During my candidating week (a year ago now!), I was asked what I thought about using a projector during worship. As I recall, I replied that I was not strongly in favor of it, as I had more often seen projected images as a distraction to worship, rather than an enhancement.
But hymn-sing Sunday in September sure was fun with the lyrics projected, and I appreciated not having to squint down at my hymnal. Flash forward to Christmas Eve, when we provided no written order of service and projected all the hymn lyrics so we could keep the chapel lights dimmed. Although some tunes were clearly more familiar than others, the experiment was still a success.
Flash forward to February, when it suddenly seemed obvious that given the number of written service elements that keep us peering at our orders of service every Sunday—our welcoming song, our affirmation, our children’s song, our offertory response, Spirit of Life—that routinely using an overhead projector for those elements would help us look up instead of down. Would save us paper. Would be a welcome addition to the worship service.
And now that we’ve used the projector for several services, we are already starting to imagine how we can use it to enhance our time for all ages and other aspects of the service.
Now the joke around the office is if I say I’m not interested in some new way of doing something, we can assume I’ll be clamoring to do it the new way in a week or two.
I have never been a big fan of technology for technology’s sake, but I’m an enormous fan of useful technology. The calendar on my phone syncs with my laptop and desktop computers, so I can access my calendar wherever I’m working. Using something called “dropbox” helps me access my files on a variety of devices, ensures the files are backed up, and allows me to share files to enhance collaboration. I was slow to join Facebook until I realized it would help me keep in touch with friends and family who were no longer nearby.
As I write this column, I am sitting on my patio, enjoying the sunshine, the bird songs, and the sound of the breeze rustling the tree leaves. Thank goodness for this laptop computer and the wireless internet connection at my home.
We live in a time of technological revolution. Not all technologies that come along will be worth our time and trouble. But I am grateful to be part of a congregation that embraces technological advances when they will be a benefit, as well as a congregation that is willing to try new things.