Love Letter: Rev Jill Carey 5/14/2021

Dear Friends,

This is a love letter to some people who have gone above and beyond their usual duties to make Unity of Wimberley an expression of excellence in the virtual world.

    Llea McCarn
    Sue Witt
    Elton Witt    
    Jason Marion
    Ryan Coggins
    Taylor Norboge
    Kit Holmes
    Katie Marie
    Evy Wilkinson

Of course we were already pretty skilled at livestreaming for two years before everything locked down over 14 months ago. But these individuals have modeled grace under pressure, impressive flexibility, and a striving toward always becoming better at what they do. They have collaborated to determine what we needed to upgrade our audio/visual equipment through a matching grant for two years---while keeping in mind that “matching” was part of the equation. Musicians have videoed performances in different times and places and “stitched” them together. Our Youth and Family Ministry team has stayed in contact with our children and their families, and they have offered much-needed Zoom Sunday School. Despite frequent slow download times while the world went virtual, this crew (I’m looking at you, Sue!) has created seamless programs that reach so many. For our recent outdoor Saturday Mother’s Day service, they set up everything on Tuesday, checked camera angles and lighting, adjusted sound, broke it all down to come back inside, set it all up again on Sunday---and then had to readjust sound (and even the podium) to account for the high winds. Then it had to be put together with graphic slides for streaming on Sunday morning, a task that took many more hours on Saturday. They have consistently experimented with lighting, sound, camera angles, and creative graphics, and faced unforeseen failures that required “thinking on feet” as they assured that our services would continue to stream on schedule and with great quality.

And stream they did! In the past 14 months, our services have been viewed by people in 45 states (besides Texas) and in 11 countries, including England, Australia, Portugal, South Africa, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Ireland, Spain, Canada, and Germany, among others. Sixty-six percent of those watched us live and for an average of 20 minutes viewing time. In a short-attention-span world, this is extraordinary!
It is also a reminder that we are now more than a community limited to those in the Hill Country. We have all grown in consciousness and skills, knowing that we have a valuable service to give to many more, and we want to be our best at it. This crew listed above has demonstrated a passion and cooperation that makes me so humbled and proud to be working with them.
The next time you see or talk to one of them, let them know how much you appreciate what they do. If I’m correct, they will graciously accept and then move on to do it again---without fanfare---as they have done all this time.

Hats off to you,

Rev. Jill