Have you noticed any changes in worship in recent weeks?
I’m not talking about white paraments after weeks of purple, but something much more subtle—you barely notice it when it works well and you can’t miss it when it doesn’t: the sound system. It’s a layer of technology inserted between those who lead our worship from the chancel and the rest of us who pray with them, listen to the Scripture reading, the sermon, the children’s moment, the invitation to the table…. We use technology to amplify the voices without distorting them, so everything sounds what we like to call natural. We want to hear the voices, nothing else.
In March, we purchased new microphones, a new mixing board, and other electronics, which Joe Keith installed and tuned. Thank you, Joe! These purchases, together with moving the control booth from the balcony to the floor of the Sanctuary, are critical first steps in upgrading our sound equipment to make everything sound just right. We hope to take additional steps in the near future, as we discuss building renovations and modifications. Sound is much like light or temperature in worship—we want it to be so good, that nobody notices it; everybody’s attention is absorbed by the worship of God.
There’s another layer to this story I’m happy to highlight. Our congregation has a Memorial Fund where we collect contributions made by friends, neighbors and family members in memory of a loved one. Other churches receive such gifts as part of their general operating revenue, but we use them only for special projects which the Official Board approves. In the past we have used memorial gifts to purchase communion ware, paraments, special furniture, and to refurbish the nursery. In March, the Board approved the use of memorial contributions for the purchase of sound equipment for the Sanctuary—much less visible than paraments, much less tangible than a chalice, a crib, or a piano, but nevertheless a lasting gift that touches the lives of all who gather for worship.
What comes to mind when you think about good uses for memorial gifts? Do you have any suggestions? Take a moment and look around. What might be the next project we accomplish with those special gifts? Please send your suggestions to any of the staff or to Stephen Moseley, Official Board chair (firstname.lastname@example.org).