St. Francis has moved from in-person worship to online worship quickly and very professionally. It has also moved to greater content on social media. How did we do this and can we continue?
Church life has certainly changed very quickly. And, even though we will get back to worshipping together, in-person, the church has adapted to this new environment and has quickly improved its response to social media. The Vestry is also committed to keep these changes in place moving forward and that has inspired them to create a staff position to devote time, energy, and resources to continuing to communicate through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, the weekly email, and at worship on Sunday.
In order to manage all of this work and delivery, the Vestry created the position of Communications and Technology Director. It is part-time position and its purpose is for the Communications and Technology Director to coordinate the content developed by the Rector, the Parish Administrator, and other members of the parish for distribution through our social media networks. This position is the intersection between technology and content. It requires comfort with managing the tools of social media as well as editing software for images and videos. It also requires comfort with the tools of managing our primary communication, Sunday morning worship services. Therefore, the Director will continue the behind the scenes work of Sunday morning. All of the management of spotlighting the speaker, muting and unmuting of participants, streaming of videos during services, and producing videos uploaded to YouTube to share on our blogsite, has been the work of one individual, Patrick Killoran. He works his magic with care and an aesthetic sensitivity.
His work is not really magic, it is professional. St. Francis has moved quickly from not knowing what to do to being able to connect around 130 worshippers on Sunday morning. We have done so in ways that moved quickly from very rough around the edges to professional and folksy—very much a St. Francis characteristic. And we will need this to continue, not only because the need for this work is now and ongoing, but also because Tracey’s transition to North Carolina will continue and the gifts of the priest who will follow her are unknown. Tracey has not only been involved in the technical production of our Sunday services in recent months, but for five years she has also driven much our use of technology at St. Francis. Geeky priests are out there, but pastors of Tracey’s skill are harder to find and are the type of priest we will be looking for.
Because Patrick is now part of our team, we think you should get to know him better. Here are some things that will help you.
Patrick grew up in Eagle River, Alaska, where his parents Nancy and John were involved in the Episcopal Church, setting the example for him and his sisters Megan and Molly. He graduated from Wittenberg University in Springfield, OH in 2003 with a BA in Theatre and Dance. He lived in Hollywood for 4 years becoming a member of the Screen Actors Guild. He has worked on many sides of production from set decoration for Beyoncé music videos to acting in a national Verizon commercial to name just a couple. He moved back to Alaska in 2007, where he met his lovely wife, Leslie. They have two boys, Will (13) and Parker (8). In 2015 they moved to Richland, WA and in 2019 moved to Great Falls, VA. He has been the man behind the curtain in the Zoom meetings we are all attending for church now and he sings Bass in the St Francis Choir. St. Francis is just the community Patrick and his family have been looking for and he is proud to take on this new position and help our community grow and flourish.
Patrick is so Franciscan in the way he took on active participation in the parish and gave of himself so selflessly. Welcome him to this new position and assist him and encourage him as Franciscans always do.
And, be on the look-out for more social media engagement by St. Francis. We have made the commitment to church in the twenty-first century. The core of it will still be our connection to each other and to the community of Great Falls in-person. The delivery will now include online platforms to the world-wide internet. Our engagement will be wider and broader, and Patrick’s work is an essential part of that new direction.
Photo credit: “Patrick on Easter Sunday 2020” © Tracey Kelly. All rights reserved.