February Letter from Coordinating Team

February 25, 2021

Dear Follen Members and Friends,

We hope this letter finds you well. Our hearts hurt as we process the loss of several beloved members of our community amidst the enormous loss of life in our country. We send you our deepest sympathies if you are grieving at this time as well as a reminder that our Lay Ministers are available for pastoral care along with many loving members and friends of the Follen community. Please do not hesitate to reach out.

This past month:     

  • In response to the resolution overwhelmingly passed at the annual meeting last May, the Program Council voted unanimously to provide all staff members with a one-time $500 after tax pandemic bonus.  The bonus was distributed earlier this month.  We received many heartwarming thank you notes from our staff members.

Annual meeting resolution: To charge Program Council to consider as a high priority for use of reserve funds as available the financial remuneration of hourly staff members affected by the virtual church scenario, with broad latitude to consider severance, bonus or other means.

  • Parish Board and Program Council are supporting the HR Committee with regularly scheduled evaluations of Follen staff. The process is starting with the evaluation of Reverend Claire. The evaluation team, as defined by the HR process, consists of Robin Tartaglia, Maggie Pax, Tom Blumenthal, Pritesh Gandhi, and Trapper Markelz. They are using the UAA’s established framework for ministerial assessment, Fulfilling The Call, to ensure Reverend Claire gets regular feedback and tools for self-development and career progression. In the coming weeks, some members of the congregation may be approached by a member of the evaluation team for specific input in order to complete the process. If there are any questions or concerns, please reach out to Pritesh Gandhi who is leading the evaluation team.

The next Program Council meeting is Monday, March 1 at 7:30pm and the next Parish Board meeting is Monday, March 8 at 7:30pm. All Follen Members and Friends are welcome to join either meeting. Please reach out to Howie Bernstein at president@follen.org or Lex Johnson at parishboardchair@follen.org for zoom links. Please do not hesitate to be in touch anytime with questions or concerns. 

Yours in faith,

Howie Bernstein, President of Program Council
Sophie Evett, Vice-President of Program Council
Lex Johnson, Chair of Parish Board
Trapper Markelz, Vice-Chair of Parish Board