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.

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, February 7th, 2016 at 10:30am


YOGA with Nicole!  All are welcome. A
$5 donation is requested to help ESMR.

At 11:30am its "Movie and Pizza Day"
Jesus Camp

We’ll be meeting at this special time (note: 1 hour later than usual) to view the documentary “Jesus Camp” together. ESMR will provide pizza to enjoy during the full length movie. Afterward, all are invited to discuss this provocative film.
Child care will be provided!

Sunday, February 14th, 2016 at 10:30am


Emily Scates: 
Youth-Empowered Learning

We will have an interactive discussion and activity session based upon the format of Youth In Need's educational day program for teens and young adults who reside at YIN's emergency shelter and transitional living group home in St. Charles, Missouri. Emily will speak about the various creative outlet activities that the youth participate in and frequently lead through peer-to-peer mentorship and co-facilitation opportunities. Ethical Society members will have a chance to be "teens for the day" and participate in a couple of the popular activites the youth do in this program. Members are encouraged to have fun, ask many questions, and share their own creative ideas that Emily can bring back to the classroom.

Emily Scates has worked at Youth In Need for four years, holding positions within a variety of youth programs from Street Outreach and Residential Services to a high school drop-out prevention progam in Ritenour School District. She is currently the program coordinator for YIN's daytime education program called Excel, where she teaches social justice education, creative development and job skills.  A St. Louis native, Emily grew up attending schools in Kinloch and the Ferguson-Florissant area. She gradutated from Saint Louis University in 2006 with a B.A. in Communications and is applying to attend UMSL in the Fall to pursue a Master of Social Work degree with a certificate in Social Justice Education. Emily resides in the Tower Grove East neighborhood and spends her time outside of work playing percussion for various bands and hosting of a monthly poetry open mic called Speak Your Peace.  If not playing drums or reciting poetry, she is snuggling up at home with her two shelter rescue dogs Avalanche and Phoenix.

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.