Ministers and Staff
Reverend Claire Feingold Thoryn, Parish Minister (781-862-3805 x1002, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Reverend Claire Feingold Thoryn has been serving Follen since September 2013. Rev. Claire will be on sabbatical from June 15-December 15, 2019. Please contact our sabbatical minister, Tom Schade, during that time. (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.
Tom comes with a lot of experience in UU ministry. He served as a minister at First Unitarian in Worcester, MA for 14 years, where he was called as senior minister 2010-2013. He is currently completing a sabbatical ministry for our own Ellen Quaadgras (onetime Follen ministerial intern) in Rhode Island, where he lives.
Tom is very active in UUA affairs – in fact, he will be joining the UUA board of directors this summer. He is deeply informed on the issues we value. He loves parish ministry. On top of all that: he’s a Follen kid! His father was Follen’s minister when Tom was born. We are told he was brought home from the hospital to the Parsonage – our current Marshman Center.
Sarah Garner, Church Administrator (781-862-3805 ext. 1005, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sarah Garner began working as Follen’s Church Administrator in 2003 after eleven years in arts and educational non-profit organizations. She feels fortunate to work with wonderful colleagues and values the kindness and optimism that characterize Follen life. Sarah and her husband, John Niles, live in East Lexington, where they raised their two children.
Vivian Montgomery, DMA, Director of Music (781-862-3805, x1003, vivian.musicdirector
Vivian comes to Follen after 4 years as Director of Music at the UU Church of Medford. Before that, she was Music Director at First Parish in Needham from 2003 to 2012.
Vivian has directed baroque opera, orchestras, and choirs throughout the US, and is co-director of the Boston-based baroque orchestra, Eudaimonia, A Purposeful Period Band.
For 25 years, she has explored women’s musical lives in earlier centuries, recently as a Resident Scholar at the Brandeis Women’s Studies Research Center, and on a 2014 Fulbright in the UK.
Vivian is an award-winning harpsichordist and fortepianist on the Early Music Faculty of the Longy School of Music of Bard College. She is an avid writer of both scholarly articles and personal essay, and is also an accordion player, leading the klezmer band Shir Chutzpa at Temple Shir Tikva in Wayland. She lives in West Medford with her husband, composer John Morrison, and her whacky dog Bindi. Her spirited (and wildly musical) offspring is at Haverford College.
Beryl Aschenberg, Director of Religious Education, Credentialed (781-862-3805, x1004, email@example.com)
Beryl Aschenberg came to Follen in August 2018, having served as a Unitarian Universalist Religious Educator for more than twenty-eight years.
Beryl was born in Canada and raised as a secular Jew; she now identifies as a “Jewnitarian” having embraced the Unitarian Universalist faith as a young adult. Her focus in college was Early Childhood Education and Religious Studies. In 1990, Beryl was hired by The Unitarian Church of Lincoln, NE as their Director of Religious Growth and Learning (a position which her daughter, Chelsea Krafka, now holds.) In ensuing years, she immersed herself in the field of UU faith formation, serving as professional staff in the Prairie Star District, as a Board Member of the Central Midwest Chapter of the Liberal Religious Educator Association (LREDA), and as a respected leader of UUA Renaissance Modules in the areas of Ministry with Youth, Worship for All Ages, and Teacher Development. Most recently, Beryl worked as the Director of Lifespan Religious Education at First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee, WI for seventeen years; it was there that she developed a highly regarded Anti-Racism curriculum, Black People Matter, which has been distributed to over fifty UU churches nationwide.
Beryl married Richard Dorbin, a talented commercial photographer and painter, in the summer of 2018. Two weeks later they packed up a U-Haul and headed to their new home in Acton, Massachusetts. They are thrilled to be closer to Richard’s family, and to be exploring the beauty /history of the land of the Transcendentalists. Beryl’s family also includes the aforementioned daughter Chelsea and her husband Darren; newlyweds Daniel Maitland and his wife Lizzie Neilson; and two lovely, lively grandchildren, Logan and Mira, who call her “Bubbie” and rock her world.
Andy Wells-Bean, Membership Coordinator (781-862-3805, x1001, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Before joining Follen, Andy worked as a progressive organizer across the country on political and nonprofit campaigns. Building community, including recruiting and supporting volunteer leaders have all been a cornerstone of his work, then and now. Because he travelled widely, Andy has been an active member of a wide range of UU communities, ranging from tiny rural fellowships to 600 and 1400 person congregations. Andy, his wife Rev. Angela Wells-Bean, and their dog Stella, live just down the road in Burlington.
Jimmy McFeeley, Sexton (email@example.com)
Laura VanderHart (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the Communications Coordinator. She does the weekly newsletters, orders of service, and updates to follen.org.
Laura grew up in the DC area in a family with Midwestern roots. She and her family live in Belmont, 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.
Rev. Lucinda Duncan, Minister Emerita
The Reverend Lucinda Duncan 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 lives in West Concord with her puppy Bosun.