Annual Report 2020 / Parish Life & Social Media
Wow! 2020 was really the year for changes!
I was first hired in February to take over the position of Parish Life Coordinator, to be in charge of our coffee hours after service, bring some new events to life, be in contact with our parishioners, but one month into my new position, the pandemic hit us!
Well, don’t we always think of the metaphor: “When life presents you with lemons, make lemonade out of it”? In my case, being a Brazilian, a “caipirinha” is what we make! Giving food for thought, one thing was imperative: we needed to continue being part of our parishioners’ life. Although we could not be connected physically, we live in a time where we can be connected virtually, and as I usually say to Father Chip, “If we bring the Lord’s words into one single house, we are on the right path.” And we did it! One week into the pandemic world, we had our YouTube channel running, bringing you all a bit of Church into your homes, and not long after that, we started our monthly Coffee and Chat Hour. What a joy it is to see your faces connected to greet one another and share a little bit of your lives as well.
Focusing on our YouTube channel and recordings… At first, the video was somewhat not stable, sound was not perfect, Father Chip was not used to being in front of a camera, Griffin was trying to find his way to record his music and send me audios… However, we all learned what we were doing, and we all grew up together. We listened to what you were watching from home and modified some things we were doing; we took in your ideas for using a camera stabilizer and lapel mics, preaching from the aisle and being seen while playing a song. On my side, I updated some of the software I had been using and even updated the hardware to make our online services the kind of service you feel like watching every Sunday. We evolved together as a great team!
Looking at the numbers, since the pandemic struck in March-2020, on our YouTube channel we have aired 85 videos, more than 1600 minutes of content, more than 325 “likes” and more than 158 shares. We currently have 85 people subscribed to our channel, and for some of our videos we have had more than 250 views. We have certainly maintained our presence not only in your homes, but also in other peoples’ homes, bringing them messages of comfort, inspiration, hope, resilience, and sense of community.
Looking forward to maintaining its presence on social media, St. Andrew’s has also started its path into Instagram, achieving a broader and more diverse population. Our numbers on this media may not be large, but they have certainly made a difference to our followers. Since April-2020, 128 posts including messages, videos, behind the scenes photos, time-lapse videos and media throwbacks have been shown on Instagram to 137 followers and other people who hit the “heart” button.
As for our Facebook presence, our posts, live videos, photos, and links have certainly been a way to maintain our connection with parishioners and followers, and also with the island community by sharing our content with Facebook groups.
As for myself, I am grateful for having had the opportunity to be part of this change, for your trust in my work and the support I have always gotten from you, through your words, your emails and your smiles. And from the social media perspective, it all goes around when you hit the like button or share our content to your pages.
The NEW Parish Life!
In 2020 we welcomed aboard Poli Bellan Wilson as our new Parish Life Coordinator, and what a blessing it has been! Directly following her acceptance of the position, the coronavirus began its deadly spread in the US and Poli put herself to work immediately, coordinating with Father Chip to bring us Sunday service on our own YouTube channel HTTPS://WWW.YOUTUBE.COM/CHANNEL/UCEENNEKE53AFWVCYKVHLIRG and on our Facebook page HTTPS://WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/STANDREWSMV/!
And every other week, she has been facilitating our ZOOM coffee hours, which take place two Sundays a month at 10:00 am. We are so grateful that she is with us during this strange and trying time!
Poli Bellan Wilson
Parish Life has always been a very active part of St. Andrew’s. Whether it be our Hospitality Committee, which is responsible for coffee hour after the 10:00 worship, or sending care packages to our youth that are away at school, or helping to facilitate our annual celebrations, concerts and fundraisers, such as St. Andrew’s Day and Christmas in Edgartown, Parish Life is part of our heart and soul here at our jewel of a church! Come join the crowd – there is something for everyone! Please contact Poli at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hospitality Committee 2019
The Hospitality Committee generates a warm and friendly environment for the members and visitors of St. Andrew’s by providing a “Coffee Hour” every Sunday year-round after the ten o’clock service. We try not to miss a Sunday.
In 2019, twenty-plus parishioners volunteered their time to the Coffee Hour and provided coffee, cakes and other fare in the Parish House while the Hall remained under renovation.
Thank you to all the volunteers for their dedication and fantastic work. The following is a list of our faithful in 2019: Bonnie Deitz, Amy Sullivan, Mary Lollis, Heather Anne Slayton, Ann Barnett, Mardi Moran, Ann Pellegrino, Marcia Fenn, Wes and Sandy Mott, Susan Ostrowski, Barbara Watts, Poli and Adam Wilson, Laura Noonan, Chris White, Sara Barrington, June Ellien, Tot Balay and Nicole and Jon Baxter.
We look forward to 2020 for a number of great reasons: we are forming a new Parish Life group that will incorporate the Hospitality Committee into its other varied endeavors and events, we have a healthy number of “new” volunteers, winter and summer, to expand and grow, AND we have a brand-new, state-of-the-art kitchen to work out of! Many, many blessings.
We are always looking for new volunteers! It is an easy and fun way to help out and get to know some new faces. Just email the church office OFFICE@STANDREWSMV.ORG
Thank you for your kind hearts and dedication; it has been my pleasure to oversee this committee for the past few years.
Heather Anne Slayton
CARE PACKAGES TO BOARDING SCHOOL AND COLLEGE STUDENTS 2019
For the school year 2019 we had 8 students who received care packages at Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter and end of school. The students currently receiving packages are: Layla Buckley, Michael Courtney, Willson Slayton, Colin Buckley, Shay Sullivan, John Slayton, Eva Wilson and Cana Courtney.
In 2019 the packages were assembled and mailed by Bonnie Deitz, Mary Lollis, Colleen Seadale and Cindy Flanders. Thanks to the faithful moms and grandmoms who bake and shop for this wonderful reminder to the kids that they are loved and sorely missed here at St. Andrew’s.
Respectfully submitted, Heather Anne Slayton