A Letter from the Lay Ministers

March 22, 2020


Dear Friends,


Your Lay Ministry Team has been reaching out this week to everyone with a personal phone call: offering a listening ear, loving support, resources, and kind words.  We also received many good ideas, suggestions, affirmations, and words of support.  Thank you all. This task is still in process, as we seek to really listen.


If you are feeling overwhelmed with information, please jot down these contacts as needed, and feel free to skip reading the rest.

IF you need assistance:

For food or rides: Volunteer Service Network….     vsn@follen.org
For help making ZOOM work at home…….     helpwithzoom@follen.org
For someone to talk to……….    layministers@follen.org
Help with expenses from the Minister’s Discretionary Fund….    minister@follen.org
Join Sunday 10:30 am worship….     Zoom meeting # 163 747 594, Submit your prayers of joy and sorrow ahead of time here.


Here are some general takeaways from our conversations:

  1. You may notice that everyone has a different coping style. Please have patience and compassion for how your partner, teen, parent, dog, etc is handling this situation. Just note that because it is not the way you would do it, does not make it the wrong way.
  2. It helps to have a sense of purpose. If you have WAY too much to do, ignore this. If you are feeling helpless, think of ways to help, teach, support, and reach out. Being proactive can be much better than being passive. Offer to cook dinner …or  learn to do something you’ve always wanted to do, like play the piano or learn to knit.
  3. Remind yourself that you are doing the best you can with the information you have right now.
  4. It takes courage to handle all of the uncertainties that surround us. Sharing feelings with friends and family gives one a safe space to be both real and to be brave and to share the burdens of these challenging times.
  5. Unable to focus like you normally do? This brave new world is not normal. Everyone is having trouble staying focused. That is just the way it is right now.
  6. For those of us living alone, we are encouraged to have a plan, think clearly and identify the people we can contact and reach out to when things get really tough.
  7. The Lay Ministry Team has received SO MUCH positive feedback from these congregational calls that we all feel blessed and grateful. Thank you all! AND we know that a call from a friend can have ten times the positive effect as a call from a casual acquaintance, so we urge YOU to call your friends, long lost cousin, people you care about but haven’t been in touch with……etc.


Finally, know that this community is bound together by love and kindness, and we will get through this together.


Faithfully yours,

Follen Lay Ministry Team
The Rev. Claire Feingold Thoryn
Tom Blumenthal and Sheila Combs, Co-Chairs
Jane Bausch, Brian Cali, Doug Durant, Jim Herzig, John Lempesis, Ruth Lyddy,
Erika Riddington, Anne Rodman, Robin Tartaglia