Northern Virginia Ethical Society

"Act so as to bring out the best in others, and thereby in yourself"
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Note To A Non-Joiner
Maybe you are like me, a person who doesn’t join groups.  “Sorry, not interested.”  
As a young person, I purposefully avoided groups that required that I accept their religious beliefs to be welcomed…that included boy scouts and church or temple youth groups.  Team sports were fine because they did not require that I believe in a particular religion to throw a basketball.  As I grew up, I had school and work to keep me occupied.  I retained my interest in reading and learning about world affairs.  I also retained my curiosity about various philosophies.  I often wondered how people could utilize their rational brain during the week and accept supernatural, faith-based religious stories on the weekend.  In my work with tax-exempt organizations, I saw first-hand how some people would join religious groups and be led by charismatic leaders into odd beliefs and troublesome behaviors.  Most disturbing was adherence to the herd mentality.  Certainly, I could understand the need for a religious community because it proffered safety, nurturing, and communion.  But, often the cost of joining a denomination was loss of autonomy, creativity and authenticity. 
After divorce and remarriage, my spouse and I agreed to find a comfortable organization where our children could learn about values in an environment that did not insist that they accept a particular faith without question.  I was concerned that without some religious education they might accept the first proselytizer who approached them offering the promise of friendship and salvation.  Hey, my kids were still in diapers. I had plenty of time.
By the time my children were in grammar school, I could no longer read the Sunday papers while they watched cartoons without feeling slightly guilty.  Why the Northern Virginia Ethical Society?  I recalled that growing up in Maplewood, New Jersey, my mother attended Ethical Society programs.  When I lived in the District, I enjoyed a brief experience with the Washington Ethical Society.  Why not see if my family might enjoy NoVES?  So, I enrolled my children in Sunday school and we began to attend Platform lectures.  Would you believe I found friendship, intellectual stimulation, activities, music, and … most importantly … people wanting to talk but not desperate to convince me that my views are wrong.  They are mine.  Plus, I get community. 

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