One of the things I think is important as an humanist is to learn about and to support and all people so that we all can live in a better world. I will try to highlight all the populations that are given special months and weeks and days through-out the year and please, share with me (and the rest of NoVES) other ways we can bring out the best in ourselves.
This is a collection of articles, videos, books, and sites that might be of interest to you (and perhaps your family):
Something what brought to our attention recently and that is that the NoVES Board meetings used to have an invite to all members in the newsletter. Somewhere along the line in the last couple years, that custom got dropped. Can I blame COVID-19, because I think that is the main reason the announcement got dropped?
The NoVES board meets approximately once a month. Recently it has been on the third Saturday of the month at 10 via Zoom. While the meeting is open to everyone, there is always an executive session for Board members only. 99% of the time this is a formality so that we make sure to have it, but it is a time when sensitive topics might be brought up that we would want to limit the audience usually to protect the privacy of someone.
So, with that said, Saturday at 10am until 1pm is the scheduled board meeting for NoVES.
Meeting ID: 862 5043 5076
"Every now and then I think about my own death, and I think about my own funeral.... Every now and then I ask myself, 'What is it that I want said?' I'd like somebody to mention that day, that Martin Luther King Jr., tried to give his life serving others. I'd like for somebody to say that day, that Martin Luther King Jr., tried to love somebody."
Martin Luther King, Jr.
We are meeting this Sunday on MLK's actual birthday. I find that special that we are meeting on this day and if you can't make it this Sunday, I hope it's because you are doing something for this day of service.
MLK would have been 94 years old this year. He was taken too soon, but he did love somebody and he did give his life serving others. We can honor him by DOING for world. But what? What can we do that matters?
I want to remind you that service comes in big and small packages. Sometimes all you can give is a listening ear. Sometimes it's a helping hand, or a donation - large or small. We need ALL of it. We need people to do the work and people to support the work financially. Every thing you do to help another person, matters.
We can't all be Martin Luther King, Jr., but we can do good for this world. I know I want to do more. There are times I can manage to do a lot and at other times I can do very little, but if I keep it an aim or goal to always strive for living my core values, I will find ways to do SOMETHING.
Welcome to the New Year everyone! I hope I'll have a chance to talk with several of you at the Winter festival so that we can start talking about what we hope for this spring! I know that we want to have a Spaghetti dinner and we want to plan for our 35th anniversary year, but we can plan more and dream for more and I would love to hear it!
The AEU is a cohost of the third annual HumanLight virtual Celebration.
It is happening (today) December 17th at 4 pm.(it is a bit confusing because on the sight it also used December 23 for a date - as that is the "actual" day that you might want to celebrate on our own or with your own group.)
This is a new festival to me, but it might be something you feel fits your values and idea of how to celebrate this time of year. It's not one of the other fesitival during the season, but a new one.
Want to know more? Read the FAQ here. But to participate, you do need to register which you can do here on the HumanLight site.
I love winter events because they help break up the cold, dark months of the year, but there is such a crowding of events between Thanksgiving and the New Year that it gets a bit frenzied, but that is how the calendar is laid out in our country, so we deal with it year after year.
That was how it used to be at NoVES too. When my family first joined NoVES, there was a fall festival just before Thanksgiving and a winter festival just before the winter solstice. The last festival was is always some time in the spring.
I don't remember the year, but about a decade ago NoVES was ready for it's winter festival the week before school's winter break, but we got a notification from the school that there had been a flood in the school the night before and we wouldn't be able to use the school next day.
There was nothing we could do except to call off the festival until after the New Year.
Initially, we were all sad that everything had to be delayed and we were sad about moving our festival further away from winter solstice, but the flip side to it was that members got a break in the schedule by not forcing another event into a packed December. And having a winter festival in January is definitely celebrating it in winter and the side benefit is that more people could attend (weather permitting) and it makes it less like the religious holidays in December. It is truly celebrating winter. The darkness is beginning to lift as we experience more light.
So what started as an unfortunate event turned into a positive change for the society.
There are other winter events NoVES will be hosting and participating in. I hope to see you there.
At the Stone Salad festival there were tabletop decorations where people could write what they were thankful for. After I gathered all the trees to be reused for future years, I took each of the leaves off the tree, I decided to write down what everyone wrote to share with people who were not able to attend the festival in person this year. I hope you find it as heartwarming as I did. This is what people wrote in random order. I am thankful for:
These are reminders about the next two weeks at NoVES.
This Sunday is Stone Salad. And like the story, it's a Soup Salad made from stones. (Don't worry, the stone is reused from year to year and it's thoroughly washed.)
Every family unit is to bring items for the meal. Salad items will go in salad and other items will be on tables along the sides of the room.
So, my family's last name is Sinclair (if you have more than one family name, use the one first alphabetically) That means my family needs to bring two salad items - let's say zucchini and cooked yams. And I need to bring breads and spreads. Ball-Anderson family needs to bring washed and torn salad greens and salad dressing. Of course, if you want to bring other items too, you can.
Additionally, remember to bring cash to contribute to Food for Others and another food bank in Maryland.
I'm curious how the spread will be this year! It's never the same year to year.
I also need to remind everyone that we will be closed the following Sunday, November 27th for Thanksgiving weekend.
I have been trying to track down the roots to our fall festival where we create a Stone Salad the Sunday before Thanksgiving. From what I have gathered from a long-term member, this festival, began at the Washington Ethical Society, but it's exact origins are unknown. This founding NoVES member believes it began in the children's program at WES, and it probably began sometime in the late 1960s. That Society used to plan a United Nations Day event in October, but at some point that was dropped and a Stone Soup Festival took its place.
NoVES began as an off-shoot of WES almost 35 years ago and the founding members of the society brought the Stone Soup tradition with them. However, there was one big issue. NoVES didn't have a kitchen to prepare a soup! How could they make Stone Soup? The founding Leader of NoVES, Susan Bagot, wrote the continuation of the Stone Soup story where the soldiers went to the next village to make a Stone Soup, but found there was no wood to build a fire, so they decided to create a salad in a similar way to how they had created the soup. And voila! A new tradition was born!
It's a cute story and I love the creative twist. Not only that, it's a fantastic salad with tons of flavor with all the ingredients. There are some rules to Stone Salad so that everyone can enjoy eating the salad. The salad is assembled ingredient by ingredient, going alphabetically. And there was: Artichokes! Asparagus! Avocado! on down the alphabet to Water chestnuts! Yams (cooked)! and Zucchini!
The kids LOVE making this salad - waiting for the letter(s) of their ingredient(s) to be asked up to the bowls!
There are always helpers at the front that have bowls set aside for allergenic and special diet ingredients. There will be a bowl set aside with no cheese added to the salad. One for no wheat/bread added to the salad. And one for no nuts added to the salad. The salad is vegetarian, so we ask that no one contribute any meat.
While salads are great, it wouldn't be a full meal if we didn't have salad dressings on the side, breads, and desserts too! Oh, and some peanut butter for those eaters who don't want salad at all!
Lastly, Stone Salad is all about working together as a community to build something together. Let's work together so that all of our members who want to attend are able to get to NoVES to take part in the festival. If you need a ride or able to take someone to and from the festival, please contact Melissa Sinclair by November 17th so that she can make arrangements with everyone.
This coming week will be a difficult one for many in our community as we wait for election results. Whatever the result, we will continue to work to do better for the world. It might just be temporarily harder to achieve.
This election might give us a good idea of where we need to put our efforts going forward individually and as an organization. Send me ideas, programs, and activities you would like to see NoVES put their support behind so I can bring it to the Board.