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First U Hires a Part-time AV Technical Lead

Transformation is part of our mission. The pandemic transformed our ministry this past year and a half, and it will be transformed again when we reopen to multi-platform (in-person worship plus live stream capabilities) ministry in September. As part of our commitment to providing the best experience for our congregants both in person and online, The Executive Team is pleased to announce the hiring of Jon Claney to a new half-time position, AV Technical Lead. In his new role, Jon will continue to facilitate the team’s use of technology to enhance our programs and services, assist with church communications, continue producing high quality weekly services in the multi-platform environment, and facilitate collaboration with other church leaders and congregations.

For the last year and a half, Jon has graciously led the effort as a volunteer to create virtual worship services, memorial services and occasional weddings during these pandemic times. He threw himself into learning the capabilities of our new system, worked with our vendor on adjustments and enhancements needed in the system, and using his extensive technical background, taught himself audio and video recording and editing software. When he needed helpers in the AV Booth to run the equipment to stream the services from the sanctuary, his sons filled the roles to avoid breaking social isolation guidelines. During this past year, Jon also was able to train the “non-technical” volunteers to create the AV Production team to help with audio and video editing to produce the weekly services. He has been an excellent coach to the Worship Associates, visiting ministers and staff on how to adapt to an online worship experience.
We are very grateful for the generosity of Jon and his family during these difficult times and we are very happy to transition to this more equitable and sustainable arrangement. With much gratitude, we welcome Jon to the staff, reporting to the minister with the worship team. As per our policies, Jon will resign his membership in the congregation to become a member of the staff.

The Executive Team: Marina Van Renssen,
Linda Sanders, and Dale Stratton

Since graduating from Earlham College with a BA in Psychology and a minor in computer science, Jon has had several careers. In the early nineties, he computerized a two hundred person metal foundry, writing all of their business software and installing and managing the hardware for a sophisticated manufacturing execution system. For the next decade he built a software company around a quality system that he developed for foundries. In his third career he used open source software to build online communities for non-profit organizations while caring for his two children and aging parents. Jon’s life-long love for music and experience performing in musical groups as a teenager has also come in handy. Jon is very excited to embark on what he hopes will be a new career, using his primary skills of learning new things and teaching others to support the mission of First Unitarian.