November Letter from Coordinating Team

November 3, 2022

Dear Follen Members and Friends,

Jack-o-lanterns and trick or treaters give way to shorter days and cooler nights, as we prepare for the uncertainty of election season, and the joys and challenges of Thanksgiving and the winter holidays. It has been so uplifting to worship together in our sanctuary this fall, filled with children and families, and familiar and new faces. Many thanks to Melissa Howe, Howie Bernstein and Lucas Som-Oeur for getting the Vimeo live stream of Sunday services up and running. We are so fortunate to have the Follen community to anchor us in the collective spiritual practices of love, music and contemplation. Please invite a new or old friend to visit our Sanctuary this holiday season for a bit of renewal and hope.

Program Council–Follen’s operational governing body composed of our President, Vice President and Action Team leaders–met on October 17 in a successful in-person and virtual hybrid meeting format in the Anne Smith Room. We discussed the need to re-establish a rental sub-committee to support the staff and ensure rentals are consistent with our UU values. Next steps are being implemented. Program Council also discussed and committed to having updated charters for all Action Teams available on the Follen Church website by the end of the year. 

With Linda Hein’s departure, Follen staff and members are stepping up to cover business manager functions, and a bookkeeping service has been onboarded. Rev. Claire and the HR Committee will assess Follen’s needs and capacity before beginning a hiring process. In the meantime, please be patient with our staff and volunteers during this transition time. Please see the list of contact points for business office needs in today’s Follen for You newsletter.  

Parish Board–Follen’s “big picture” governing body responsible for financial and policy oversight–met on October 24. We discussed a proposed policy and process for Naming Spaces/Rooms at Follen. We are beginning a conversation about how to tackle longer range and strategic planning as we live into our beautiful new building and emerge from the pandemic. And we are exploring how Follen can implement the 8th UU Principle adopted at Follen’s 2022 annual meeting.

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 for upcoming meeting dates. Program Council meets next on November 14 at 7:30 pm (contact for the agenda, location and/or Zoom link) and Parish Board on November 21 at 7:30 pm (contact  

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