Tuesday, July 15, 2008

7.13 Reverb

This was an exciting week and weekend at Covenant Life Church. Last Thursday, we launched our new website; on Friday, at the monthly One Meeting for singles, we were Undone, like Isaiah in God's temple; and Sunday we learned how to not waste our humor.

Fairly soon, God-willing, I'll post on the website launch. It's been a lot of work, but I believe the additional online sermons are going to be a blessing to the church and to others outside Covenant Life. We already have reports of people downloading entire series of messages at a time.

For now, I'll just mention the most exciting aspect of the new resource library to me: near-immediate posting. For the major church events, you will now see sermons in the resource library almost immediately after the meeting ends. The One Meeting was available as of midnight on Friday and the Sunday sermon was available at 4:05pm on Sunday afternoon. Say good-bye to waiting until Tuesday for sermons from that last weekend!

If you missed the sermon this weekend, you can listen to it here.

As a reminder, here are the elements of this Sunday's service:
  • Singing led by Mike Bradshaw
  • Communion, also led by Mike Bradshaw
  • Announcements by Joshua Harris
  • Sermon by CJ Mahaney
And now, my thoughts on the technical production for the morning:

Honestly, I have zero notes whatsoever about sound for the services. Silence is approval in this case. Many thanks to Mitch and his crew for helping this Sunday go off without a hitch. One thing I'll mention is that I like the five-vocal ensemble sound that Mike and his band are creating with Ken's help. Would you agree?

I loved the look of the backdrop this weekend. We changed the style and color of the fabric of the panels right behind the preacher, and we lowered the light level on everything except the artwork to 35%. It looked great. Craig, which backdrop lights did you gel and what colors?

One note for all lighting operators from the worship team: we will be placing vocalists much closer to the front edge of the stage in the near future. As we encourage them to engage with the congregation and be more expressive (aka move around), we'll need to make sure that the lighting areas fill downstage more than we have in the past.

The video was really smooth this weekend. There were a couple transitions that could have been improved, but I heard Ed and Matt discussing them immediately after they happened. Thanks, guys, for grabbing each opportunity to improve. You did a great job.

Also, there was a little hickup in the slide order because of a last-minute change, but the team adapted beautifully. In order to make this even more smooth, we will soon be introducing a new slide presentation software called ProPresenter. ProPresenter will allow the playback ops to see all their slides and select the one they want with the mouse, similar to the way lyric operators use SundayPlus. (Sidenote: SundayPlus operators may want to check out ProPresenter also, since we may switch over our lyrics computers, too, in the long run.)

This feels like a short post. That must mean it was a smooth Sunday. What did I miss? Please post your thoughts and comments here.


Anonymous said...

Wish to applaud the leadership for commissioning unique artwork for each Sunday and the high quality of the graphics. For the longest time in history, the church was the reason why musicians composed, artists painted and sculptors carved. This is probably the first time that I did not notice the visually noisy patchwork of a stage background we have but instead marveled at what a beautiful image was presented instead. (I am easily disturbed by visual chaos.) And beyond being a beautiful image, it communicated, LAUGHTER of a multitude of humanity. Though the fonts are barely readable at a distance (& even when projected, the only fault that I could find with the image), there's no mistaking what the theme of the day is. Beauty is a luxury if one takes the view that men evolved from single cell bateria; it's a necessity for men who were made in the image of God, the Creator of heaven and earth.

One comment on the IMAG related to the graphics; in the early service, after Josh has moved on from the graphics, the IMAG went back to the graphics and kept it up for a sustained time. What it communicated was, "we want you to examine the poster at this very moment," but Josh has moved on.

I don't know all the background activities that led to that decision. But I want to share my personal struggle as a House Director. Once I missed putting up an image at the time it was to be up, I tend to want to make up for it, though late; at times I may even ask my video producer or Dave at the sound booth to give me a directive on the spot. I think for me personally at a subconscious level it may be driven by a desire to fix MY mistake, to redeem myself. At times there are also other voices in the room urging me to put it up, though late. But it's Dave's consistent mantra that IMAG must always defer to what enhances or supports the speaker or that which is taking place on the stage at the time that restrains the desire to make up for what was lost. When it comes to IMAG, perfect timing is everything.

Another way to look at it is that, people usually don't notice what wasn't put up (unless the speaker is calling for it and it's not up) but they always notice it when an image is up that draws attention away from what's being said from the pulpit. When that happens, I am suddenly aware of the presence of other beings who are behind the technology that makes all this possible, and thus, a distraction. Just a thought.

Dave Wilcox said...


Your comments on IMAG contain some excellent and thought-provoking ideas. Thanks for mentioning it, and I will probably create an entire post on them some time this week.