Roughly four years ago, just before moving to the West Coast, I had the privilege of helping establish the position of Communications Director at First Unitarian in the hopes of growing the life and profile of the congregation and this historic community center. Since then, under Jeff Frankel, Rachel Karasick and--most recently--Stephanie Cawley, those hopes were realized beyond our initial vision.
I am honored now to return to First Church as your new Communications Director. Although I quickly learned that Stephanie was leaving me some big shoes to fill, I look forward to continuing the solid performance and the tendency towards innovation that defined her tenure here.
From today, going forward, I will be taking Stephanie's place, so you may wish to update your personal email address books to reflect the changing of the guard. The contact information, however, remains the same, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and at 215-563-3980, ext. 301.
While I am lucky enough to already know a good number of the church's members and friends from my time as a sexton and administrator in the early to mid aughts, I wanted to introduce myself to everyone who has found a welcoming home here while I was away: I come to you with more than 12 years experience in journalism and public relations. In addition to my work with First Church, I am a partner at Aid & Abet, an independent media relations agency promoting progressive authors, filmmakers and speakers ranging from environmental celebs like Bill McKibben to domestic workers' rights campaigns. A recipient of the Herman M. Ellis Award for Promise in Journalism, my writing has appeared in outlets such as Counterpunch, Alternet, The Catholic Worker, The Onion/A.V. Club, Philadelphia Weekly, PopMatters, Oakland Local, and Wiley-Blackwell's International Encyclopedia of Revolution and Protest. After three years living in California and Maryland working with conscientious objectors and with the Chelsea Manning Support Network, I am delighted to be back "home" in my house in West Philadelphia and at this unique urban congregation.
As we transition into the summer schedule, those of you used to working with Stephanie will find my working style, deadlines and procedures mostly the same. However, I welcome suggestions, comments and ideas people may have in envisioning the coming church year. And, of course, if there are church programs, worship services, or community events you want me aware of, please send them my way.
I look forward to working together and hope to see everyone in person again soon!
First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia
215-563-3980, ext. 301