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, January 26, 2020
    • 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
    • Green Hedges

    Winter Festival is Jan 26, 2020  The theme is “Welcome Home." 

    Set up will begin at 10:00 am. Please consider volunteering to help the Week 4 setup team.

    Potluck Contributions:

    A through R: please bring salads and side dishes serving at least 8 people.

    S through Z: please bring desserts

    The Society will provide the main dishes and beverages. 

    Please contact Amy Anderson if you wish to sponsor a table - bring plates, glasses and cloth napkins for 8 people.

    NoVES will be collecting items to donate to New Hope Housing. Since 1978, New Hope Housing has been providing a comprehensive, innovative array of services to homeless families and single adults. New Hope Housing is the oldest and largest provider of shelter beds in northern Virginia. They work to locate permanent housing options to end the cycle of homelessness.

    Our collection request is for cleaning supplies that will make kits to give each family as they move into permanent housing.

    The NoVES Green Team has asked that we focus on eco-friendly products from the following brands:

    1.     Method brand is made from natural products and uses recycled packaging.
    2.     Seventh Generation is made from natural products and uses recycled packaging.
    3.     Common Good is made from natural products and uses refillable packaging.
    4.     Ecos brand is made from natural products and its facilities are powered by 100% renewable energy.
    5.     J.R. Watkins brand is made from natural products and is biodegradable.
    6.     Mrs Meyer’s is made from natural products and uses 25% post-consumer plastic for packaging.

    Or you may donate more permanent items such as a broom, dustpan, sponges, or towels. Iris Woodard will collect these items and deliver to New Hope in early Feb. 

    • Sunday, February 02, 2020
    • 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
    • Green Hedges

    Groundhog Day has many meanings.  Starting with the 1993 movie Groundhog Day and moving into the morass of our current political climate, Randy will ratchet up the courage to come out of his hole, deal with an uncertain future, and engage the world as it is today.

    • Sunday, February 09, 2020
    • 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
    • Green Hedges

    As trust in government and the effectiveness of our democratic system erodes daily, we need a new model of participatory accountability, of an open civic space that drives meaningful governance. To this end, the Government Accountability Project seeks to promote a cultural shift where truth-tellers—whistleblowers who harness the power of information to raise the alarm about gross violations of public trust—are valued as essential to a healthy democracy; where honesty, institutional and individual integrity, and a sense of duty to hold accountable those who engage in serious wrongdoing are restored as fundamental norms and expectations of both workers and leaders; and where whistleblowers are defined not as “snitches” and “tattletales” or viewed as “disloyal,” but are instead considered heroes, patriots, watchdogs, and role models because they chose to speak up rather than stay silent in the face of abuses of power that betray the public trust.

    • Sunday, February 16, 2020
    • 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
    • Green Hedges

    The study of human evolution isn't just an exercise in looking backward at old bones; it tells us who we are today and who we may be tomorrow. The most telling discovery in this field is that humanity's impact on planet Earth has become so great that it will be reflected in the fossil record. This is why scientists are calling our present epoch the Anthropocene, the "Age of Humans." How did this happen and what does it tell us about human nature and the future of our species? And what should be our response?

     Starting his career in 1980, Fred Edwords was executive director of the American Humanist Association for 15 years, editor of the Humanist magazine for 12, national director of the United Coalition of Reason for 6, and sat for 8 years on the Broader Social Impacts Committee of the Hall of Human Origins at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC. He has served on the board of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (now called Humanists International) and the founding board of the National Center for Science Education, and, over the past forty years, has lectured and done media interviews internationally. Now retired, he volunteers as the American Humanist Association’s historian and is a Humanist Celebrant Emeritus with the Humanist Society. 

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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