Author Topic: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections  (Read 59206 times)

Steven W Bohler

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #60 on: May 02, 2020, 09:49:27 AM »
I am one of those mid-sized rural churches that simply had no budget for the technical videography I will again produce tomorrow.  We use my cell phone and the available 'data' I have through my carrier since there is also no internet at church.  Even if we had internet it would not be adequate to do the job.

I realize that many are used to productions that are produced with a great deal more expertise and refinement.  But I couldn't help but think of the hand-written card I received this week from one of my 40-something members with three younger children: "Thank you for continuing to provide church services for all of us to watch." 

When this pandemic shut-down is past us, I know that my leadership will be committed to upgrading what I am doing now on a non-existent budget. But right now I am the only real connection with what they would otherwise not see or experience, a lifeline of normalcy in a world turned upside down. 

I realize that seeing what I live stream is a far cry from what can and maybe should be done.  I hope one day to do more.  But right now it is the only thing I can do to minister to them and remind them that although their church is empty, it is used, and that that bell that rings lets our neighborhood know that this virus did not shut down worship.

Thank you, Rev. Engebretson!

James J Eivan

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #61 on: May 02, 2020, 10:04:55 AM »
Pastor Engebretson's travails in video production were on my mind as I composed my post up stream. Without a congregational website  (at not listed on Synod's website) how do you make the video to your flock?

Steven W Bohler

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #62 on: May 02, 2020, 10:14:22 AM »
My apologies. I did not mean to put down those who are doing “the best that they can.” I am concerned about those who do not think through what they are doing or simply attempt to re-create “the in the pew” setting.
Do what you can do with what you have. I am sure that blessings will ensue. But keep thinking. Keep looking ahead.

Thank you for re-wording/clarifying your earlier post.  This is MUCH better!

Dan Fienen

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #63 on: May 02, 2020, 10:21:12 AM »
Pastor Engebretson's travails in video production were on my mind as I composed my post up stream. Without a congregational website  (at not listed on Synod's website) how do you make the video to your flock?

What I have been doing is uploading the video of the service to Vimeo. I think that you could also do it to YouTube, I'm not up on all the video streaming services or the relative merits of YouTube vs. Vimeo. From Vimeo I can get links that anyone can use to access the video. I then copied those links into an email that I sent out to all members that I have emails for. (I use the BCC function for the email addresses, that way people who receive the email cannot see everyone else's email address. Privacy)


I've also set up a congregational web site that I also post the links on.
Pr. Daniel Fienen
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James J Eivan

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #64 on: May 02, 2020, 10:38:25 AM »
Why is simply recreating the in pew setting undesirable or unacceptable?  While not fully on board with viewing guidelines such as this and the following 
Quote from: trinityaustin.com
To worship at home, place the device you're listening to on a table; make that your altar. Add a cross if you have one. Stand and sit, chant, and sing along as you would normally do in worship

I find no God pleasing grounds to criticize them.

Prior to the pandemic, many congregations, including those of forum member pastors, simply broadcast the service that their in person members participated in the  sanctuary.

How and why should a virtual service differ from an in person service?

Full disclosure  .. other than an occasional critique  (requested and encouraged by the pastor),  I have absolutely no involvement in the video production on Sunday Mornings.

RPG

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #65 on: May 02, 2020, 10:43:28 AM »
Pastor Engebretson's travails in video production were on my mind as I composed my post up stream. Without a congregational website  (at not listed on Synod's website) how do you make the video to your flock?

What I have been doing is uploading the video of the service to Vimeo. I think that you could also do it to YouTube, I'm not up on all the video streaming services or the relative merits of YouTube vs. Vimeo. From Vimeo I can get links that anyone can use to access the video. I then copied those links into an email that I sent out to all members that I have emails for. (I use the BCC function for the email addresses, that way people who receive the email cannot see everyone else's email address. Privacy)


I've also set up a congregational web site that I also post the links on.

We have no website as of yet, but we do have a (rarely used until now) Facebook page. I've been using a bit of a shotgun approach: video is posted on Facebook and YouTube and goes "live" on Sunday at 9:30 AM. Order of service is posted as images on Facebook and emailed to those we know about. A few paper copies are also available at the church for folks to pick up if they drop off their offering toward the end of the week. 

I live in a very small town in a very rural part of the Northern Plains, but we have a great telephone coop that upgraded to "fiber to the premises" about 5 years ago, so internet speed is great here. They are also the local TV provider, and have offered to air a replay of our service each week on the community channel. It's scheduled at the same time as our service, just delayed one week. We started that last Sunday, and the response from our shut-ins (who have received audio CDs each week for many years) and those who have no internet access (who have been receiving the CDs during The Time of the Virus) has been incredible. We will certainly be continuing this when things go "back to normal."

RPG+
The Rev. Ryan P. Gage
Eureka, SD

Eugene Crowner

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #66 on: May 02, 2020, 12:49:22 PM »
I can report a little bit of good news as I sit in the lockdown at Claremont Manor in California.

The U.P. had a longstanding dispute with the IRS about tax treatment of labor agreements and shares awarded to employees.  It all dates back to 1991 and 1996.  The U.P. finally won the case. 

Last week I got my share of the refund.  The interest on the refund was a bit over 2.5 times the amount of the refund.  I am happy to have had the interest working in my direction. 

Now, 29 years after the dispute began and 20 years after I retired, the check came as a pleasant reminder of my time on the railroad.

And with the lockdown and all, I downloaded an app and deposited the check via my iPhone.

