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, January 24, 2021
    • 11:00 AM (EST)

    Revisiting Felix Adler – Lessons from Life and Destiny

    In December, I conducted a three-session class on Felix Adler’s 1903 book, Life and Destiny.  This gave me an opportunity to take a deeper dive into this short volume.  I will share the ideas I gleaned from this read and reflect on why it is still useful and important to examine Felix Adler, his ideas, and how they address today’s problems.

    Randy Best

    Here is the Zoom link:

    Meeting ID 824 2912 6324

    Security Passcode  689344

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

    Please NOTE: link to meeting will be posted later.  

    Replacing Magical Thinking with Rational Discourse: How the Congressional Freethought Caucus is Fighting to Restore the Intellectual Foundations of American Democracy

    Jamie Raskin is a Member of the United States House of Representatives (D-MD), a professor of constitutional law and an author. He was the sponsor of the Resolution adopted overwhelmingly by the House (386-3) in the first week of December in 2020 calling for release of all religious prisoners on earth and for repeal of all blasphemy, apostasy and heresy laws.  He was a key actor in the impeachment inquiry into President Trump and brought the House Judiciary Committee Impeachment Resolution before the House Rules Committee.  He defends the House action: “The fact that the Republican senators behaved like members of a religious cult does not render our decision a foolish one. We stood up for the Constitution.”

    Rep. Raskin is the co-chair of the Congressional Freethought Caucus which he co-founded with Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA). “My hope for the CFC,” explains Rep Huffman, “is to be identified … as a counterweight to those pushing the country toward theocracy. Thankfully, my co-founder Jamie Raskin sees it the same way and brings remarkable legal expertise, credibility, a good sense of humor and boundless energy to our efforts.”

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

    Description added later

    Meeting ID  824 2912 6324

    Security Passcode  689344 

    • 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. 

    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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