ESoA seeking SEEK teachers

The Ethical Society of Austin is seeking applicants for both
a lead teacher and an assistant teacher for the ESoA’s Sunday
Ethical Education for Kids (SEEK) program.
The SEEK class meets most Sundays at 5604 Manor Road,
Austin, TX 78723, from 10:30 AM to 12:00 noon. Children ages
3 and older are welcome to the class. Teachers are asked to be
present from 10:15 to 12:15 (or as needed for clean-up and/or
parent discussions). No classes are held during the month of
August or the first Sunday of September.
In addition to class time, the teachers should expect to
spend an average of an additional 3-3 ½ hours during the week
in preparation, discussion with the other teacher, contacting
parents re: attendance and some general planning sessions.
Candidates should enjoy children of all ages. The best
candidates will be flexible, willing to refocus a lesson if needed
due to the number or ages of attending children on any given
Sunday. The chosen candidate(s) are not required to be a
member of the Ethical Society of Austin; however, it is expected
that applicants agree with the purpose and mission statement of
the Society. Information about ESoA can be found at
Anyone interested in applying for the job should send a
resume and general statement of interest in the job to Society
President, Rebecca Fisher at rfisher128 @ Please note
“SEEK teacher” in subject line.

Movie Showing of “Before the Flood” Sunday 9 April 2017 at the Wildflower Terrace Auditorium

Many thanks to all of you who watched the movie and those of you who stayed on afterwards for the discussion for helping to make the event the success that most of you felt it was.

There is little doubt that the movie makes a compelling case to illustrate the fact that Climate Change is real and happening now; and that unless humankind makes a determined effort to dampen its effects and later reverse them, we shall leave for our children and grandchildren a planet incapable of sustaining life in the manner that our generation has become accustomed to. We would like to suggest that we all continue to spread this message and encourage everyone to see the movie as opportunity occurs. Both the W.T. Environmental/Climate Change group and the Ethical Society Climate Change subcommittee will be organizing more activities in the future, and we encourage you to contact one of the two groups mentioned to get on their mailing list (if not already on it) to get news of these events.

We had 32 people (including two children) attend which was at the higher end of the range that we had hoped for. Judging by the discussion following the movie it was clear that Climate Change is a topic of great interest and concern to those attending; and it generated many ideas of how we could act individually and as a group to help reduce our ‘carbon footprint’ and to encourage others to do the same.

Our thanks especially to those of you who acted as guides, greeters, makers of cookies and drinks, setters-up, tearers-down and bottle washers; and a special appreciation to our member Stephen McNally (who was not able to be present) for his generous provision of the LED light bulbs that we were happy to give away as door prizes – and we hope you read the notes inserted with the bulbs!

With best wishes for the sustainability of Planet Earth,
Nancy and Rich, co-chairs of the ESA Climate Change Subcommittee

Movie – “Before the Flood”

Whether we like it or not, Climate Change is upon us – and unless we take action now, it will destroy civilization as we know it today and many forms of life on the planet.

Readers of this notice are invited to a free showing of the Leonardo DiCaprio movie “Before the Flood” to be presented by the Wildflower Terrace Environmental/Climate Change Committee in collaboration with the Ethical Society of Austin, in the Wildflower Terrace Auditorium, at 3801 Berkman (cross street Tom Miller) on Sunday April 9 at 2:00pm (doors open 1:30pm). Parental discretion advised regarding the attendance of children.

The 96 minute film illustrates dramatically the current effects of the forces of Climate Change. After the showing there will be an opportunity for discussion on what we can do, individually and collectively, to turn around the tide of destruction before it is too late. We encourage everyone to take advantage of this opportunity to become more informed and hopefully more involved.

If you plan to attend, please let Joan Quenan (e: jequenan at or Rich Harrison (e: rth12000 at know in advance.  (replace ‘at’ with @)

Day of the Fallen- March and Lobby Day – 3/1/2017

Worker’s Defense Project Lobby Day starts at 10 am.  March at 4 pm.
J J Pickle Federal Building
300 E 8th St, Austin, Texas 78701

Texas is the most deadly and dangerous state for construction workers’ to work in the country, but WDP is working to change this.

Each legislative session WDP works to defeat bills that harm workers and pass bills that will better protect the organization’s members.

WDP also conducts a statewide lobby day each legislative session where WDP members and allies visit the offices of all 150 legislators, the Governor and the Lieutenant governor in favor of the organization’s legislative agenda. The Lobby Day is from 10am-3pm and includes training. Please register at the ticketing link below for the Lobby Day.

