March 15, 2020 was the final worship service in our sanctuary before the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated the temporary closing of our building. However, HPC’s members have continued to gather via technology. In addition to emailing resources and using Zoom for meetings, informal coffeetime, Bible study and prayer, we also have pre-recorded videos for Sunday worship.
Of course, Sunday sermons have been available on our website for years – ever since the site’s redesign in mid-2015 – but now by clicking a link you can find a weekly video that includes music, scripture readings, prayers and the Sunday message from Paddy. How has that happened?
It takes a five-member Audio-Visual Team most of the week to prepare this video, each working independently. First, our Pastor Paddy Eastwood plans the order of service and how each section of the video should look. The team meets on Monday afternoon via Zoom to discuss and clarify details.
Then Music Director Johnathan Booy records all the music, merging multiple instrumental and vocal tracks.
Church Administrator Susan Reaveley arranges for readers to record scripture passages, then layers text and graphics onto all the sound tracks of music and readings.
On Friday Carol Garvin meets with Paddy and video-records her greeting, call to worship, prayers and message, and then edits the various segments.
Finally, by Friday evening Maynard Embree has received all the different files from each member of the team and he links the segments together using video editing software to create the finished video. After compiling, he uploads it to YouTube (an overnight process), so that Paddy can get the YouTube link to send out to the congregation on Saturday afternoon, and Carol can add it to the church website. Then we’re ready for Sunday worship. And on Monday we start the process all over again.
The team is focussed on creating a resource that will offer a meaningful worship experience for as many of our congregation as possible. It’s a different way of worshipping, for sure, and sometimes extremely challenging for both the team and the congregation. Each member of the Audio-Visual Team has had to learn new skills ‘on the go’, and the quality and content of the worship video has constantly evolved during the learning process.
As we continually adapt to the restrictions and different re-entry stage limitations required by the pandemic, more changes will undoubtedly come, but for now, this is how our worship-via-technology happens.
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