Ministers and Staff
Reverend Claire Feingold Thoryn, Parish Minister (781-862-3805 x1002, email@example.com)
Rev. Claire was raised Unitarian Universalist and grew up in the Washington, DC area. She studied religion at Swarthmore College and received a Masters of Divinity from Harvard in 2006. Before coming to Follen, she served First Parish in Lincoln, MA. She lives in Lexington with her husband and two daughters.
Rev. Claire is available for pastoral appointments on Wednesdays and Thursdays, usually a few weeks out from the request. Mondays are reserved for staff supervision and worship planning, Fridays are reserved for sermon writing, and Tuesday is her day off. Email her directly to make an appointment.
Angel Portella, Congregational Administrator (781-862-3805, x1005, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Beryl Aschenberg, Director of Religious Education, Credentialed (781-862-3805, x1004, email@example.com)
Chris Eastburn, Music Director (781-862-3805, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Chris Eastburn (he, him) is a classically trained composer, choral director, and intergenerational music inspirer. He has been commissioned to write original works for ballet companies, theatre companies, choruses, orchestras, universities and more. Working at the intersection of folk, contemporary, classical, and popular idioms, his music has won an international composers’ competition and been performed to acclaim from New York’s Carnegie Hall to the Getty Center in Los Angeles. Chris wrote the orchestrations for the evening length, touring show Piano Men–The Music of Billy Joel and Elton John which became the highest selling Pops show in Portland Symphony history and has played to sold out audiences with professional orchestras around the country since 2011.
As a choral director and educator he enjoys working with people of all ages. He is also the artistic director of the Family Folk Chorale for the past 23 years, has written over 600 choral arrangements, and collaborated on performances with Grammy award winner John Carter Cash, saxophonist Glenn DaCosta (of Bob Marley and the Wailers), Martin Sexton, Rani Arbo and many other recording artists. Chris considers himself a musical omnivore and loves conducting music ranging from Palestrina to the present.
Chris lives in the NW corner of Arlington with his spouse Jane, their son Quinn and three cats George, Maple and Mr. Floof.
Meagan Cox Membership Director (781-862-3805, x1001, email@example.com)
Meagan Cox (she, her) was raised Unitarian Universalist and grew up in Birmingham, Alabama. Her grandparents Nancy and Joseph Boyd were founding members of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Huntsville, Alabama in 1957. Before coming to Follen, Meagan worked in the non-profit and government sectors with The Mission Continues, Horizons for Homeless Children, Boston Centers for Youth & Families, Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston, and City Year. The common thread in all of her roles over the years has been support children, youth, families, and communities in reaching their full potential through creative programming and impactful services. She received her BA in Human Services from the University of Massachusetts Boston and MS in non-profit management from Northeastern University. If Meagan’s friends and family were asked to describe her they would say that she has a logistical mind and a creative spirit. You can find her as equally comfortable building spreadsheets to organize large-scale projects as she is making Halloween costumes for her niece and nephew or dancing in the grocery store. Meagan loves good BBQ and Krispy Kreme donuts, and has been known to drive 2 hours for both. If you were to check Meagan’s DVR you would find a combination of movies from the 80s and 90s and reality TV—it’s her guilty pleasure. Her greatest joy is her family, and she loves spending time in her backyard in Stoneham with her husband Sterling, daughter Tahlia, and two dogs Winnie and Ollie.
Shaylor Lindsay, Assistant Music Director (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Shaylor Lindsay (she, her) has been the Adult Choir accompanist for over 15 years and more recently has been Follen’s Music Coordinator and choir director. She brings all of that experience to her role as Assistant Music Director. Outside of Follen, Shaylor teaches piano at her home studio in Lexington and at the Waring School in Beverly, where since 1981 she has also conducted a high school-age Madrigal group, coached chamber ensembles, taught music theory and appreciation, as well as helped organize school curriculum and performances. When she’s not teaching or making music at Follen, you may find Shaylor singing with the Concord Chorus, or participating with the Lexington Music Club.
Patrick Scott, Facilities Manager (email@example.com)
Patrick Scott (he, him) grew up just across the pond in Arlington, MA. He is a graduate of UMass Amherst Isenberg School of Management. Patrick brings over 20 years of management and customer service experience to the team at Follen and is a Custodian for the Town of Lexington at the Fiske Elementary School. He has passion for helping others and is an advocate for youth education. When he is not working, Patrick can be found hiking and playing frisbee with his two border collies, Mac and Millie. Fun fact about Pat–he once dabbled in competitive eating, downing four pounds of ketchup in less than 30 minutes. He recommends that you never attempt this!
Laura VanderHart, Communications Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Laura VanderHart (she, her) grew up in the DC area, and she has lived in the Midwest, as well as the South. She and her family moved to Belmont in 2010, where she serves on the PTA board and is a Town Meeting Member. Laura has been a French teacher and has advised student publications. She is grateful to be at Follen, working with an excellent staff and a church membership that seeks social justice. She lives in Belmont with her spouse and two kids.
Phoebe Eckart-Lee, Ministerial Intern (email@example.com)
Phoebe Eckart-Lee (she,her) is our new intern minister and a candidate for Unitarian Universalist ordination. She will be with us part-time through June 2024. She is currently in the final year of her Master of Divinity at Harvard Divinity School, where she runs the Harvard UU Ministry for Students and is writing a thesis on spiritual resources for UU youth. Originally from San Francisco, California, Phoebe got her BA in Botany & Mathematics from Connecticut College. She has worked in non-profit development and fundraising, youth community organizing, and libraries. Phoebe lives in Brighton with her partner and dog and loves mystery novels, New England’s fall, and pancakes.
Ashley Mulcaire, Children and Youth Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ashley Mulcaire (she, her) is a life-long Unitarian Universalist with extensive experience running UU youth programming. As a teen leader in the Pacific Central region of the UUA, Ashley was actively involved in the regional Middle School Retreat program, and served as a co- conference coordinator of Young Religious Unitarian Universalists of the Pacific (YRUUP). These programs highly prioritize youth leadership and empowerment. As an adult in UU spaces, Ashley seeks to cultivate teens’ sense of ownership of their experience, by conveying trust in them and thus giving them permission to trust themselves. Ashley has worked in Unitarian Universalist churches in California and Massachusetts, in roles ranging from music director to administrator. This work has equipped her with a professional skill set including administration, database management, project management, and volunteer coordination and support.
Rev. Lucinda Duncan, Minister Emerita
The Reverend Lucinda Duncan (she, her) was Follen’s Senior Minister for eighteen happy years, 1993-2011.
She graduated from Lawrence University with a major in third-world political science, served as a Peace Corps volunteer with her husband Bob in Honduras, raised three sons, and served UU congregations in Concord, Jamaica Plain and Cambridge. She earned a Masters in Religious Education from Meadville Lombard and her Masters of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School. She now lives in Colorado near family.