In conjunction with our 2017 lobby day, WDP will hold a statewide action: Day of the Fallen, to remember the workers who have been injured and killed building our state and to engage a broad base of supporters. This year will mark the 4th Day of the Fallen and it is as critically important as ever to highlight the dangerous conditions that Texas workers face and to call for Texas to do more to protect them.

Mindfulness Meditation

Enjoy Mindfulness Meditation
Sunday, February 5, 2017 5PM – 6PM EST

Mindfulness meditation can help us feel more grounded as we go through our days. Many of us are feeling a great need for feeling grounded. Self-compassion meditation can help us be more grounded as we go out to do challenging work in the world.

Please join us for a meditation led by Ethical Culture Leader Susan Rose. We will gather by phone call. The call will be one hour with a ten minute introduction, 10 minutes of guided meditation and 10 minutes of silent meditation and 30 minutes for discussion and community connection.

This meditation will give you an opportunity to experience a time of being kind and caring to yourself, to be connected with others throughout the Ethical Movement and give us more resources to offer kindness and compassion to others.

Community meditations will be offered on a regular basis in the coming months. We will meet on the 1st & 3rd Sundays of each month at 5 pm ET (2pm PT3pm MT, 4pm CT). A variety of meditations will be offered including self-compassion, mountain meditation, and breath awareness. Join us and invite your friends for an ethically based meditation.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with info on how to  join webinar.

5604 Manor “Not-Really-that-Happy” Happy Hour

Friday, January 27, 4:30-6:30 pm

  The Workers Defense Project and Third Coast Activist Resource Center will host a “Not-Really-that-Happy” Happy Hour for progressive Austin residents to share concerns and strategize for the coming four years, and beyond.

The new administration in Washington and the Texas Lege will keep us busy with organizing efforts and critical analyses of the unjust and unsustainable nature of contemporary U.S. society. Our outreach and activism will be most productive with a vibrant progressive community for mutual support and networking. Folks can share stories and shore up each other for the work ahead.

Basic snacks and beverages will be provided; contributions of food/drink are welcome. There will be a short program at 5:30 pm.

5604 Manor was established by WDP and Third Coast in 2009 as a progressive community center for several groups. The building now houses an expanded WDP staff.

Location: Workers Defense Project, 5604 Manor Road, Austin, 78723

Is Darwin’s Theory Flourishing or Floundering? A Debate

You are invited to attend a debate about Darwin’s “Tree of Life” — the theory of common descent of all of life on Earth from a single organism. In this forum, two philosophers of biology with expertise in the area, Joel Velasco (Texas Tech University) and Paul Nelson (Discovery Institute), debate the current status and future of common descent. Velasco will defend the mainstream evolutionary position; Nelson will challenge it. The event promises to be a lively exchange, with rich details from genetics, comparative biology, and the philosophy of science. Audience participation during the Q & A will be encouraged.

The details
Where: St. Edward’s University (Ragsdale Center—Jones Auditorium)
When: Friday, October 21, 7-9pm
Admission: Free and open to the public

Austin Empty Bowl Project

Sunday, September 25, ESOA will be painting bowls for the Empty Bowl Project.

The Austin Empty Bowl Project is an effort by Austin area potters to fight hunger. Always the Sunday before Thanksgiving, this annual family-friendly event invites you to select your favorite from thousands of locally crafted ceramic bowls, have it filled with gourmet soup and bread and listen to live music while enjoying your lunch. Your $20 donation goes to Kids Cafe, a program of the Central Texas Food Bank, and Meals for Kids, a program of Meals on Wheels Central Texas. Take the bowl home with you to remind you that others have empty bowls. This year’s event will take place on Sunday, November 20, 2016 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Central Texas Food Bank, 6500 Metropolis Drive, Austin, TX 78744 . Hope to see you there!


ESOA Celebrates Life of Former Member Don Nelson

Remembering Donald Nelson

Donald Nelson, former member of the Ethical Society of Austin, passed away Wednesday August 10, 2016. Link to Statesman obituary.

Don was an active member of ESOA for several years. Rich Harrison notes that Don had a passionate love of philosophy and gardening, and fondly recalls time spent with Don and his wife Betty.

A visitation will be held Friday September 9, 6pm-8pm at Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home at 3125 N. Lamar, and a Celebration of Life service Saturday Sept 10, 3pm, at St. Geogre’s Episcopal Church, 4301 H. IH-35.