Staff Blog

Spring Sermon Writing Class with Rev. Claire

Has life taught you some hard-won lessons? Do you have a story to tell? Has your spiritual life grown and deepened over the years? Have you ever watched someone preach and thought “I could never do that!” This class is for you! Rev. Claire will lead you through a 6 session course, during which participants will support each other … Continued

Message from Rev. Claire and the Safety Team about COVID-19

  March 3, 2020 Dear Follen Members and Friends, As infections from the COVID-19 coronavirus spread, it is important that we also spread information on how to prepare for and prevent this disease in our community and congregation. There is information about COVID-19 everywhere; two excellent resources are a recent New York Times podcast, and … 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

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 follen.org 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 follen.org.  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

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

Thinking Out Loud About Christopher Montgomery

In this post, Director of Music Vivian Montgomery reflects on her father’s life. This Friday, November 15, she is part of a concert at Follen featuring his songs. My father grew up in Chicago, where he and his brother went to all the jazz clubs downtown from their early teens. Their parents were fellow travelers … Continued

Vivian’s Music Notes: 10/20/19

Director of Music Vivian Montgomery’s Music Notes are published in the weekly order of service and here at follen.org.  Music Notes for October 20: Finally, we get to hear our Children’s and Youth Choirs sing, for the first time this year! Children’s Choir will stay with us through the silence, but first regaling us with … Continued