Ethical Society Mid Rivers


Two phrases you will hear often repeated in the Ethical Societies across America are "Deed before Creed" and "Our goal is to bring out the best in others and thereby in ourselves."

The speakers' topics cover a wide range of interests... from philosophy to social issues to current events to environmental issues.

Children are invited to attend our Sunday Ethical Education for Kids (SEEK) programs while their parents attend the main program.

Our meetings are informal and guests are welcome.

Cicely has been offered a wonderful opportunity to travel to China to study how to build partnership between the US and China by engaging young leaders in an exchange of political, economic, and cultural ideas and practices. She will travel with 10 other girls from the Midwest and former MO governor Bob Holden in January 2018. Some expenses are covered through Midwest US China Association  but she and her family will have to cover considerable travel expenses. Please help her become the type of strong future leader we need!

ESMR teen Cicely has been selected to visit China in January, as part of a leadership program. She is raising money for the trip, through this Go Fund Me campaign. Interested in helping Cicely attain her goal? Click the button below:

A little about Moms Demand Action message:

Much like Mothers Against Drunk Driving was created to reduce drunk driving, Moms Demand
Action for Gun Sense in America ( was created to advocate for stronger laws and policies that will reduce gun violence and save lives. We are a non-partisan grassroots movement of American mothers demanding common-sense solutions to address our country’s dangerous culture of gun violence, which jeopardizes the safety of our children and families.
America is in a state of crisis: every day, 88 Americans are killed with guns. This violence affects everyone, everywhere – from big cities to small towns to rural communities – and as mothers, we can no longer wait for politics to catch up to the policies we need. We can support the Second Amendment while doing so much more to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people and make our communities safer.

Learn More Download These PDF files:

The American Ethical Union honored Free Your Voice with the 2017 Elliott-Black Award at our 102nd Assembly, “Bmorethical2017: Communities Confronting Systemic Racism,” in Baltimore, Maryland.

Free Your Voice is a Baltimore youth group that fights for environmental justice. It was started by, and is composed of, students at Ben Franklin High School (a Baltimore City public school). They rallied their community to protect the health of residents and engage in political action that betters their lives.

Follow Free Your Voice on Facebook and Twitter. Watch award ceremony here:


The Opinion Pages | Letters

A Canadian Welcome for Syrian Refugees

To the Editor:

You are to be congratulated on your extensive article about Syrian refugees and their warm welcome by their Canadian sponsors (“Refugees Hear a Foreign Word: Welcome,”  front page, July 1). It puts a human face on people we have been encouraged to fear and reject in this election cycle.

The article has personal resonance for me. Ten years ago I founded an organization that provides housing and a range of humanitarian services for asylum seekers fleeing persecution and war. Almost all are survivors of torture. We locate hosts who have spare bedrooms to provide housing and then mobilize volunteers to offer the support necessary to enable our guests to achieve total independence in American society.

Despite the egregious and opportunistic fear-mongering of Gov. Chris Christie, who has declared that the state of New Jersey will not help resettle any Syrian refugees, I am proud to say that we have resettled two Syrian families, one that shared our home with my wife and me. We found them to be delightful people whose greatest interest was to establish themselves in their new homeland and build a viable future for themselves and their children.

Though our clients could not be more different from their hosts with regard to race, ethnicity, cultural background and, most dramatically, life experience, over time winning relationships are molded and our common humanity comes to the fore.


Hackensack, N.J.

The writer is the founder of the Northern New Jersey Coalition for Political Asylum Seekers and a professor of human rights at Columbia University.

Recently the much anticipated visit to ESMR by a the an exceptional leader of the national Ethical Movement, Hugh Taft-Morales, resulted in a weekend of fellowship and studies in the area of Ethical Culture. This video of his platform presentation is a perfect primer for those wishing to get a feel for what the Ethical Society is all about.

Hugh Taft-Morales taught philosophy and history for twenty-five years in Washington, D.C., having earned a Masters in Philosophy from University of Kent at Canterbury, England in 1986 and having graduated from Yale University in 1979. In 2009 he completed a three-year leadership certification program with the Humanist Institute, and he was certified by the American Ethical Union in 2010 as an Ethical Culture Leader.ecently ,

Hugh has been an invigorating presence in Ethical Culture. He has been active in the Washington Ethical Society, serving as director of its Coming-of-Age program (2009-2011), a Board member (2002-2005), and Board president (2006). He has also been engaged in American Ethical Union work, serving on the AEU planning committee for two years, as co-coordinator for the Presidents Council AEU for a year, and as secretary of the AEU National Leaders Council at present. , He is a consulting Leader with the Ethical Society Without Walls and serves as Secretary of the National Leaders Council of the American Ethical Union. He joined the Baltimore Ethical Society as its professional leader in 2010. He also serves as Leader of the Ethical Humanist Society of Philadelphia.

