June Letter from Coordinating Team

June 2023

Greetings from the Follen Coordinating Team!

The end of the Church Year is upon us, and the Coordinating Team would like to thank everyone who helped out at Follen this year. Thanks to the Program Council, Parish Board, Staff, Action Teams, Family Support Team, Coffee Elves, RE Teachers, Safety Team, Ushers, Lay Ministers, the Covenant of Right Relations Team, and everyone else who contributed their time, passion, expertise, and sweat equity to make this year a success. 

The Coordinating Team (CT) is composed of the Minister (Reverend Claire), the Chair and Vice Chair of Parish Board (PB), and the President and Vice President of Program Council (PC).  

The Coordinating Team (CT) meets monthly to discuss and decide the agendas for the two governing boards at Follen, Parish Board and Program Council. PB is generally involved in the long-term policies and plans, and financial oversight, for the church. PC generally takes care of the day-to-day operations at Follen and is composed of Action Team representatives. 

As the church year draws to a close on June 30, Lisa Snellings (PB Chair, 2021-23) and Nick Hart (PC President, 2022-23) are completing their terms. On July 1, please welcome these Follen leaders: Jen Vandiver (PC President, 2023-24), Melissa Howe (PC Vice President, 2023-24), Beth Bernstein (PB Chair, 2023-2025) and Anne Kelly (PB Vice Chair, 2022-24).   

At our final joint PC and PB meeting of the church year on June 12, we celebrated the work and worship Follen staff and volunteers created together this year. At our meeting, we approved policies for building rentals for outside groups (here) and Follen members and staff (here). Leadership also voted to donate $1,000 to the LexSeeHer monument project which is looking to install the first Lexington monument to recognize women, spotlighting more than 20 women and girls across 300 years of the town’s history, including Eliza Follen. The Parish Board approved a charter for the long-term planning team, which you can read here.  

Our year may be winding down, but there are plans for the future. Summer services will begin June 18, and carry into the summer. Our new Long Term Planning Team will be starting their effort to engage the congregation in conversation about Follen’s future. 

The Afghan refugee family that has been living in the Marshman Center moves to their new home on July 1. In the next few weeks, Mellissa Howe will be initiating the Marshman lessons learned exercise by sending out a form to collect feedback over the summer. Then in the Fall, Mellissa will facilitate additional opportunities for evaluation and debrief concerning the use of the Marshman Center this past year and moving forward. We will celebrate the success we had, and create some institutional memory for when we next use the space. 

Follen members and friends are welcome and invited to attend PB and PC meetings. The first PC and PB meetings of the new church year are planned as a joint meeting on Monday, September 11 from 7:30-9pm in the Community Center.  

We hope all Follenites have a peaceful, restorative, and relaxing summer!

In Faith, 

Follen Coordinating Team

Rev. Claire Feingold Thoryn, Minister
Nick Hart, President, Program Council
Jen Vandiver, Vice President, Program Council
Lisa Snellings, Chair, Parish Board
Anne Kelly, Vice Chair, Parish Board