It has been well documented that, superstition aside, religious practice grounded in community meets a variety of deep and abiding human needs. In religious community people find human connections, a way to understand their lives in a broader context, solace in times of disappointment or despair, a connection to art and beauty and a sense of empowerment when they join with others to work for justice or to ameliorate suffering.
And you know, people who are connected to healthy and vibrant communities live healthier and longer lives.
Ethical Humanism, founded as Ethical Culture, has existed at this juncture for a 150 years, at the place where religion and science, philosophy and community, individual growth and collective effort overlap. There is longstanding disagreement over nomenclature: a philosophy to some, a religion to others! Not religious enough for some tastes, way too religious for others. But our greatest strength and a distinguishing characteristic in the secular and humanistic world that we are closest to, is not our belief, but our practice. Ethical Humanist gather in congregations. We get together on Sundays to connect with one another, to think about our lives in a larger context, to find ways to help, to provide an ethical religious education for our children. To become better people.
So, we gather in community, call it religious or philosophical or secular or whatever you want; it is the commitment to and practice of community that makes us better people and equips us to make a difference in the world.
And, while we are on the topic, this coming Sunday, the 18th, member and Hofstra University math professor Sylvia Silberger will be talking about her life as a yoga instructor. Sure to be good! And the following Sunday, the 25th, will be an Open House for anyone who has been wondering about the Ethical Humanist Society and would like to learn more, we are at 38 Old Country Road in Garden City.