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, February 24, 2019
    • 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
    • Green Hedges School

    Dr. Itoro Ibia    

    The topic of suicide has been more prominent in the news in the past few years with a new report from the CDC on the increasing rates of suicide. The CDC now says suicide is the 10th leading cause of death among adults but also the 3rd leading cause of death for people aged 10 to 14. What many people do not know is that many who kill themselves represent people "you'd never expect to struggle upon first glance". Mental health conditions which often lead to suicide happen regardless of race, culture, gender or socioeconomic status. There is therefore a great need to recognize the signs of mental illness and help people access the care and support they need as quickly and as early as possible.

    Join us on February 24th, as Dr. Ibia educates us on this growing public health crisis and what we can do to protect our loved ones.


    • Sunday, March 03, 2019
    • 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
    • Green Hedges School

    Since 2011 I have attended annual meetings of the International Humanist and Ethical Union as a voting representative for the American ethical Union (NoVES’ National Organization).  My encounters with fellow humanists from around the world enriched my understanding of the problems faced by humanists in other countries and the challenges of supporting their freedom of expression.  Participation in the IHEU also allowed me to celebrate humanist fellowship and experience the power of organized humanism.   I will share my adventures and experiences in this presentation.

    • Sunday, March 17, 2019
    • 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
    • Green Hedges School 415 Windover Ave NW, Vienna, VA 22180

    Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude

    Gratitude is an emotion that has far reaching psychological benefits.  Often, people undervalue the positive impact gratitude has on their lives, their relationships and the well-being of others. Remembering to feel grateful for the things and the people in our lives is a skill that can be learned.  By being alert for the 3 components of gratitude in our day to day lives, we can learn to recognize it much more easily and frequently.  Basically, we can become Gratitude Experts!  We can also work hard at giving back our gratitude thru our words and actions to those who have helped us.  Ultimately, we can pay forward  the feeling of gratitude thru service to others in a way that also embodies the 3 components of gratitude.

    Intention + Cost + Benefit = Gratitude

    Join DEE, Kimberly Nyilasi, as she Summarizes the Mini-Gratitude Lessons she has been teaching in conjunction with this year's Sunday School service projects.  And learn how Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude is something that will enrich your life.

    • Sunday, April 28, 2019
    • 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
    • Green Hedges School

    • Sunday, May 19, 2019
    • 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
    • Green Hedges School

    • Sunday, June 16, 2019
    • 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
    • Green Hedges School

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

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