November 24, 2020
Dear Follen Members and Friends,
As our country continues to move through this intense time of pandemic challenge and political transition, we hope you are well. During this season of giving thanks, we are grateful for our amazing Minister and remarkable staff who keep things running smoothly and bless us with meaningful offerings. We are grateful for the commitment of our many volunteers who find innovative ways to keep us connected in physically distant times. And we are grateful for you, the friends and members of Follen Church, who co-create this special community with us every year.
Here are some highlights of Follen activity this month:
- On October 31st, Follen held a COVID-safe Tricky Treating Halloween event outdoors to deliver some good Halloween cheer and raise money for UNICEF. Many thanks go to volunteers Alex Tsouvalas, Tuna Chatterjee, Janet Lane, Margot Tracy, Beryl Aschenberg, Liana Raberg and all the Parent and FUUY volunteers. We raised $501 for UNICEF!
- In an attempt to capture some of the FUUY magic that typically occurs during the FUUY Cape Cod weekend (usually over Indiginous People’s weekend), Liana Raberg organized a fantastic, in-person event at Spy Pond. Parents and Youth lit bio-degradable paper lanterns that they floated on the pond, and then joined together (well, parents and youth in separate groups) for the “interconnected web of loving kindness” exercise in which everyone sits in a circle, and toss a ball of yarn to one another as they say something that they appreciate about the recipient, producing a giant web of yarn. Then each strand is cut so that every participant may have a bracelet made from the yarn.
- Follen converted to G-Suite thanks to the hard work of Ben Vandiver, Ben Feingold Thoryn, Gray Watson, Laura VanderHart and Linda Hein.
In other news:
- Have you responded to the congregational survey?. Please respond so that we can know how best to support and serve our community during these unusual times. We’re planning to organize another listening session in early December.
- Lextended Day, an after school program for K-6 children in Lexington has agreed to lease the lower level of Follen, including the community center and adjoining classrooms, for after-school activities beginning on January 4th. We’re very excited to be able to provide our space for such a valuable community service. Lextended Day will be licensed to operate in our space, and is adhering to the COVID-19 guidelines provided by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Childcare. These guidelines are somewhat more permissive in terms of occupancy than our current building guidelines as they are geared toward young children. Our building use guidelines continue to remain current and active for our community.
- Follen Responds to Racism presented at both Program Council and Parish Board meetings to facilitate discussion of the UUA’s “Widening the Circle of Concern” report and its implications for Follen. Thanks to Tempe Goodhue, Maggie Herzig and Lisa Snellings for inspirational leadership on our community’s Anti-Racism work.
- We’re pleased to announce that our business manager Linda (firstname.lastname@example.org) will now be responsible for scheduling meetings that use the Follen zoom accounts. In addition, we now have several more zoom accounts available, and are in the process of determining how to distribute them. The master calendar now contains all the previously scheduled zoom meetings. Thanks Linda!
The next Program Council meeting is Monday, Dec 7 at 7:30pm and the next Parish Board meeting is Monday, Dec 14 at 7:30pm. All Follen Members and Friends are welcome to join either meeting. Please reach out to Howie Bernstein at email@example.com or Lex Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org for zoom links.
Please do not hesitate to be in touch anytime with questions or concerns. As we move forward into the holiday season, the Follen community looks forward to celebrating with you!
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