This is going to be a somewhat unorthodox opening letter from the new Board President of NoVES, but in many ways, it's actually perfect.
I, Melissa Sinclair, have been a member of NoVES for 17 years and being a member has been "home" for my family since moving to Northern Virginia. And it is my honor to take my turn as Board President of NoVES for this programming year.
My partner and I found this Society while looking for a community for our children to grow up in, but more importantly, for a place for us to build a community. We were ready to form lasting/caring friendships with life-minded people.
We knew of the Ethical Society from years before when we were looking to find someone to perform our wedding. We were intriqued by the notion of an Ethical Society.
Once we found NoVES, we became members in all sense of the word, as you do when you join a small organization. We taught Sunday School, we served on the board, we ran the auction, we helped with Sunday morning set-up, etc. We enjoyed the Halloween parties and the concerts and we loved that we could work together in community to go to protests, marches, and other events to help this world be a better place.
We welcomed our second child while at the society and we watched our oldest go through the the entire Sunday School program, and most importantly, we got to know all members. They have become our friends.
We have watched the society change over the years, but what I have noticed and loved most of all is seeing the beauty of this community supporting each other.
Most recently I have watched the community survive the pandemic through adapting to the times without losing the close connections. Members have helped each other through broken bones, recovering from COVID, moving, and so much more.
Two weeks ago several of our youth, including my youngest, went to the Quest camp. I was one of the two volunteer parent drivers. It was so wonderful to spend those hours with those kids who I have had the pleasure to see grow.
My teen got ill on the ride home from that trip. It turns out it was a 2 week-long virus (not COVID) he caught while at camp. He's still recovering as are my partner and I, but you know what I realized while we were under the weather? I realized that if I needed anything - someone in this society or other Ethical Societies would help us. We weren’t truly alone. We had community. The importance of that cannot be under estimated or under stated.
I have a lot of hopes for this upcoming programming year and I will detail that in a more orthodox President's blog post will follow next week once my family has completely recovered from this awful virus. But I wanted to send something for my inaugural blog post because we have something special at NoVES and we need to celebrate it, nourish it, and expand it.
NoVES Board President