This March and April, 2016,  Follen’s Pastoral Care Action Team (PCAT) offers you many opportunities for growth, learning, and authentic, open-hearted living.

Be sure to RSVP to the organizers listed. It helps us to better plan our events.


A Special Training Opportunity on Group Process

Saturdays, April 2 and April 30, 9:30-12:30am

This two-session workshop, sponsored by the Caring Congregation Committee, will be led by Donna McLaughlin, MSW, LICSW, and Professor Mark Gianino, MSW from the BU School of Social Work. It is highly recommended for support group leaders, covenant group facilitators, and those interested in facilitating a group in the future. Topics will include: starting and running a group, ending a group, confidentiality, and managing different personality types of group members. Space is limited. Participants will receive materials prior to the workshop. For further information or to pre-register contact Sharon Cerny at smcerny@aol.com.

Life Planning for Adult Children with Special Needs 

In this 6-8-session series, sponsored by the Caring Congregation Committee, each participant will develop a plan for their adult family member. Participants will receive materials ahead of time to develop their own personal plan within the structure and support of the group. The series will include a speaker on legal/financial aspects as well as a presentation on community resources and care management. A minimum of 6 participants is necessary to start the group with a maximum of 8 participants.  Time and dates will be decided by participants and facilitators. Please contact Sharon Cerny, smcerny@aol.com  or Jim Herzig, jimherzig@rcn.com.

Support for Parents of Children with Special Needs

The Caring Congregation Committee plans to offer a 6-8 week session group this Spring for parents or caretakers of children with special needs, including behavioral, emotional, neurological and /or learning issues. The group will start when a minimum of 6 participants register. The time and day will be decided by the participants and leader. The focus will be both content based (sharing information) and support based. If interested, please email Dottie Vacca (dvacca@aol.com) or Sharon Cerny (smcerny@aol.com).

Transitions: A Four-Part Series from Follen’s Pastoral Care Action Team

These events will be in the Community Center after coffee hour. A light lunch will be provided. Please RSVP.

Dilemmas of Long-Term Care

Sunday, March 20, 12:30-2:30 pm

In this talk and discussion, Brandeis gerontologist Walter Leutz will offer a big picture view of the US long-term care programs, as well a map of the local landscape of options.  What can you find at your senior center, the home care agency, life care communities like Brookhaven, assisted living and nursing facilities, the Alzheimer’s Association, and volunteer groups like FISH and Village initiatives?  How do your needs, or the needs of your family, match up with these resources?  These are complex equations, but we all may need to solve them sometime. RSVP to maggieherzig@gmail.com.

Effective Communication for Families with an Aging Parent

Sunday, April 3, 12:30-2:30 pm

Are you and your siblings squabbling about what’s best for Mom or Dad?  Are you a senior with adult children caught-up in challenging patterns of interacting?  This workshop focuses on developing new ways to communicate with family members around difficult decisions – whether about family property, living situations, or care giving concerns.  Crystal Thorpe and Halee Burg, professional mediators at Elder Decisions®, will draw from their experiences working with families in conflict, and offer some tips about what you can do in your own family to bring about more collaborative decision-making, and to help avoid conflict in the future.  After a presentation, there will be an opportunity for discussion in two break-out groups. RSVP to amyjnewmark@gmail.com.

Transition to Retirement: A Discussion

Sunday, April 17, 12:30-2:30 pm

Are you contemplating, entering or experiencing retirement? If so, what dilemmas do you face? What lessons have you learned? Where have you sought and found meaning? This discussion will be facilitated by Jim and Maggie Herzig. Participants are encouraged but not required to read The Retirement Boom by Allen, Bearg, Foley and Smith. Copies of the book will be made available for loan. To borrow a book and to RSVP contact maggieherzig@gmail.com.

Getting Started on that Hard Conversation: A Workshop

Sunday, April 24, 12:30-2:30 pm

How we die is part of our legacy to our loved ones and our communities. Most Americans hope they will not be a burden for their families and friends. Yet, if we avoid having values-centered conversations about our hopes and wishes, we may be leaving family members in the dark, leading to strife at the bedside and conflict between loved ones. This workshop, led by UU minister Rev. Rosemary Lloyd, will utilize the “start up kit” developed by The Conversation Project, founded by Ellen Goodman. More detailed information will be provided to registrants. To register, contact Wendy Slattebo, waslattebo@gmail.com.