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Northern Virginia Ethical Society (NoVES)

Sunday Platforms

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The platform of an Ethical Society is itself the altar; the address must be the fire that burns thereon.

Felix Adler, Founder of Ethical Culture

What to Expect

Our platform meetings typically feature a thought-provoking talk on a topic of ethical interest, along with responses, music, a story for children of all ages, and more. We meet from mid-September through mid-June (see topic listings below).

Our Sunday School is devoted to teaching children how to make ethical choices, with a thoughtful, age-specific curriculum and a friendly, supportive environment.

All are welcome to attend a Sunday meeting and to bring children along for Sunday School. Casual, comfortable dress is the norm, we want you to feel at home.

We follow the more formal part of our meetings with a coffee and conversation time hosted by our members -- a chance to continue the conversation about the topic, to get to know each other, to learn from each other, and to find others with shared values and concerns.

A few times each year, we have inter-generational festival celebrations instead of talks at the Sunday platform meeting. In these events, we celebrate the natural flow of the seasons, honor the universal human concerns behind holidays, and enjoy a shared meal together.

Each Sunday, we pass the basket, giving members and friends an opportunity to help support the Society and its values. Half of all undesignated donations are given to a charitable or service organization or project; the Ethical Action committee selects and announces each week's recipient organization or project.

Sample Sunday Program

 11:00 AMOpening Words and Music   
 Welcome and Greet Your neighbors
 11:10 AMStory Time (kids gather up front)  
 11:15 AMKids go to Sunday School
 11:20 AMPlatform Speaker Introduction
 11:20 AM-11:50 AMPlatform Address  
 Response Period and Sharing of Responsibility (collections)
 12:00 PMClosing Words  
 12:15Conclusion of Sunday School  
 12:00 PM-1:30 PMSnacks and Social Time

Upcoming Topics

    • Sunday, April 02, 2023
    • 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
    • Green Hedges School

    Image result for clip art spring flowers

    Join us as we have a community celebration of Spring.

    This Spring our festival gathering will be low key.

    Please bring a picnic lunch for yourself.  If the weather is nice, we will eat on outside picnic tables.  If not, we will have tables inside.

    Please bring something that reminds you of Spring - a flower, a poem, a song - whatever speaks to you of Spring.

    Being together outdoors, in nature, is a sign that Spring is truly here.

    This event will be in-person only (there is no Zoom option).

    • Sunday, April 09, 2023
    • 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM

    There will be no in-person or zoom  meeting today

    • Sunday, April 16, 2023
    • 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM

    NOTE: There are two events happening simultaneously

    Stream clean-up for Sunday School and Zoom only Colloquy for others.

          Lets get those ethical kids outside and take care of the Earth by cleaning up a local stream. 

    Wear some rubber boots and old clothes and go directly to the great outdoors with your child at 10:45 am.  (Location will be sent via email) 

    Trash bags, rubber gloves and bottled water will be provided by your hosts, The Ballandersons. 

    Please register so we know how many kids to expect.  We will have a pizza party al fresco after the event, so an accurate headcount is necessary.  

    *Bringing a clean, dry change of clothes is recommended, including socks*


    Free Mollusk Oysters photo and pictureColloquy provides an opportunity for self-reflection and contemplation within a nurturing, group environment. Participants use readings, music, and quiet sharing to reflect on a different theme each week.

    Colloquy was created at the Ethical Humanist Society of Long Island by Arthur Dobrin, the Leader Emeritus of the Long Island congregation. Since that time many societies, including the Northern Virginia Ethical Society have incorporated colloquy into its offerings.

    Format: Each Colloquy discussion centers on a particular theme selected from Arthur Dobrin’s book, Spelling God with Two O’s. Groups consider such topics as awareness, serenity, character, transitions and friendship. Ellen will announce the theme at the start of the hour. There will be time for reflection, then each person has a chance to speak about their reflections.

    Zoom link for colloquy

    • Sunday, May 21, 2023
    • 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
    • Green Hedges School and Zoom

    Project Illumination: Exploring Art and Community

    Project Illumination is a series of 10 large-scale multimedia paintings created by artist Girasol O’Neill with local immigrant groups over the past year. Authentic representation and presence of immigrant experiences are the core of this series. To navigate how complex, and at times contradictory, our stories are, the pieces were divided into two categories: a bustling butterfly community mural, and 9 intimate portraits of real families and individuals. The mural and portraits will be exhibited together from June 17th-September 1st at Gallery 3700 in Arlington, Virginia. This project is completely funded by the Artists Working to Address and Reimagine Equity (AWARE) Grant from Arlington Commission of the Arts. 

    Artist Bio: Girasol O’Neill is a painter and human rights activist based in the DC metro area. The intersection between his trans and immigrant identities fuels his desire to connect with others by creating social and politically themed art. Emotional exchange between his pieces and viewers is central to his practice, which he facilitates by fusing realistic forms with vibrant and surreal imagery.

    This is an in=person event with a Zoom option.

    To Join us via Zoom:

Directions to Sunday Platform

Green Hedges School

415 Windover Avenue NW

Vienna, VA 22180

Driving Directions

Take the Nutley Street North exit from Route I-66.  At the fourth light, cross Maple Avenue (Route 123) and start watching your odometer.  At 0.2 miles, you will see a driveway with “Watch for Turning Vehicles” and “Green Hedges” signs.  There will also be an Ethical Society sign next to the driveway.  Turn right into the driveway, park in the lot, and take the nearest entrance into the building.

Questions or platform topic recommendations? Contact the Platform Committee

AEU website

Click on the logo to learn more about Ethical Culture, ethical action nationwide, and AEU resolutions on national and global issues.

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