His vision for Ethical Culture is that it flourish as a clearly defined and reenergized movement inspired by Ethical Humanism and effective in collective ethical action and social justice campaigns. He is humbled and grateful for the challenge of working in Ethical Culture as a leader.

Hugh – who lives in Takoma Park, Maryland with his wife Maureen, a Latin American Analyst with the Congressional Research Service – has three beloved children, Sean, Maya, and Justin.

Singing and playing guitar, practicing yoga, and watching “way too much sports” are among Hugh’s enjoyments.

A welcoming dinner for Hugh was held at the home of our board president on Saturday evening.
Hugh (left) took advantage of the occasion to do one of his favorite thisgs, play music.
Saturday featured an evening of dinner, fellowship, and music.
Hugh Taft-Morales' platform talk for ESMR
Hugh Taft-Morales' paper on Ethical Society membership
ESMR Press Release about Hugh Taft-Morales' visit

Ethical Society Mid Rivers meets on

Sunday Mornings - 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
University of Missouri Extension Center
260 Brown Road

Saint Peters, Missouri  63376

Sunday, November 6, 10:30am



Bart Worden, Executive Director of the American Ethical Union

"Compassion and Justice: How the American Ethical Union plans to bring ethics to life"

The American Ethical Union is working to expand the national presence of the Ethical Movement, grow new groups in new locations, and support member Societies in their efforts to engage with their communities to bring about a society that is more caring and fair for all. Executive Director, Bart Worden, will speak about the Ethical Movement's longtime commitment to ethical action and how ethical ideals are central to the Union's current efforts to develop new programs and activities.

Bart Worden has been the Executive Director of the American Ethical Union, the national federation of Ethical Culture and Ethical Humanist Societies, since June of 2012, and is also the Clergy Leader for the Ethical Culture Society of Westchester in White Plains. Bart is, in addition, a Social Worker who has worked with programs that help people recover from psychiatric disability. Locally, Bart has been engaging with local groups to confront bias in law enforcement, undo systemic racism, and promote civil rights for all. He is currently working with several people to address the problem of political polarization (and the conflicts that go with it) through guided conversations with politically conservative and politically liberal people from our local communities.

Sunday, December 17th - 10:30am


Living Ethics Discussion


Join us for a discussion about ethical issues, which vary from month to month, as we discuss the role that ethics plays in our everyday lives. The discussions are lively & casual, providing intellectual stimulation and fellowship

April 27th 2014: Rachel Levi: "Understanding the Good Food Movement"

Rachel Levi, Program Director of EarthDance Farms, described the work done on and by EarthDance Farms which is a non-profit organic farm school located at Missouri's oldest organic farm. In her current position at EarthDance, Rachel oversees the organization's various educational programs, seeks funding opportunities, and manages partnerships. Her current position allows her to facilitate transformative hands-on learning for adults and children through EarthDance's apprenticeship and youth programming. She is enthusiastic to continue growing the good food movement!

March 23rd 2014: Jillian Adams: "Affordable Care Act, Medicaid Expansion and Current Reproductive Health Legislation"

Jillian Adams, Planned Parenthood will talk about the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid Expansion and current reproductive health legislation and will offer opportunities for making a healthier community. Jillian Adams, MSW, is the St. Louis-based grassroots organizer for Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri. 

March 9th 2014:  "Going Where Gender Isn't," by Andy Semler.

Andy explains; "Genderqueer people are gaining increased visibility within a society that doesn't legally recognize our existence, but we are still a minority within a minority. This talk will explore the social, economic and health aspects of living outside the gender binary in the USA. I will also share from my own 'coming of gender' story, as we begin a broader dialog. What can the humanist community do to create a society where people of all genders flourish?" Andy is an active member of the LGBT Center of St. Louis, the Metro Trans Umbrella Group, and the greater online community of non-binary trans and genderqueer folk everywhere.