With restrictions in place around in-person gatherings, we've had to adapt to provide a virutal presence as a means to stay connected. I'm grateful that so many of you are accessing our Online Gatherings. I've heard stories of those in a 'shared bubble' watching together and many of you have taken the time to offer encouraging comments.
Some have asked about the 'behind the scene' workings of preparing for our simulated worship experince. If you have been on-site when we record, you already have some insights into how we prepare, but for those who may wonder, let me in this posting, walk you through the processs.
As is the case if we were gatheirng in-person, our worship planning begins with an order of service draft; songs are chosen and other spoken parts such as prayers, readings and annoucements are identified. I have tried to put the same level of thought into the prepartion of these drafts, whether online or in-person.
I've been blessed to have a team of willing helpers with these tasks. Each piece is recorded separtely and then edited into a larger file that includes the songs you see each week and the message. John Unger has faithfully served as our 'camera man' -- thank you, John, it has been fun working with you, and we don't have tell anyone about all the 'bloopers'!
The preparation of the music is the most time-consuming part of the process. Time is spent searching online for songs/ videos that we can use, that also comply with copyright laws. Most of the videos need to have the words added, which we do through a software program, timing the words to appear at appropriate point in the video. Some files are created using PowerPoint and converted to a video format. Each song takes 45-60 minutes to create. I want here, to express my appreciate to my daugher Lisa for her help. She has created dozens of songs for us -- and she's much quicker than her dad! We have been able to do more over the last few months as I have learned about what resources and technology is available to us. We now have a library of 130+ songs .
After creating / pulling songs from our files and recording the various pieces you see each week, I cut and paste and edit each song/ clip to create a video file. This file then needs to be reformatted using another software program to reduce the size of the file in order to comply with size restrictions on our website. From this same video file we also create an audio file to be posted. Once the video and audio files are ready, I upload them to our website and YouTube. This whole process takes a minimum of 2 hours.
I understand as we all do, that the gathering is central to who we are as a people of faith and we all look forward to that time when we can worship together again. As that may not happen for a few more weeks, I want to invite you continue to share in this online experience. Thank you for adapting with us and for staying connected to each other. Please pass along a picture or video greeting that we can post online to encourage one another and if you would like to stop by when we record, you're welcome to do so -- just follow our Covid protocols and don't all come at once!!
Please post a comment to let us know about your experience in embracing this 'new way' of connecting.