Northern Virginia Ethical Society (NoVES)

President's Blog

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  • Thursday, September 22, 2022 10:19 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This coming week we are continuing the trend of trying something new. This Sunday we are having a discussion platform versus a traditional presentation. Let's see how how we like this format. I think it will be a great way to be more welcoming to newcomers who are trying to get to know us! Plus, it will probably help us gather more ideas for future discussions.

    Speaking of newcomers, people are finding us and members we haven't seen in awhile (thanks to COVID) are returning. Oh, that makes me so happy!

    Keep the feedback coming for ideas you have for activites.

    See you on Sunday (with my bike, again!) Speaking of the bike - I've been thinking of a fall bike ride especially with teens. Please let me know if there is interest. 

  • Thursday, September 15, 2022 11:07 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Platform was wonderful this past week despite some dust and rust and a few slow starts because of the terrible weather and horrible traffic. You could tell that we were hungry for each other's company.

    How nice was it to see people face to face and to see so many people on Zoom too? It really lifted my spirits to see you all!

    So what about this week? Well, this week is the President's vision for the coming year. My plan is to have this platform to be interactive (much like Randy did a bit of that last week too).

    Sure, I have ideas for this coming year, but I'm just one member. I want us to talk about: festivals, parties, other activities, books, food, etc. 

    Having this break from the routine platform the last 2 years gives us an opportunity to try new things (as we have been. Like, how wonderful it has been to have the Zoom option?). It doesn't mean we would forgo the old style, but we can add in bits and pieces to jazz it up or make it more accessible.

    I absolutely love brainstorming, so I'm really looking forward to people's ideas! See you on Sunday!

  • Thursday, September 08, 2022 9:44 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)



    It's finally here! It's opening Sunday September 11! I hope to see many faces like we at the opening picnic this past weekend!

    We will have Zoom participation available to all, but we hope to see many faces in house too. There will be baked goodies, coffee, and a warm welcome. So bring yourself, a friend, your kids, and help us start the programming year.

    After platform, (weather permitting) some of us will be riding our bikes along the local bike path just near the school too. Maybe we'll grab lunch and/or a something to drink.

    The board is still looking for input from members on where we want to put our energy this year. I had a chance to talk with several people at the picnic, and at the House 6 Humanist Happy Hour event, but I would love more input so that we can offer several things this year.

  • Thursday, September 01, 2022 9:04 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    I hope we will have a great turnout for our Labor Day weekend picnic on September 4th from 1:30 - 4:00pm at Lake Accotink Park, Picnice Area #4 because I want to hear your ideas and wishes for the upcoming year!

    Opening Sunday is September 11th and I hope many of you can make it! Randy will be speaking, and the amazing Sound Team will be making the Zoom link possible so that we can have many people attend from near and far, and the Sunday School classes will be starting too.

    It has been so long that we have been sheltering at home and doing things mostly virtually, which has been great, but it would be lovely to meet face to face, to share ideas in person, and to grow our small community so that we can sustain ourselves. I'll even bring something delicious to share for the social hour. Oh, how I miss having opportunities to bake for a group! (And I'm working on low-carb recipes to add to some of the Celiac friendly recipes I have too!)

    The following week, September 18th, I'll be giving the platform address and I hope to detail some of your ideas and wishes for the year as well as sharing my ideas too (which are many). I'm enthusiastic and I'm ready for the challenge of the year and I hope you all are too. Surviving Covid-19 has been so hard for everyone and every organization, but part of survival is celebrating too!

    I hope to see many of you at the picnic!

  • Friday, August 26, 2022 10:19 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Where:  Lake Accotink Park,  Picnic area #4

    When:  Sunday Sept 4, 2022    1:30 - 4:00

    I'm really looking forward to the picnic this year. Once again we are at Lake Accontink which has not only a pavavillion, but LOTS of things to do. Gotta a bike? Bring it! Want to take a walk? Take one with a friend. Want to play a game? Bring one or join in on a game session.

    Invite a friend, bring some music and let's celebrate the end of summer together! Next week I'll talk about opening Sunday!


  • Thursday, August 18, 2022 11:58 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As this blog post is arriving in all of your email boxes, the NoVES Board is having their monthly meeting. How nice it will be to plan for times we can be together for the picnic, Sunday School, Educational classes, and events again.

    We can't know what tomorrow or the next day will bring for sure and we need to be mindful for all possibilities, but it feels so good to be planning for meeting as a larger group again. 

    We made it everyone. The struggle was real organizationally and personally, but we are here and there is so much promise and hope for the year. Stay tuned for upcoming events!

  • Friday, August 05, 2022 10:03 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This is going to be a somewhat unorthodox  opening letter from the new Board President of NoVES, but in many ways, it's actually perfect.

    I, Melissa Sinclair, have been a member of NoVES for 17 years and being a member has been "home" for my family since moving to Northern Virginia. And it is my honor to take my turn as Board President of NoVES for this programming year.

