December 1, 2022
Dear Follen Members and Friends,
The holiday season is off to a good start with a well attended multigenerational Thanksgiving service filled with gratitude and joyful music making. We are continuing to explore ways to support those who might like to be physically at Follen, but maintain social distance.
Thank you to everyone making the holidays even more special by supporting all the opportunities to build community through a variety of activities such as craft fairs, Christmas tree sales, cocoa and caroling or pick up choir. Can’t wait to see you at one of these fun events.
Program Council – Follen’s operational governing body composed of our President, Vice President and Action Team leaders – met on November 14. We spent some time reviewing the roll out of the Covenant of Right Relations Team (CRRT) and addressing any outstanding questions. Thank you to Tom Blumenthal, Beth Davenport, Maggie Herzig and Lex Johnson for really getting this team off to a great start. We also discussed updates from the Parish Board to the Room/Space Naming Policy.
The transition team is still working hard to cover all key responsibilities while Follen searches for a new business manager. Follen implemented a pause on accepting new short term rentals for January and February 2023 during this staff transition and the Program Council voted to increase short term rental fees by 20% after January 2023. Please continue to be patient with our staff and volunteers during this transition time.
Hopefully you have noticed the “Action Team of the Week” section in the newsletter and are starting to think about how you might become more engaged in the Follen community and how you can support this thriving community. Try visiting an Action Team meeting to see how they work.
Parish Board – Follen’s “big picture” governing body responsible for financial and policy oversight – met in person on November 23 in the Anne Smith Room. Parish Board is beginning a discussion about how to engage the congregation in conversation about our fundamental values and aspirations, perhaps resulting in a “long term planning” process to update Follen’s mission and vision statements from 2009.
On a less rarefied plane and in fulfillment of its policy role for the church, Parish Board approved a Room/Space Naming Policy with the following goals:
- Communicate Follen is a welcoming and inclusive congregation through the intentional selection of names for rooms/spaces on the Follen Church campus.
- Communicate our values and heritage as a community through a transparent process for the naming of our gathering spaces.
If you have any questions about what is happening at Follen or why, you are encouraged to reach out to any of us or Reverend Claire for a conversation. Follen members and friends are welcome to attend monthly Action Team, Program Council and Parish Board meetings. Check the calendar at Follen.org for upcoming meeting dates.
Program Council meets next on December 12 at 7:30 pm (contact email@example.com for the agenda, location and/or Zoom link) and Parish Board on December 15 at 7:30 pm (contact firstname.lastname@example.org for the agenda, location and/or Zoom link).
Yours in Faith,
Follen Coordinating Team
Nick Hart, Program Council President
Jen Vandiver, Program Council Vice President
Lisa Snellings, Parish Board Chair
Anne Kelly, Parish Board Vice Chair
Reverend Claire Feingold Thoryn