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, September 22, 2019
    • 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
    • Green Hedges School

    Dr. Michael S. Franch is an Ethical Culture leader and Affiliate Minister at First Unitarian Church of Baltimore. A historian by training, he has spent most of his career working with the Maryland Medicaid Program. Now a retired old guy. Mike gets around Baltimore as much as possible by bicycle, loves English country dancing, telling stories, singing, and playing the concertina. He is a board member of the Baltimore City Historical Society and of the Green Burial Association of Maryland, which he'd be happy to tell you all about.  He provided the following synopsis of his platform address:

    "I felt sorry for Stephen Miller, a Trump senior policy advisor who I think has some very bad ideas, when commentators, comedians, and ordinary Facebook users ridiculed him for his inept attempt to make himself look less bald. He might deserve criticism for the political views inside his head, but it strikes me as wrong to poke fun at what seems to be his insecurity about what is not on the outside of his head. I'll explore this on September 22nd, when I talk about my three friends, Civility, Empathy, and Humility."

    • Sunday, September 29, 2019
    • 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
    • Green Hedges School

    In this joint platform Leader Randy Best and Andrew Orlans will share their views on the life and thought of the two most radical utopian thinkers of the 1960’s and 1970’s:  Norman O Brown and Herbert Marcuse.  

    They will explore “Eros and Civilization” and "Love’s Body” and discuss what is living in those texts today.  A central issue is whether we work for change from within existing political structures or whether change can only come from outside those structures through new forms of consciousness.  Brown used Romans 12:2 as the epigram for his final book “Apocalypse and/or Metamorphosis”:  And be not conformed to this world [be nonconformists];  but be ye transformed  [metamorphose yourselves] by the renewing of your mind.

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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