that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.
I want to thank you for your kind and gracious response to what has been posted each week. I have been blessed by your comments. John Kobylnik sends me an encouraging note each week. (I'm waiting for that week, when John says, 'nice try on this one, Ken, but you need to pick it up for next week'!) On average our Message page is accessed nearly 60 times on Sunday and 15+ times/ per day, each week. We have seen a spike in the use of website, with the Message, Blog, Prayer Corner and Photo pages being accessed regularly.
I was recently asked, how this all comes together. A few have been on site as we have recorded; you've been given a glimpse into how the recorded pieces are created each week. (Just as an aside, I've sought to let you know when we are recording, so you can stop by if you wish -- physical distancing procedures in place, of course.) I want to thank those who have helped with these recording sessions -- John Unger, our camera man and those who have helped with piano recordings, prayers and readings.
Pulling this kind of experience together has taken up to 40 hours a week to prepare. Preparation begins as any week would, with the drafting of an order of service, but now instead of relying our worship team for the music, I'm searching music files and downloading songs for our use. Each song is being prepared in the format you've seen these last few weeks. I'm using a software programs that allows me to choose a background, then add the music file and words. Each song takes 30-45 minutes to prepare -- the editing process is sometimes tedious and time consuming to get the words coming in at just the right time and to cut or fade the music as needed. When the song is complete, I then save it as video. (As an added 'bonus' this is our 6 month period to report our activity for our copyright licence -- every copyrighted song has to be added to our report each week!)
The same program allows me to insert each individual song into a file that becomes what you see on Sunday morning. I then add the recorded pieces from the church or a video, like the one we showed yesterday for Mother's Day, into the appropriate place. When all the individual clips are in place, I check the timing and then save that file to a video. But, that video file is too big for our website, so I convert it to a different format. The final step is to upload the video to our website, which often takes several minutes to complete as the file is also encoded for use on the site.
This morning, Monday, May 11th, I've spend 4 hours preparing the order of service and creating the first 3 songs for this week...five more to go! And then there's the usual message prep, which is now completed by Friday morning, so we can record in the afternoon. My preparation routine has been drastically changed! I'm lost on Sundays!! (Perhaps a reminder that this is not the way it should be.)
I am grateful we have this means to stay connected and commend you for doing just that. As Dr. Henry has said, 'this is not forever, just for now'! We do not want to become complacent and settle for something less; we need to be together, sitting in front of a computer screen or television just isn't the same, so lets keep praying for that day when we will be together again!
Some of us haven't seen each other for several week, so in the next few days, I will be creating a blog posting in which we can share an encouraging word with one another. I want to invite you to add your note or greeting and include a photo if you are able to do so. You can use the form on our website or send me an email and I will post it for you. I hope we hear from many of you in the coming days!! Your words to each other will serve to bless one another, the way so many of you have done for me with your words of appreciation and encouragement!