I also added some extra to this month's church offering.

Eugene Crowner

D. Engebretson

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #67 on: May 02, 2020, 02:13:09 PM »
Why is simply recreating the in pew setting undesirable or unacceptable?  While not fully on board with viewing guidelines such as this and the following 
Quote from: trinityaustin.com
To worship at home, place the device you're listening to on a table; make that your altar. Add a cross if you have one. Stand and sit, chant, and sing along as you would normally do in worship

I find no God pleasing grounds to criticize them.

Prior to the pandemic, many congregations, including those of forum member pastors, simply broadcast the service that their in person members participated in the  sanctuary.

How and why should a virtual service differ from an in person service?

Full disclosure  .. other than an occasional critique  (requested and encouraged by the pastor),  I have absolutely no involvement in the video production on Sunday Mornings.

I have seen a handful of Sunday services since the quarantine began.  Given that many started from scratch you can well imagine the variety that ensued.  What a pastor chooses to do is probably influenced by his philosophy of what he wishes to offer and accomplish, or what he feels is most important.  So some will focus primarily on the pastor in the pulpit, or elsewhere. Others, like me, choose to pan out and capture the entire altar area from the lectern to the pulpit.  My philosophy is that I wish to offer an image of what it would look like to those who would be sitting in the pew; kind of a way of letting them experience, virtually, a little bit of their church 'home.'  We would focus in and out if my phone were so sophisticated and we were sure it wouldn't interfere with the live streaming quality.  It seemed better to just leave it alone for the duration of the service. 

Likewise, some simply strive to share a message given by the pastor from his study or home.  I wanted everything to be in the setting it would normally be in for Sunday.  I realize that this presents some limitations, but overall the quality of sound and picture are not objectionable.  In a couple of cases we have re-recorded the entire service and then re-posted it because of glitches in the transmission due to the phone we used at the time. 
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

Dan Fienen

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #68 on: May 02, 2020, 02:22:43 PM »
I have been using a Canon video camera that I picked up on sale at Walmart for a couple of hundred dollars. It records the service on an SD card that I can then insert into my laptop, copy the video files to the laptop, and then process and up load them from there.
Pr. Daniel Fienen
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D. Engebretson

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #69 on: May 02, 2020, 02:36:08 PM »
I have a Canon camcorder that my children gave me, and used it the first time we recorded.  Unfortunately it divided the hour-long service into two files.  Also, upload speeds with our internet are abysmal.  In the end it just seemed easier, for the present, to live stream with our cell phone using data (which is faster than our internet).  If I did record and upload I would have to take the SD card and my laptop about 6 miles away to the local technical college, where sitting in the parking lot in my van I would transfer the material.  Could be done.  Just a lot more work at this stage.
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

Dan Fienen

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #70 on: May 02, 2020, 02:57:48 PM »
We each must deal with situation we're handed, even if not ideal or some turn up their nose at our lack of sophisticated technology or innovative camera work or staging.
Pr. Daniel Fienen
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James J Eivan

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #71 on: May 02, 2020, 05:29:54 PM »
We each must deal with situation we're handed, even if not ideal or some turn up their nose at our lack of sophisticated technology or innovative camera work or staging.
Presentations of worship services lacking sophisticated technology or innovative camera work is important ... it demonstrates that the emphasis should be on the message ... not the medium. Thank you to Pastors Fienen and Engelbretson for sharing your labors of love ... often simplicity is the best!

Donald_Kirchner

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #72 on: May 02, 2020, 06:59:24 PM »
But if the medium does not work, the message is weakened or lost completely.
All I ask is that we consider that what we are doing is not simply lifting a church service out of the chancel and placing it in people’s living rooms. Furthermore, people are very savvy about television as a medium and they are not likely to put up with inept presentations if they go on too long.
There are websites designed to help churches learn how to use the new media. People should take a look at them.

Who's the "we" in "what we are doing," Charles? You're doing nothing but whining and criticizing and eating your shrimp cocktails and ice cream because ... What? ... You are not being sophisticatedly entertained other than at the National Cathedral?  If you are holding services or videoing something that proclaims the Word of God, then I stand corrected.

Some of us who are not tech savvy struggled to get things right. And many of us received notes of thanks,that our flock misses church and appreciates the videos of services. They are hearing The Word. God's Word. Proclaimed. Hymns with perhaps Pastor's and the cameraman's voices alone. That proclaims The Word.

Don't ever diss the power of The Word of God, Charles, simply because it's not entertaining or sophisticated enough for you.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2020, 07:40:36 PM by Pr. Don Kirchner »
Don Kirchner

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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #73 on: May 02, 2020, 07:33:33 PM »
Don't ever diss the power of The Word of God, Charles, simply because it's not entertaining or sophisticated enough for you.


For the word of God to be powerful, it needs to be heard. Proclaiming the greatest sermon to an empty church will not have any affect. It can't be planted and take root in people's lives if no people hear it.
"The church ... had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Donald_Kirchner

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #74 on: May 02, 2020, 07:43:37 PM »
Don't ever diss the power of The Word of God, Charles, simply because it's not entertaining or sophisticated enough for you.

For the word of God to be powerful, it needs to be heard. Proclaiming the greatest sermon to an empty church will not have any affect. It can't be planted and take root in people's lives if no people hear it.

Brian,

I've commented on your stream of consciousness posts. But wow, this one doesn't even manifest cognizance.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2020, 07:47:31 PM by Pr. Don Kirchner »
Don Kirchner

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