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 18, 2021
    • 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM (EDT)
    • A Virtual Meeting


    Come join us at the Spring Festival.  Bring a Spring Poem, Short Story, or Show-and-Tell Project to share.  Contribute to a Spring Photo Montage by sending a photo or three to

    The meeting will include break-out sessions into small groups to facilitate better conversation.

    So tear yourself away from an outdoor Spring activity and join NoVES for conversations with friends.

    Here is the meeting information.  Hope to see you then.

    Meeting ID: 828 5237 4230

    Passcode: 780319

    • Sunday, April 25, 2021
    • 11:00 AM (EDT)

    Details coming later

    Meeting ID: 892 8660 5011

    Passcode: 059273

    • Sunday, May 02, 2021
    • 11:00 AM (EDT)
    • zoom

    details later

    • Sunday, May 09, 2021
    • 11:00 AM (EDT)


    Meeting ID  829 0342 1109

    Security Passcode  067418

    • Sunday, May 16, 2021
    • 11:00 AM (EDT)

    details posted later

    • Sunday, May 16, 2021
    • 1:00 PM (EDT)

    Leader Randy Best will host a discussion of the AEU Shared Platform

    Meeting ID  879 8100 4989

    Security Passcode  332357

    • Sunday, May 23, 2021
    • 11:00 AM (EDT)
    • zoom

    "Central Park Amy and George Floyd: How one day captured and exposed America's history of devaluing black lives."   I will explain how the Central Park Amy episode (where a woman called the police to falsely claim a black bird watcher was assaulting her) and the killing of George Floyd reflects our country's history of devaluing black lives and how that devaluing is reflected in our criminal justice system and how that system has been used to enforce social "order" along racial lines.

    Meeting ID  824 0130 5567

    Security Passcode  586072

    Lucius T. Outlaw III is an associate professor of law at Howard University School of Law. In addition to teaching criminal law and justice courses, Professor Outlaw is the supervising attorney of the law school’s Criminal Justice Clinic, where students represent indigent clients charged with misdemeanor offenses in D.C. Superior Court.

    Directly prior to joining the law school, Professor Outlaw was an Assistant Federal Public Defender with the Federal Public Defender’s Office of Maryland for eight years. As an AFPD, Professor Outlaw represented indigent clients charged with a variety of federal criminal offenses, especially fraud, political corruption, violent, firearm, and drug offenses. In 2013, Professor Outlaw was detailed to the United States Senate for one year to serve as counsel in the Judiciary Committee office of Senator Richard Durbin (D-Illinois). For the last two years of his tenure at the federal defender’s office, Professor Outlaw served as Senior Litigation Counsel. In that role, Professor Outlaw assisted with the management of the office’s staff, caseload, recruitment and hiring, attorney training, and policy setting and implementation.

    Professor Outlaw started his legal career as an associate with Williams & Connolly LLP in Washington, D.C. (2001-2004) and then with Mayer Brown LLP’s Washington, D.C. office (2004-2010). At Mayer Brown, Professor Outlaw was promoted to partner in 2009.

    Professor Outlaw is a graduate of Wesleyan University (B.A.), the George Washington School of Political Management (M.A.), and the University of Pennsylvania Law School (J.D.).

    • Saturday, June 05, 2021
    • (EDT)
    • Sunday, August 08, 2021
    • (EDT)
    • virtual

    The AEU’s 106th Assembly will be held virtually, with various workshops and business working sessions being held between June 8, 2021, and ending with the AEU Business Meeting on August 7, 2021 and the All Society Platform on August 8, 2021.

    The theme of our Assembly is “ADDRESSING THE WHOLE TRUTH ABOUT AMERICA.”

    …. Is America all that it should be? All that it could be? Is America living up to its aspirations?

    …. Throughout our history, systemic racism, white nationalism, and economic inequality are woven into the fabric of American society. A failed political system and Climate Crisis denial prevent American leadership from building a sustainable future that includes everyone.

    …. How can we move toward the justice, healing, and reconciliation that we all long for? A search for truth can serve as a beginning for understanding how we, as humans, receive and process information, how we cast aside old knowledge for new appreciation of relationships, how we can look forward to the future with new ways of sharing and caring for each other in a finite world. With a renewed awareness of the truth about America, we can find an opportunity for change and transformation to realize the human worth and dignity of everyone. Greater understanding of the problems we face can offer us greater opportunities for collaboration, for becoming more effective allies, and for co-creating a better future for all.

    Zoom links and workshop information coming soon!

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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