I haven’t exactly been ignoring my blog, but judging by the date of my last post it’s clear that I haven’t been writing…at least, not here. It could be called procrastination but it’s bundled with a dose of self-preservation. I’m focusing on whatever the calendar throws my way on any given day. It’s a one-day-at-a-time thing. I mentioned to someone this morning that time is a strange commodity during this pandemic. Some days and weeks seem to evaporate while others are interminable.
The days that disappear rapidly are the ones I spend working on worship service videos for my church. It’s a labour of love. Yes, that’s a cliche, but there’s no better description for the hours involved in helping to create an alternate worship experience for those affected by our closed church doors.
Our last in-person service was March 15, 2020. At that time most of us expected restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 virus would affect us for weeks, not months. But here we are, more than a year later, still worshiping by ourselves at home. People are doing a lot of things by themselves thanks to this pandemic, but regularly ‘attending church’ at home has been a new experience.
This is a view of our church sanctuary over the past six weeks of Lent. It wasn’t seen in person by our congregation, but thanks to technology, our videos took it and the accompanying Lenten and Easter services into their homes.
For years, every Sunday I set up my camera as inconspicuously as possible during the church service, and recorded the minister’s message to post on our church’s website. Last March, when an on-site service suddenly wasn’t going to be possible, the minister and I collaborated, and she added prayers, bible readings and a blessing to her messages, and we filmed them in my living room. Soon we had found a way to add music to the videos.
Now, looking back, we can see that along with the process, our skills also evolved. New equipment was purchased. We figured out how to hook the camcorder into the church’s soundboard system, learned how to make better use of editing software, and stretched our creative selves — all with the desire to produce a worship experience that would give glory to God and be meaningful to people watching safely from their homes.
And then … beware, this part is a rant … we hear and see news broadcasts which report on renegade Christian churches that are defying our provincial regulations and are continuing to gather indoors for corporate worship, claiming God commands them to gather and the PHO orders infringe on their religious freedom to do so. It infuriates me that people manipulate scripture to suit their purposes, to mislead and misinform others. It also shocks me that these churches apparently care so little for the welfare of their communities. Okay, I’ll bite my tongue and stop the rant now. That’s not the direction I was planning to go with this post.
I know our church isn’t unique in how it’s meeting this new worship challenge. But for us it has meant different people working in different ways, struggling to learn new skills ‘on the fly’. For me, everything takes longer than it would take someone of a younger generation and/or with more knowledge, but that ‘someone’ doesn’t appear to exist here. So I get the job done, but I plod along, hoping the end result will be good enough, when what I really want is for that end result to be awesome.
Since I’m not a techie, it’s no surprise that I spend more than what some would consider a normal allotment of time either thinking about, staring at or fiddling with the task at hand. All of which means other things I could be doing don’t get done. Maybe they would if I worked more efficiently, but as I said, I’m a plodder. I need to see a large chunk of available time ahead of me before I can convince my brain to tackle a task. Doesn’t matter if that means cleaning a closet, baking cinnamon buns, writing a chapter, or assembling a video.
Thus, procrastination happens. I prefer to think of it as self-preservation — giving myself time to breathe and to plan and percolate. That usually continues until the calendar kicks me into action by plopping another commitment in front of me.
In the meantime, there’s a bookcase in my office I’d like to move … although that means emptying it first, and moving everything that currently sits in the new spot where I’d like to relocate the bookcase. I might have to sit here and think about that for a bit longer.