In the Meantime,
January 19, 2022 From Michigan
Mostly, I try to be meaningful and spiritual in this weekly column, but today I need to be practical. This is not my strength so bear with me.
There have been challenges with our ‘hybrid’ Sunday services, something I mentioned in my Facebook video a week or two back. The reasons are several, but one is that we are not just putting the ‘room’ on ‘zoom,’ we are also putting ‘zoom’ in the ‘room.’ We want those online to be able to lead worship as well as those in the room, like our guest speakers for the last two weeks, and Katie Sieferth and me when I am in Michigan. Believe it or not, there is no other congregation I know doing this. Most only let online folks watch like a TV ministry. Some pre-record their services in part or entirely. VUU is really on the creative edge in trying to be live and truly hybrid.
The equipment we have in the sanctuary was designed to work in the sanctuary not online, and the software is designed to be online not in a large room. Making them work together has been hard, and ultimately we need a new system. These past few months we have tried to get estimates of the cost of doing just that. It will not be easy or cheap. But if VUU is committed to being truly hybrid now and into the future, this is the way to go.
On January 30 I will talk at length about the challenges of being a hybrid congregation. We will show you the pieces that are in play, how much is involved in creating songs and stories in advance, and otherwise take you ‘behind the scenes’ as it were. Think of Toto pulling the curtain on the Wizard of Oz.
My hope is that you will appreciate how complicated it is, how important it is to do it well, and how much doing it well will add to our life and impact as a community. If I am successful, you will see that the cost and effort will be very much worth it, and serve you for years to come.
This week, though, January 23, tune in to hear about the human infrastructure that makes VUU a beautiful neighborhood – the several groups that care and help and serve us as members of VUU. This too is a ‘behind the scenes’ look at VUU, only in this case it shows how we sustain our hearts and souls in this ever changing and challenging world.
See you in church!