August 17, 2023
Bridges in Worship
As I continue to explore Fifth Sunday Services (the topic of my book), I have been trying to decipher the best way to celebrate such Sundays now that worship is taking place both in-person and through Zoom. I have, a couple of times, put out questions and encouraged responses from people, verbally from those in-person, as well as inviting those on Zoom to offer responses through the “chat” option. I have gotten some responses from folks both ways, but they have been limited.
So, on a recent Fifth Sunday, I decided to share a PowerPoint presentation as part of the sermon, intending that the Zoom participants would be able to view it well as I used the zoom on the camera to give them as good a view as possible. That sounded good, but when I set up everything before the worship time, I realized that while the in-person people would see the images well on the large, drop-down screen, what the Zoom people would see was just a bright light in the area of the screen. It didn’t matter if the camera was zoomed in or left at a wider viewing angle, there was just a bright light to look at.
It finally occurred to me to copy the PowerPoint file onto the computer used for Zoom, and to then “share” that file with the Zoom participants at the same time that I was showing the PowerPoint on the screen to those in-person. It wasn’t an ideal solution, since it meant that I was essentially running two PowerPoint presentations at the same time, but it worked nonetheless, and it was an effective enough way to bring the Fifth Sunday Service to life for everyone who was participating in worship.
I will continue to search for ways to effectively bridge the worship experience between the two settings. My goal is for everyone to feel as connected with one another as possible, and for all to fully experience the worship time.
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