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Northern Virginia Ethical Society (NoVES)

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The Person Before Us: Reflections on Worth - Mike Franch, Ethical Culture Leader

  • Sunday, February 12, 2023
  • 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
  • Green Hedges School, 415 Windover Ave NW, Vienna, VA 22180

Woman in nature viewing her mirror image

The Northern Virginia Ethical Society is pleased to host Mike Franch as our Darwin Day speaker.  Mike, a nearby Baltimore resident, has spoken at NoVES annually for several years.

Our Darwin Day event ends with celebratory banana splits!

Please join us in-person or on Zoom (link provided below)

The Person Before Us: Reflections on Worth

Ethical Culture puts a high value on the concept of worth—sometimes capitalized as Worth. Felix Adler, our founder, made it central to his philosophy, and took great pains to distinguish it from “value.” The concept of worth, often coupled with “dignity” as in “worth and dignity,” sets up some real life challenges. Do we have to treat everyone as a person of worth and dignity? That can be really hard to do! Even Adler acknowledged that. To complicate things, sometimes our first impression of a person is not as an individual but as a group member. We see race or gender expression or social status--all of which affect the life of the person before us but are not the totality of the person. If we really believe in worth and dignity, how do we live our lives?

Dr. Michael S. Franch is an Ethical Culture Leader and an active member of the National Leaders Council of the American Ethical Union. He served as Leader of the Baltimore Ethical Society from 1975-1984 and is currently affiliate minister at the First Unitarian Church, Baltimore. A historian by training, Michael has taught history at a number of colleges. Until his 2007 retirement, he worked in health policy at the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Mike is also a storyteller, English country dancer, concertina player, and urban bicyclist.

Zoom link:

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