Children’s Music Coordinator

Dear beloved FUUSN community,

I’ve never been good at keeping things short, so I’ll begin with a brief synopsis of this note: After careful consideration, I have decided to leave my position at FUUSN in a few weeks to explore new professional pursuits. I have deeply cherished my time as the Children’s Music Coordinator, hold so much gratitude and love for this community, and will miss you all so much. I hope to personally say goodbye to as many of you as possible in the coming weeks, and please feel free to stay in touch!

I am writing today to let you know that after nearly 4 wonderful years of serving as a FUUSN staff member, I will be leaving my position as the Children’s Music Coordinator in a few weeks time. This decision has not been easy and is certainly bittersweet – I am excited for what lies ahead, but I will desperately miss this community that has been such an integral source of joy and hope in my life during the last few years. It has been an honor to get to know and form bonds with many of you, sing with you, and play a role in our young people’s spiritual education and growth. My last working day will be Sunday March 6, and I’m so grateful that we’ll be back in person to connect and say some proper goodbyes between now and then.

It’s difficult to put into words how much FUUSN (and by extension, all of you) have meant to me, but I’ll try my best! I have so many wonderful memories of my time on staff: singing hymns together in the sanctuary, watching the RE students grow and develop their amazing personalities and talents over the years, being together on Zoom during the hard times of Covid, 4 incredible Christmas Eve Pageants (both in-person and virtual), Hanukkah and Passover celebrations, Easter Sundays, RE Sundays, my first year with Family Choir, getting to sing and conduct in services… To be honest, my list of FUUSN appreciations seems to go on endlessly. I am so grateful to you all for always being welcoming and loving, and for helping me find both a professional and spiritual home here. For me, FUUSN has continually been a source of added warmth in joyful times and a source of light and hope in heavier times. When my father passed away in late 2019 and the pandemic hit a few months later, I always felt I could find comfort and support within this community. I truly have looked forward to every single Sunday during the last four years, and I want to thank you all profusely for making this experience truly unforgettable.

I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the amazing connections I have made with the rest of the FUUSN staff. They are incredible humans and colleagues and I am so grateful for each of them! I would not be who I am today without Amanda’s friendship, care and support, Anne’s honesty and strength, Fran’s no-nonsense go-getter attitude (and comedic relief during staff meetings), and Erin’s intelligence, steadfastness, and authentic leadership. Shout out to other colleagues who were previously on the team during my time and to those I have just started getting to know (Samantha, Heather). You all work so hard to make everyone’s FUUSN experience rich and fulfilling, and I will miss you dearly.

So, what’s next for me? As some of you may know, my “during the week” job for the past two years has been at Community Music Center of Boston (CMCB), where I serve as a music educator in a wide variety of roles. I am pleased to announce that in addition to my teaching duties, I have recently accepted a leadership position at CMCB as the Early Childhood department Faculty Instructional Lead. Through this position, I will be taking on larger roles in areas such as program development, collaborative mentorship with other faculty, and organizational strategic planning. This promotion takes my CMCB hours up to full time, which for me means that I need to be increasingly mindful about preventing burnout, nurturing my mental health and wellness, and just generally developing a healthier work-life balance. I’ve come to the realization that in order to do this, it’s prudent for me to keep my weekends as free from work responsibilities as possible – thus leading to this very bittersweet departure from FUUSN.

I thank you all in advance for your understanding and patience during this transition. If you have any questions, please feel free to let me know and I’ll do my best to answer. Again, my last day is the service on March 6 and I’d love to say goodbye to as many of you as possible, particularly the kiddos in RE! If you’d like to stay in touch, my contact info is in my email, I’ll be glad to hear from you!

Thank you all again for everything. FUUSN will always hold a special place in my heart, and I’m wishing this congregation the very best going forward!

With love,

Akela Franklin