Follen Blog

CANCELED: Octagon Dinners

Sadly, the Octagon Dinners are canceled for now.

Four Octagon Dinners!

March 27 and 28

We have just scheduled two new Octagon Dinners! One is an Adults Only Dinner on Friday, March 27, at the home of Debbie Bassett and Don Weikert in Lexington, starting at 6:30pm. If you would like to attend, please click below to sign up. Once the group has been established, Debbie will contact you with what you can bring for the meal and discuss any food restrictions you might have. In addition, Ching Lai has offered to host a Family Dinner at her home in Lexington on Saturday, March 28, from 6:30 to 8:30pm. This is a wonderful opportunity for you and your children to meet other Follen families! If you would like to attend, please contact Ching to let her know the number of people attending, the ages of your children, and what you can bring to the dinner. And if you are interested in hosting a dinner – either for families or for adults – just contact Steph at

Friday, March 27, 6:30-9pm  (Adults Only) Sign Up Here
Saturday, March 28, 6:30-8:30pm  (Families)  Send email to


March 27 and April 3

We have just scheduled two Octagon Dinners – for Friday, March 27 and Friday, April 3 – to be held at the home of Steph Chiha in Arlington. These dinners are a wonderful opportunity to both meet newcomers and to catch up with old friends. If you would like to attend, please go into Signup Genius and select your date below. Once the group has been established, Steph will contact you with what you can bring for the meal and discuss any food restrictions you might have. Please note that these two dinners are for adults only. If you are interested in hosting a dinner for families, please contact Steph at and she will be glad to assist you with the planning.

Friday March 27th, 6:30-9pm  Sign Up Here  
Friday April 3rd, 6:30-9pm  Sign Up Here  

Volunteers Needed for Melanie DeMore Events

The Melanie DeMore Residency starts next month, on February 1, to be exact! Read all about it here. In order to make this experience the best it can be, we plan to roll out the red carpet and to give Melanie–and many friends and neighbors–a Follen welcome. Follenites, please take a minute and sign up … Continued

January Spiritual Exercise: Perspective

January – Perspective “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear.” That’s what the side-view mirror in the car tells us every time we check our blind spots. This exercise is to check your blind spots—that is, the ones you know about. How has a change in perspective (or in knowledge, experience, age, authority, etc) … Continued

The Library is Live!

The Library Task Force is pleased to announce that the Eliza Cabot Follen Library is shelved and ready to go. This is the culmination of over a year of work to weed, purchase, process and organize a re-invigorated collection. The goal of the library is to house a highly curated and useful collection of circulating books … Continued

Melanie DeMore Schedule

We welcome vocal activist Melanie DeMore in February and June 2020. We thank Melanie for her meaningful time here in February and look forward to her return in June!   Schedule Update: Melanie DeMore’s March visit has been postponed until June. Read this post from Director of Music Vivian Montgomery, and watch for more updates soon.   … Continued

From Rev. Tom

Rev. Tom Schade, our sabbatical minister, has left us with a few more gifts. His sermons (and other musings) are now all posted on in the service archive. He shared the following benediction with us, and it is fitting for us to share it now, with gratitude for his presence at Follen for the … Continued

Vivian’s Music Notes 11/24/19

Director of Music Vivian Montgomery’s Music Notes are published in the weekly order of service and here at  Music Notes for November 24: Some of today’s music needs no introduction, especially to those who’ve heard Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Russian Thanksgiving Anthem” sung each year by Follen’s choirs and alums for at least two decades. The Children’s … Continued

Here Comes the Auction!


Things to Know Before You Go To this Fun, Fabulous, Fund Raising Event

When is this event?

This year, the auction will be held in the Community Center on Saturday, April 4.  The silent auction and soup start promptly at 5:30pm and the live auction begins around 6:15pm.

Who is invited?

Follenites and friends.  Please bring anyone you think would enjoy the evening. Help us by sending an RSVP.

Will there be food?

Yes!  A light supper of soup, bread, wine and dessert will be available.

Does it cost anything to get in?

No!  Attendance at the auction is free of charge.

What happens at the auction?  There will be both silent and live auction sessions, plus time to eat and mingle with friends.  Our dynamic auctioneers make the live auction bidding a lot of fun.

What types of items are in the auction?

You can check out a sneak peak of last year’s booklet to get an idea! Auction Book 2019 FINAL

Do I have to spend a lot of money?

No!  We have many items that range widely in value, with many items in the $50 – $200 range.  There is no obligation to buy anything.  Many people collaborate while bidding to reduce the price per person.  Plan ahead!

How do I pay?

With cash or check.  Unfortunately, we cannot accept credit cards.  Payment must be made on the night of the auction so bring your checkbook.

I won!  How do I collect my item?

When you check-out, you will receive the name and contact information of the donor of your item.  Winners are responsible for contacting the donors.  Items should be collected and services redeemed before the next auction.

Will there be childcare?

Yes!  Three Follen youth will supervise children. Mac and cheese will be served.  Parents are also welcome to serve their children at the soup and dessert buffet. While not required, it is helpful if you let us know if you will be using childcare.

Where does the money from the auction go?

The auction supports Follen’s annual operating budget.

How can I help?

Volunteer an item or service to be auctioned off, or help with set-up and clean-up, or bring food and drink.  Contact us at with any donations or questions.

I can’t attend the auction but I still have an item or service I would like to donate?

You do not have to attend the auction to donate.  We will inform you afterwards who purchased your item and how much money it raised for Follen.

We hope to see YOU at the auction!

Jen Vandiver, Auction Chair

Foundations for Melanie DeMore Residency

I recently needed to go back to collect a little of the verbiage from a big grant application I submitted (with essential help from Follen mainstay Jack Donahue) to the Unitarian Universalist Association to support the Music Friendships Initiative/Follen Responds to Racism project hosting song activist Melanie DeMore in February and March of this coming … Continued

Welcoming Follen’s Harpsichord

The Italian harpsichord given to Follen by Anne Engelhart is built by one of the most prominent contemporary builders, Keith Hill of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Keith is author of an authoritative book, The True Art of Making Musical Instruments—A Practical Guide to the Hidden Craft of Enhancing Sound, and he provided many of the instruments … Continued