September Letter from Coordinating Team

Dear Follen Members and Friends,

The air is turning cool and the season for apples, hot toddies, and slow-cooker meals is upon us.  We hope that families have had a successful re-entry to schools, and that everyone is staying safe.

We are in our space. On Monday, September 19, Parish Board and Program Council had their first joint meeting of the year. We met together in our beautiful community center, and it was something of a celebration. 

We spent the majority of the meeting sharing our hopes and dreams for the church year. A recurring theme was the hope to maximize transparency of how Follen works and to help bring families and members into the fold for both short and long-term volunteering opportunities.

Program Council and Parish Board meetings, whether in person or on Zoom, are open to all Follenites. Feel free to come and see how Follen works. Here are when the next meetings are happening:

Program Council: October 17th at 7:30 in the Anne Smith Room (or on Zoom).

Parish Board: October 24th at 7:30 in the Anne Smith Room (or on Zoom). 

Please reach out to or for the Zoom meeting link, and if you have any questions. Meetings for Program Council, Parish Board and Action Teams are listed on the calendar at  

We are saying hellos and goodbyes. 

Say hello to Chris Eastburn! We are delighted to have Chris join the Follen community as our new Music Director. Chris started in August but his presence and music have infused the first services of our year with energy, thoughtfulness, and a wonderful sense of joy.  The sanctuary is hopping.

For the first time in many years, we have a new ministerial intern! Phoebe Eckart comes to us from Harvard Divinity School and will be starting October 1. 

We are saying goodbye to our wonderful business manager, Linda Hein, who will be leaving Follen to pursue other professional possibilities. Linda came to Follen in March of 2020, and will be generously involved in the transition of key business and financial functions.  Follen will be hiring a temporary bookkeeper and we will have a thoughtful and deliberate process to do the difficult work of replacing all that Linda does.

We are saying goodbye to Jody Gray-Linden, our RE Assistant, who is moving on to a full time teaching job! Thank you, Jodi, for all the dedicated time and hard work.

We are hiring! Follen is looking for an RE Assistant and a Youth Group Coordinator. If you or someone you know might be interested in joining Follen’s staff, please email Beryl at

We would also like to welcome and thank this year’s members of the Program Council and Parish Board. They are:

Program Council members:
Nick Hart, President
Jen Vandiver, Vice President
Hugh Truslow, Buildings & Grounds Action Team (BGAT)
Lydia Swan, Community & Hospitality Action Team (CHAT)
Maggie Pax, Finance & Human Resources Action Team (FHRAT)
Betsy Leutz, Pastoral Care Action Team (PCAT) (Maureen Mulhern, Chair)
Margot Tracy, Religious Education Action Team (REAT) (Tuna Chaterjee, Chair)
Paul Rubin, Social Justice Action Team (SJAT)
Melissa Howe, Worship & Music Action Team (WMAT)  
Kathy Blake, Secretary/Clerk
Mark Metzger, Nominating Committee Chair
Rev. Claire Feingold Thoryn, Parish Minister 
Beryl Aschenberg, Director of Religious Education 
Christ Eastburn, Music Director
Linda Hein, Business Manager
Meagan Cox, Membership Director 

Parish Board members:
Lisa Snellings, Chair
Anne Kelly, Vice Chair 
Cas Groblewski, Treasurer
Jim Fesler, at-large
Tempe Goodhue, at-large
Rosemary McCrudden, at-large
Bob Heingartner, Trustee (September – January)
Sharon Cerny, Trustee (February – June)
Steve Tenhor, Secretary/Clerk
Rev. Claire Feingold Thoryn, Parish Minister

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. And if you are interested in being involved in Church lay leadership or operations, we are always looking for volunteers across all leadership positions, action teams, and committees!

Yours in Faith,

Follen Coordinating Team
Nick Hart, Program Council President
Jen Vandiver, Program Council Vice-President
Lisa Snelling, Parish Board Chair
Anne Kelly, Parish Board Vice-Chair
Reverend Claire Feingold-Thoryn