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

 10:45-11:00Gathering           
 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
 Music
 11:20 AMPlatform Speaker Introduction
 11:20 AM-11:50 AMPlatform Address  
 Music  
 Response Period and Sharing of Responsibility (collections)
 Announcements 
 12:00 PMClosing Words  
 12:15Conclusion of Sunday School  
 12:00 PM-1:30 PMSnacks and Social Time

Upcoming Topics

    • Sunday, January 31, 2021
    • 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM (EST)

    Replacing Magical Thinking with Rational Discourse: How CAN FREETHINKRS HELP RESTORE Democracy?

    Please join the American Ethical Union January 31st for “Replacing Magical Thinking with Rational Discourse: How can freethinkers help restore democracy?” The platform will be shared by representatives from all twenty-five national Ethical Societies and will feature music from the Washington Ethical Society Chorus, Jaque DuPree and Barry Kornhauser, with presiders Vandra Thorburn, Elaine Durbach and Lyn Cox.

    As we face this historical moment, when cult thinking and fake news have fueled an attempted insurrection, yet grassroots organizing gives us hope in the future of multiracial democracy, we reflect on the intellectual traditions supporting a free society. What do our shared values lead us to do now in order to cultivate a world in which we bring out the best in each other and ideas are allowed to flourish without threat of violence? Our panel of thinkers from within our movement will draw from philosophy, history, and Ethical Culture tradition. We’ll be joined by Dr. David Sprintzen, Professor Emeritus at Long Island University and Christian Hayden, Leader-in-Training at the Ethical Society of St. Louis. Music from the Washington Ethical Society Chorus, DuPree and Barry Kornhauser will round out the Platform. This program is part of our All-Societies Platform series, in which Ethical Culture societies from around the country will join together on Zoom to learn and grow together.

    Join the Zoom event here.


    • Sunday, February 07, 2021
    • 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM (EST)

    Description added later


    Meeting ID  824 2912 6324

    Security Passcode  689344

    https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82429126324?pwd=eU80a0M2ZVNyZnlua1dHb0NCQTczZz09 

    • Sunday, February 14, 2021
    • 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM (EST)




    You may be quite familiar with our Eight Commitments of Ethical Culture. We reference it frequently. Recently the American Humanist Association, with which NOVES is affiliated, released a new graphic and statement expanding those eight commitments to ten. Iris Woodard will review this new list and discuss how it expands our understanding of the practice of Humanism.

    https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82429126324?pwd=eU80a0M2ZVNyZnlua1dHb0NCQTczZz09 

    Meeting ID 824 2912 6324

    Security Passcode  689344


    • Sunday, February 21, 2021
    • 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM (EST)
    • zoom

    No speaker has been scheduled yet

    • Sunday, February 28, 2021
    • 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM (EST)
    • zoom

    Ellen will lead us in a Colloquy.  Topic of discussion will be announced at start of the meeting. 

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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