Northern Virginia Ethical Society (NoVES)

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  • Friday, November 25, 2022 9:02 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    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:

    • My family (x3)
    • Water
    • Festivals
    • Me
    • My home
    • Helping
    • Mommy (spelled Momy)
    • People
    • Books
    • Fun
    • Trees
    • Love
    • Long Conversations
    • Home
    • Good food
    • The seasons
    • Amy, Jeannie, Joe, and Butters
    • Hugs
    • Everyone in the world

    I hope reading that put a smile on your face. Remember there is no platform at Green Hedges this Sunday. See you in December.


  • Thursday, November 17, 2022 10:56 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    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. 

  • Friday, November 11, 2022 2:34 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    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. 





  • Friday, November 04, 2022 12:01 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    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.


  • Thursday, October 27, 2022 11:18 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Over the last several years the American Ethical Union (AEU) has been hosting more events via Zoom. Besides being useful for Platforms, it's been a great way for people to learn about other Societies. It's also interesting to experience how everyone holds their weekly platforms.

    Currently, the plan is to have All Society Platforms on 5th Sundays of the month (sometimes depending on schedules). This coming Sunday is one of those occassions.

    The Ethical Humanist Society of Long Island was able to invite Former US Senator and current president of the American Constitution Society, Russ Feingold as the Platform speaker. You can read about the platform here

    We have had several All-Society Platforms in the last couple of years due to COVID, but this is a new experience for all societies to plan and experience a platform in a hybrid format together. This means that we will have Zoom active at Green Hedges as always, but instead of having it be a live speaker, it will all be held over Zoom.

    Of course, if you wish, you can Zoom in from home and listen and particicate that way, but if you choose this option, you will be missing the opportunity to have discussion groups in person as well as having the time to mingle during social hour.  Everything will go on as a usual Sunday which means Sunday School will be in session!

    And remember 5th Sundays mean that if you missed your week to contribute goodies, now is the week to make up for it! (That includes me! I forgot my bag of goodies on the counter at home last week, so I'll be bringing in some homemade goodies. My son Henry and I will make our popular cut out sugar cookies decorated for Halloween.)
  • Thursday, October 20, 2022 11:13 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It takes a lot of people to make Sunday mornings (especially) to work, but the shared work makes it lighter for everything. And the beautiful part of that volunteering to be part of the Sunday morning/afternoon platform preparation, is that you become a bigger part of the community. 

    I get it. It's hard to volunteer. Some of us are pulled really thin in a lot of directions, but most of the work that needs done on Sundays (especially) are small asks. Here is a list of things we need help with:

    • Sound/Audio set-up
    • Tables/chairs set-up
    • Greeters table set up
    • Coffee/snacks table set-up
    • NoVES signs put up at Green Hedges
    • Platform speakers
    • Platform chairs
    • Story for all Ages book selectors
    • Story for all ages readers
    • Musicians (and those to recruit musicians or those to select recorded music)
    • Sunday School teachers
    • Charity selection committee
    • Newsletter editor
    • Board members
    • Festival and event planners
    • Auction committee
    • Books committee, etc.

      (and I know I missed some tasks!)
    And then, when platform is done for the day, we need to pack it all up and clear out of the building to be ready for next week.

    I've done the soft asks (though this is also a soft ask too), but I will be asking individuals where they would like to help. It might be doing something you've done for years and you wish to continue, or it could be something new, but you will be asked by me.
  • Thursday, October 13, 2022 10:51 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This week has been one of adventure for me. For months I had been hoping to get to Pittsburgh to ride the Great Allegheny Rail Trail, but life and circumstances kept getting in the way. Then, I found out very recently that there was a President's Council Retreat I should go to in Pittsburgh. I needed to make both happen. And I did! (email me or talk to me on Sunday about the bike ride and take a ride with me!)

    I'm new to the President's Council, as you all know. I really didn't know what to expect. I wanted to show a positive face and to learn. You all are relying on me to serve NoVES well and I want to live up to that expectation.

    And I have to say, I'm pretty impressed with what we discussed and with the ideas we walked away with. Like we experience with virtual meetings versus meeting in person at NoVES is true for the President's Council as well. There was an energy. The meeting was led completely by President of the AEU Board President, Carolyn Parker. The other board members were active and helped plan the retreat in a thoughtful and meaningful way.

    30 plus people gathered from around the US to learn about  "what's next" and to plan. The event was so successful, we all agreed we should do it again in a year.

    Materials are all being shared over the next few days as the AEU Board gathers all the info gained during the retreat. I will share them as I get them. 

    (And come get an Ethical! button this Sunday)

  • Thursday, October 06, 2022 9:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As soon as I type this up and hit submit, I will be driving to Pittsburgh for this year's President's Council Meeting with the American Ethical Union. It will be the first time for me to attend in this role.

    By the time this is put in the newsletter, I will have been in Pittsburgh for 2 days. I hope I will find it useful and that I will be able to gather information for everyone back at NoVES.

    I will miss seeing you all this Sunday, but I hope you enjoy the Platform and the other activties that are happening in the next few days (Walk, Happy Hour, etc.)

    Until next week. 

  • Friday, September 30, 2022 8:50 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Free Jigsaw Puzzle Stock PhotoNow that we are up and running, we need to slowly and efficiently add in committees and Sunday morning prep to the schedule. (How nice does it feel for it to happening again?)

    With there being a 2 year hiatus of meeting in person, we have shuffled some things around to fit the Zoom format and we have gained and lost committees because of it. So, please let the president, Melissa Sinclair know what committee you would like to be a contributing member too. 

    Please note, that not all committees are listed here. These are the bare minimum needed to get us going. We will be adding more as we go along and see the need.

    For now we need people to be on the:

    • Sound Team/Audio-Visual Team (to set up and take down weekly)
    • Sunday School Committee (to work with the Director of Ethical Education)
    • Charities Committee (for selecting the charity for each week or month)
    • Platform Committee (for finding and recruiting platform speakers)

    And then, we are returning to asking for contribution to the Snack Table as follows (please note, this is the schedule from pre-COVID days, so this schedule might be amended if needed). Also, the week you bring in snacks is also your week to help with Sunday Morning Set-up and Tear-Down.


    SET-UP TEAMS:

    • First Sunday of the month: A-D, 
    • Second Sunday: E-J,
    • Third Sunday K-R,
    • Fourth Sunday S-Z

    (if your family has more than one last name, choose the first alphabetically for your family).


    This Sunday, conveniently is First Sunday for the month of October, so we ask families whose last names start with A-D to contribute to the snack table and to held with set-up/tear-down. 



  • 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. 

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