On arrival at Holy Spirit, Whonnock after my appointment as vicar November 2019, the members shared their vision for their precious little church. One of those desires was to have elements of worship projected on a screen. To be honest I received the idea but felt that this would be something to come a long time into the future.
The idea though, that the congregation have an improved quality of worship, stayed with me. It is challenging for some to turn the pages of the BAS and the hymn books. COVID-19 therefore shone light on Stan Jackson's idea to project the components of the liturgy on a screen.
I contacted clergy colleague the Reverend Pastor David Edgerton of St. George’s, Maple Ridge for guidance, as that parish has much experience using digital technology to enhance worship both in-person and online. He was happy to help and arranged for technical director Becki Kozol to visit with me; she was so gracious. Becki brought two different pieces of projection equipment which we tested and tried. As we had no screen, I used my white chasuble, on a clothes hanger, hooked on a cross bar in the church.
At the end of that meeting, after much moving and testing, I agreed that a projector that could display content from a variety of different source and a screen would work just fine. You would not believe what happened next! Becki then said the most beautiful words to me, “if you want it, our church has agreed to give you the multimedia projector as we are no longer using it.” My eyes popped and my heart was filled with glee! The Parish of St. George regularly strives to improve their audio/visual offerings and when possible they update their equipment and so they were happy to give this projector to another parish family. Before we said goodbye, I prayed with Becki, giving thanks and blessing the precious gift.
I later shared this news with the Council and parish, and all were happy. Stan’s idea was about to be realized. Once this was shared with the parish, Chris Mellalieu, a member, committed to donate and install a screen before the approved date to return to in-service worship. It happened and the date for the resumption of in-person worship arrived.
Sunday, August 16, 2020, our parish returned to in-person worship (observing all the protocols) and thoroughly enjoyed the paperless experience, with all eyes pinned to the content on the screen, competently displayed by our newly trained techie, Mary Blackstock. We also continued with a Zoom service for those who were unable to attend. Thanks be to God.
The moral of this story is “never discount an idea”. As a people striving to have mustard seed faith, we are seeing God showing up in some remarkable ways and Ephesians 3:20-21 is becoming even more meaningful to us here at the Holy Spirit:
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”