    My partner and I found this Society while looking for a community for our children to grow up in, but more importantly, for a place for us to build a community.  We were ready to form lasting/caring friendships with life-minded people.

    We knew of the Ethical Society from years before when we were looking to find someone to perform our wedding. We were intriqued by the notion of an Ethical Society.

    Once we found NoVES, we became members in all sense of the word, as you do when you join a small organization. We taught Sunday School, we served on the board, we ran the auction, we helped with Sunday morning set-up, etc. We enjoyed the Halloween parties and the concerts and we loved that we could work together in community to go to protests, marches, and other events to help this world be a better place.

    We welcomed our second child while at the society and we watched our oldest go through the the entire Sunday School program, and most importantly, we got to know all members. They have become our friends.

    We have watched the society change over the years, but what I have noticed and loved most of all is seeing the beauty of this community supporting each other.

    Most recently I have watched the community survive the pandemic through adapting to the times without losing the close connections. Members have helped each other through broken bones, recovering from COVID, moving, and so much more. 

    Two weeks ago several of our youth, including my youngest, went to the Quest camp. I was one of the two volunteer parent drivers. It was so wonderful to spend those hours with those kids who I have had the pleasure to see grow.

    My teen got ill on the ride home from that trip. It turns out it was a 2 week-long virus (not COVID) he caught while at camp. He's still recovering as are my partner and I, but you know what I realized while we were under the weather? I realized that if I needed anything - someone in this society or other Ethical Societies would help us. We weren’t truly alone. We had community. The importance of that cannot be under estimated or under stated.

    I have a lot of hopes  for this upcoming programming year and I will detail that in a more orthodox President's blog post will follow next week once my family has completely recovered from this awful virus.  But I wanted to send something for my inaugural blog post because we have something special at NoVES and we need to celebrate it, nourish it, and expand it.

    Melissa Sinclair
    NoVES Board President


  • Wednesday, October 13, 2021 9:33 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

     NoVES is pleased to become an affiliate of the American Humanist Association.  This will connect us with other Humanist groups in the local area who share our values. 

    The AHA uses extensive local and national media contacts, for lobbying and coalition efforts on Capitol Hill, and the efforts of grassroots activists, this affiliation will ensure that the humanist point of view is represented—the idea that you can be good without a belief in a god

  • Thursday, July 15, 2021 10:08 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Posted by Iris Woodard

    https://aeu.org/resource/2020-supporting-death-with-dignity/   

    Proposed by the Northern Virginia Ethical Society, amended and passed by the 105th AEU Assembly in August 2020

    Whereas the American Ethical Union and the Humanist Association were founded on the principles of the dignity and worth of each person, reverence for life, and freedom of belief among others.

    resolution was passed by the AEU in 2003 in support of decriminalization of the furnishing of a prescription for a lethal dose of drugs by a physician to an adult patient with full decision-making capacity.

    Whereas nine states and the District of Columbia support Death with Dignity by allowing terminally ill patients to have control over their end of life. These states include Oregon (26 years), Montana (10 years); Washington (11 years), Vermont (7 years), California and Colorado (4 years), Washington DC (2 years) and New Jersey, Hawaii, and Maine (1 year).

    Whereas the currently accepted definition of terminal illness is generally that the person is afflicted with an illness, condition, or disease that has no cure and will imminently lead to death.

    Therefore Be it Resolved that The American Ethical Union urges its member societies and affiliates and their members to take action in support of Death with Dignity legislation in each state when appropriate. Such legislation would allow terminally ill, mentally competent adult state residents legally to obtain a prescription for medications to end their life peacefully, in a dignified way, at the place and time of their choosing. Such legislation would permit qualified terminally ill patients to choose to end needless suffering by advancing the time of their approaching death. It would also provide peace of mind for many residents in having access to the option of aid in dying, even if they do not exercise that option. Such legislation should include protection for physicians who supply such prescriptions.

    Recommended actions, both for individuals and for member Societies and affiliated organizations, include contacting elected representatives in their state legislatures asking that they support such legislation; joining an action network, such as Compassion and Choices; and signing a pledge to support such legislation.

  • Wednesday, June 23, 2021 1:19 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Recently there have been attacks on School Boards in two of our local counties.  I refer you to local news articles for details of these events. But I do not understand why civility and respect have deserted our society.  I am sure there are multiple factors, but I am profoundly saddened by these events.   I wish to make this statement as President of our Board of Directors

    NoVa Ethical Society honors the worth and dignity of each person.  People should be treated  with respect and dignity no matter what their race, religion, or sexual orientation. We find these types of attacks despicable and offensive.  We call upon people of all faiths and beliefs to stand in solidarity with our School Board members who have done a great job during a most challenging school year. Every human has meaning and worth. Please act so as to bring out the best in everyone.

    Iris Woodard


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