A Letter from Our New Director of Faith Formation

Meet Beryl Aschenberg


My name is Beryl (rhymes with “Cheryl”) Aschenberg, and I am delighted to be joining Follen Church as your new Director of Faith Formation. I look forward to a long and mutually fulfilling relationship with the members of this community as we explore dimensions of religious living and learning together.

I fell into this denomination, as it seems many of us do, with a casual visit to a UU church, and an immediate feeling of “rightness” with what I experienced that day.  Little did I know that the probing questions I asked over the following months pegged me as a possible replacement for the soon-to-depart Director of Religious Education (DRE), who had just given her notice! I accepted the position, and went on to learn the ins and outs of the work from the children and adults in the Lincoln, NE congregation. Years later, I supplemented the .75 FTE church position with a staff position in the Prairie Star District as their Lifespan RE Specialist.  This experience led me to a much larger church, First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee, WI, where I have joyfully served for the past seventeen years.

UU Religious Education has changed in big and small ways since I got my start. I try to stay current by listening to the stories of children and families, by paying attention to what’s happening in our society at large, and by networking with my colleagues in the denomination. That said, I know that our history and traditions shape and define us, and I look forward to hearing YOUR stories of community! You’ll find that my style tends towards the collaborative approach of leadership; I believe that “relationship” is what we are here for, and that belief is foundational to how I lead. I’ve found that working directly with children and youth is essential to my vision of how we, as people of faith, will transform lives and create a better world.

On a personal note: My dear ones include my daughter Chelsea Krafka and her husband Darren, along with their two little people, 3 year old Logan and one year old Mira (Nebraska);  and my son Daniel Maitland and his soon-to-be wife, Lizzie Neilson (Texas). Next month, right before we leave Milwaukee, I will be marrying my partner of several years, Richard Dorbin. Richard is a Plein Air artist and photographer. Richard and I enjoy a wide variety of music, culture, and the Arts.  Additionally, I am a voracious reader, a crafty sort of person, and a long time practitioner of Yoga. I suspect that Follen folk may have some insights into how we might tap into the resources of our new community – please don’t hesitate to share those with us!

I will see you at church in a few months! I joyfully anticipate our coming together.

In faith, with love,