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Northern Virginia Ethical Society (NoVES)

Adult Enrichment 

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"The freedom of thought is a sacred right of every individual, and diversity will continue to increase with the progress, refinement, and differentiation of the human intellect." 

Felix Adler, Founder of Ethical Culture

Penny University Ethical Discussion Series 

This Fall NoVES Leader Randy Best will continue to facilitate the Penny University discussion series at Caffe Amouri in Vienna (107 Church St NE, Vienna, see map on right). 
Contact Randy if you have any questions.  All are welcome!


Wednesday, September 4th   7-8 PM

What role does language have in shaping our thoughts?

Do you think in words?  Images?  Some of both?  If our thoughts are experienced and expressed through our language, does language constrain thought and expression?  How were our thoughts shaped before we acquired language?  Come consider these questions with others.

Wednesday, October 16th   7-8 PM

What is your internal narrative?

We live our entire waking life immersed in our inner experiences (thoughts, feelings, sensations) – internal private phenomena, for us, inaccessible to others.  What is the nature of our inner experience – our internal narrative.  Is my inner experience structured the same way as your inner experience?  Just what are the voices and processes in our heads anyway? Come and share your inner experience.

Wednesday, November 20th    7-8 PM

How do our expectations effect our experience of Reality?

Individual perception of the world around us is inherently unreliable.  Expectations can limit our perceptions.  Often, we see what we want to see.  Expectations can also limit our understanding.  Come and discuss the limitations and biases of our perceptions.

Wednesday, December 11th    7-8 PM

How Does your name affect your life?

If I had been a boy named “Sue” would my life be significantly different?  To what extent does my name play a role in determining my self-identity?  How I am perceived by others? Why do some people change the name that they use at different times in their lives?  Come explore “What’s in a name anyway”.

Ethical Education Courses

This fall NoVES Leader Randy Best is offering courses on recent resolutions passed at the American Ethical Union's Annual Assemblies.  Courses are held at the: 

Vienna Community Center

120 Cherry St SE

Vienna, VA 22180

 Courses are from 7:00 – 8:30 PM

Thursday, September 19th  

What is Ethical Culture: Unpacking the 2008 Leaders’ Statement

In 2008 the National Leaders Council produced a one-page contemporary statement on where Ethical Culture/Ethical Humanism stands at the beginning of the 21st century:  2008 National Leaders Council Statement.  Participants will discuss this statement’s contents to assess if it still holds up in the face of today’s challenges.

Wednesday, October 23rd  

Criminal Justice Reform: The American Ethical Union’s 2015 Resolution

The American Ethical Union’s 2015 annual Assembly focused on Criminal Justice Reform.  The Assembly passed a Criminal Justice Reform resolution on Criminal Justice Reform: (2015 – Criminal Justice). This resolution will be presented and discussed along with what actions can be taken.

Tuesday, November 19th

Resolutions on Systemic Racism and Reparations 

In 2016 the American Ethical Union’s annual Assembly focused on Systemic Racism, passing a resolution, Systemic Racism in the United States: 2016 – Systemic Racism in the United States.  This was followed up on the 2017 Assembly with a resolution on reparations, Toward Repairing the Harm of Racism: 2017 – Toward Repairing the Harm of RacismThese two resolutions will be used as an intro into a discussion on Racism and Reparations.

Thursday, December 12th  

Ethical Humanism and the Climate Crisis

The American Ethical Union recently passed two resolutions on the Climate Crisis:

2014 – Investment Decisions Regarding Climate Change

2018 – Climate Action

We will discuss these two resolutions and what steps we can personally take to address the Climate Crisis.

Chorus with kids


Our Chorus is not currently active. When active, the chorus regularly performed at Platform meetings.  

Questions? Contact Adult Enrichment Committee

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