Welcome to the Ethical Culture Society of Silicon Valley

The Ethical Culture Society of Silicon Valley (ECSSV) is an affiliate of the American Ethical Union. Ethical Culture is a humanistic religious, philosophical, and educational movement inspired by the ideal that the supreme aim of life is working to create a more humane society. Our focus is on how we live our lives. Our faith is in the capacity and responsibility of human beings to act in their personal relationships and in the larger community to help create a better world.


The Ethical Culture Society of Silicon Valley is a vibrant, caring community dedicated to cultivating ethical growth and action in its members and in the larger world. We are a democratic fellowship for people seeking a rational, compassionate philosophy of life without regard to belief or nonbelief in a supreme being.

We discuss ethical dilemmas that arise in our lives and in the world around us; hold programs to learn about ourselves, each other, and the issues of the day; and seek to be engaged citizens of our nation and our world.  We collaborate with other organizations working for a more just and humane world.



Sunday Spotlight: Changing the World Using Social Media

Sunday, April 16, 2017           11am to 12:20pm

Neutra House, 183 Hillview Ave., Los Altos, CA 94022

Join us one Sunday each month to hear from an inspiring, active speaker who will share information about an organization working to make our community and our world a better place.  Topics run the gamut from basic needs to social justice to the environment.  We welcome you to participate not only by listening and engaging in thoughtful dialogue, but also by reveling in uplifting music.  We provide coffee, tea, and a welcoming space for inquiring minds and open hearts to learn from one another.


Our guest speaker in April is Steve Hams, co-leader of Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s North Silicon Valley Chapter.  Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) is a non-partisan, grassroots organization that is working to create the political will for national policies to address climate change.  Steve will be discussing CCL’s Carbon Fee and Dividend proposal, which places a predictable price on carbon and other greenhouse gases while returning the revenue to U.S. households.  Steve will also share his insights into grassroots organizing and lead us in exploring strategies for building political will based upon shared values and mutual respect.

The program begins at 11 a.m. and ends at 12:30 p.m.  We’d love it if you’d stay afterward for a beverage and light refreshments and to share your thoughts.  It’s OK to just show up, but it always helps to know how many people to expect.  You can use our Meetup page if you have a Meetup account, or you can contact us by email or this site’s contact form .




Event dates can also be found on our calendar page



Wednesday March 22, 2017           7:30 to 9pm

Video, Discussion, and Food: Crude Beyond Belief

Near Bakersfield, away from the major freeways, oil fields that stretch for miles.  Each gallon of oil extracted takes 9 gallons of water to produce.  That used water is salty and can only be used on salt-tolerant plants.  Tour guide Tom Frantz takes us to the oil fields and comments on the issues.  Join us for this eye-opening view of California oil production.  The video was produced by WILPF Fresno.

At Paula and Ben’s home in Saratoga.  Vegan soup is served at 6:30pm, followed by video/discussion at 7:30pm.  Please email us or use our contact form for location details and to let us know you’re coming,



Tuesday March 28, 2017         4pm to 7pm (cooking), 7:15pm to 9pm (serving)

Ethical Action: Prepare and Serve Dinner at Grace Baptist Shelter in San Jose

132 South 10th, San Jose CA  95112

ECSSV is signed up to cook and serve dinner for 50 people at Grace Shelter in San Jose.  We will deliver the food at 7:15pm and serve 7:45 to 9pm.  You can participate in this Ethical Action of the Ethical Culture Society of Silicon Valley by helping to provide:

  • utensils, napkins, plates, bowls, hot and cold cups
  • fruit that is easy to peel and eat, like tangerines, grapes, or bananas (apples are hard to eat if you don’t get regular dental care)
  • salad and dressings
  • vegetables
  • pasta main dish
  • soup
  • sweet treats like cookies, brownies, etc.
  • tea bags

Cooking will take place Paula and Ben’s home in Saratoga.  Please email or use our contact form for location details and to let us know you’re coming.  Please invite friends and family!  Note: The shelter can close for the summer at any time, so we will check with them Monday March 27th before food is purchased.

If you would like to help serve, please arrive at the Grace Shelter by 7:15pm.  Park in the lot behind the home at 132 South 10th Street, San Jose, and enter the double glass doors behind the church building.  Call Phil when you arrive: 839 9815 (area code 408).



Sunday April 2, 2017           4pm to 6pm

Sunday Study Session: MLK’s Riverside Church Sermon “Beyond Vietnam”

April 4th marks the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s Riverside Church sermon “Beyond Vietnam.”  Since war is still relevant today, we’ll review key points in the sermon using our vantage point half a century later during times of drone strikes and CIA operations.

Text of the speech can be found here , and audio of the 56-minute speech is here .

Refreshments at 3:30pm, discussion starts at 4pmhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0C1Ru2p80fU.  RSVP for location details via our Meetup page if you have a Meetup account, or you can email us or use our contact form .



Friday April 7, 2017           10am to noon

Friday Morning Ethics Discussion

Location: Lyon’s Restaurant, 4233 Moorpark Ave., San Jose, CA., 95129

Please join this group and feel free to invite others! Bring your unique point of view and add to the discussion, which starts around 10:30. Please arrive early if you’d like to order food (highly recommended!). It’s OK to just show up, but it always helps to know how many people to expect. You can RSVP via our Meetup page if you have a Meetup account, or you can use our contact form .



Sunday April 9, 2017           10:30am noon

Coffee And Conversation

Location: Ada’s Cafe, 3700 Middlefield Rd., Palo Alto, CA. 94303

This recurring event happens on the second Sunday of every month at the Cafe in front of the library at Mitchell Park Community Center. There is no predetermined theme, just friendly and respectful conversation. RSVP if possible so we can arrange the tables. If it’s raining or too chilly to be out in the open, we’ll be in one of the conference rooms inside the library or on the second-floor covered balcony that overlooks the library entrance. Look for the little blue Ethical Culture Society sign and you’ll know it’s us! You can RSVP using our Meetup page if you have a Meetup account, or you can contact us by email or this site’s contact form .