Karen Van Fossen. My role was to support Karen however she needed it, and that included practical things like transforming their library from a dumping ground for supplies back into a library and less tangible support like offering a listening ear to Karen and to congregants there, all of whom have given so much of their heart to this work. 

But the Oceti Sakowin camp itself? I couldn't tell you how that is, because I didn't get there. 

At first, I was pretty disappointed I wouldn't be able to see the camp, to meet the leaders who have been part of this incredible, international movement for Native rights and environmentalism. But as I learned more about what it's like for Bismarck UU to support the camp, I realized I was in exactly the right place. The camp certainly didn't need tourists coming just to visit, that was clear. So often we want to be on the front lines of social justice work, doing what feels like the "real" work where the media spotlight is shining. But the truth is we need people in the footlights too, and backstage, building infrastructure and capacity and supporting the longterm resilience of those in the center.

I came back with an increased awareness of the need for many kinds of support in the work of resistance, and an increased appreciation for those who don't make it down to the rally, but instead babysit the children so their spouse can go, or sing in the chorus so that the marchers find inspiration, or run the annual budget drive so the congregation can continue. I'm so grateful for the many ways you all show up, and for the chance I had to show up for the people of Bismarck...and, in so doing, for the Water Protectors and Oceti Sakowin. 

(And the more than $1500 you all raised was directed toward the legal fund and gratefully received! Thank you!)

article2WES Unveils a New Website
If you've visited www.ethicalsociety.org in the past week, you may have noticed it looks really different! WES has updated our website and moved to a new design. 

If you browse around the site, you'll find a new and improved calendar. From any page, simply select "News" and then "Events" to be taken straight to the calendar. Once you are on the calendar page, you will be able to sort through the events and view them in categories by the event type. We invite you to play around with the calendar and see how it works. In the same "News" section, you'll also find the "Submit An Event". This is a section that anyone can use. If you are scheduling a WES event, you can go to this page and add all your details. When you submit it, the event will be sent to the WES office and then the staff will be able to push it out through our different avenues.

If you are looking for archives of previous platform services, we recommend you check out "Sunday Service Archive", "WES Podcast Archive" or the WES SoundCloud via your prefer podcast app. WES has a new podcast that has a much more streamlined experience with the website. It is serviced through SoundCloud. To subscribe, use your podcast app and search for Washington Ethical Society. The search will populate two options: the previous podcast with a plain blue word box and the other being a photo of the tree mosaic on the front of the building. The one with the mosaic tree is the current podcast in use. Another option to view previous podcasts and platform services is by selecting "WES Podcast Archive" through the "Sunday Mornings" section. And as we go forward in the same "Sunday Mornings" section, you can view the "Sunday Service Archive". This page will offer a list of the previous Sunday Platform Service's titles, descriptions, video feeds, and podcast links. 

If you have any questions about how the website works or navigating around, please don't hesitate to reach out to Robyn Kravitz (robynk@ethicalsociety.org). She will be happy to help you find what you're looking for. 
news1Community Sunday & Platform Parties
Community Platform: Sunday, March 5 at 9:30 and
Rep. Jamie Raskin will be our guest speaker at the March 5 Community Platform, discussing how WES is positioned to respond to our current political situation.
The  Community Platform and  Pledge Parties will replace the Community Dinner that WES has traditionally held in the spring. The parties provide members more options and better accommodate our growing congregation (that can no longer fit in the Main Hall all at once).
RSVP by March 5 for a Pledge Party! Party options include brunch, cocktails, dinner or dessert at different WES members' homes. Events vary in size from intimate to raucous. See the full list of parties and  RSVP here. Space is limited at each event, so RSVP early to get your choice.
At the pledge parties, we will discuss WES's goals and provide an opportunity for you to fill out your annual pledge for the 2017-18 fiscal year. You will receive electronic pledge forms via email to help you plan and prepare. Remember, your pledge finances WES's future!
Please RSVP for each individual that will be attending at:

This Sunday's Platform
9:30 & 11:30am. 

"Generation to Generation" Amanda Poppei, Senior Leader. In this "auction" platform, Amanda will explore the idea of generational identity--and what gifts and challenges we find being part of a truly multi-generational community like WES. Or in other words, will we ever agree on what counts as popular music? We will also welcome new members in a special ceremony. Music from mezzo soprano Emily Jaworski.  

This Sunday at WES

Trello and Teach the Teacher Workshop, 10:45 am, Adler Study. Meant primarily as a refresher and introduction on on how to use Trello. Second half of the 45 minutes will be spent on pointers on teaching SEEK at WES.

Ethical Living Laboratory, 11am, Social Hall.  Join the Community Relations Committee to explore the principles of ethical culture and how we live them in our daily lives. This will offer an opportunity to connect with others in a small group setting.

Biology Reading Group, 1pm, Library. For December, January, and February the Biology group will be reading the book "I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life," by Ed Yong.  For further information get in touch with Barbara Searle, bsearle70@msn.com.

WES Tonight! Rehearsal, 1pm, Main Hall.

upcomingweeksThe Upcoming Weeks at WES
Wednesday, February 22
  • WES Chorus rehearsal, 7:15 to 9 pm, Social or Main Hall. WES Chorus meets weekly to rehearse, under the direction of Bailey Whiteman, Music Director. All music abilities welcome!
Thursday, February 23
  • Board of Trustees Meeting, 7pm, Main Hall. All are welcome to attend meetings of the Board of Trustees! Agenda and materials are available in the Members' Access section of our website.
  • Humanism from the Enlightenment to Ethical Culture, 7pm, Library. This class will cover the evolution of humanist thinking over time, starting with the rise of modern science and democracy in the Enlightenment and led to deism and transcendentalism, among others. It will connect these trends with Felix Adler and the founding of Ethical Culture. The format will be primarily lecture with opportunities for questions and it will be taught by Peter Bishop who is a life-long humanist activist who joined WES about 6 years ago. After a career in hi-tech, Dr. Bishop has recently become a philosopher, and recently had his first philosophical paper published on Naturalistic Transcendentalism.
Saturday, February 25
  • QUILTBAG+ Family Social, 5pm, Eric Kearsley's house. This is a social event for members of the QUILTBAG+ family (LGBTQ letters rearranged, with additional identities included) to get together and know each other as part of the larger WES community.  Spouses/partners and children are invited.  Contact Danna Pope at dannapope@gmail.com or Eric at ekearsley@verizon.net for questions or directions.
Monday, February 27
  • Support, Solidarity, and Strategy for Federal Employees, 7-9pm, Library. Join Amanda for a facilitated conversation with other federal employees who are seeking to serve their country and their work in the years to come.
Wednesday, March 1
  • WES Chorus rehearsal, 7:15 to 9 pm, Social or Main Hall. WES Chorus meets weekly to rehearse, under the direction of Bailey Whiteman, Music Director. All music abilities welcome!
Thursday, March 2
  • Our Ethical Education Identity, 7pm, Library. Learn the 150-year history of Ethical Culture in a fun, informative history lesson starting with Felix Adler and ending with where we are in our movement today.
Friday, March 3
  • Bunco!, 7pm, Double Classroom. Join us for another fun evening of Bunco! at WES. For all the details, check out the Facebook event at:  https://www.facebook.com/events/263786584058012/
For a more detailed and long range calendar, we invite you check out the calendar on our website: http://ethicalsociety.org/blog/events/.

news1WES Chorus Now Welcoming New Members
Have you been thinking about joining the WES Chorus or even just checking us out? We meet to rehearse every Wednesday night from 7:15 - 9pm, and are hoping to bring in new singers in the month of February. No need to feel ready to sing in platform or even rehearsal; you can sit and enjoy the music, sing along, or start singing with us in platform right away, whatever is comfortable. Questions? Contact our Music Director, Bailey Whiteman. And come sing!


Let's face it - conversations about race can be difficult. Even reading that this is a workshop for "white women" might make some of us uncomfortable. But many of us are learning that these difficult conversations have to take place if we are going to move forward as a society.
This is a 6-month, 6-part online workshop series. Each workshop will take place on the third  Wednesday of the month, beginning Wednesday February 15, from  8:00 p.m. ET - 9:30 p.m. ET.
All women know what it feels like to be marginalized and kept in a position of inferiority. But white women occupy a different position in society than Black, Latina, Asian, and Native women. This online workshop series will explore that phenomenon, examine what it means for us as white women, and discuss ways to work together to make the world a better place for all women.
Workshop dates and topics:
  • February 15: The nature of race and racism
  • March 15: Fear of engaging in conversations about race and racism
  • April 19: How might white women inadvertently harm other women?*
  • May 17: Our relationships with white men
  • June 21: The nature of power
  • July 19: Actions we can take moving forward
This online workshop series is open to white women across the political spectrum. It is deliberately intended to be open and inclusive of varying political ideologies. The point is simply for white women to talk openly and honestly about how race affects us in our lives and in our relationships, and how we can take action to benefit all women.
Participants may sign up for a single workshop (or more), or for the entire series. The cost of a single workshop is $20.00 and the cost for the entire series is $100.00 (a $20.00 discount). No one will be turned away for lack of funds, however. If the cost is too much of a burden, please contact us to request a discount.
It will be conducted online, using Zoom. Details regarding log-in will be sent to registered participants closer to the event.
We are looking forward to the conversation!
* The workshop on harm will include featured guest speaker Catrice M. Jackson. Catrice is the Global Visionary Leader of the Awakened Conscious Shift, CEO of Catriceology Enterprises, and an International Speaker and Best-Selling Author. She is passionate about empowering people and making an impact in the world. She's a humanist and activist dedicated to social and racial justice. As an educator, consultant, and speaker, Catrice blends psychology, social consciousness, racial justice, and leadership wisdom into meaningful messages that wow the audience and move them into action. Catrice is a dynamic difference maker with a voice that's real, bold, unapologetic, captivating, and powerful.