Sunday, September 02, 2007

What I did on My Summer Vacation

So much to say about moving to a new city, unpacking with the unbelievable amount of help we've gotten from new church folk and my Vermont brother, visiting the school where Eli will be in the afternoons (awesome!) and the Y where he'll be in the mornings (ok. but we have another option if we need it), discovering the cool park near our house with a lake the perfect distance for a five year old and his mom to bike around, and figuring out the exact configuration of lights to be turned on at night to minimize nightmares for everyone.

But here's what I'm really thinking about on this Sunday afternoon. I'm thinking about technology in churches. Out of three churches that I've visited at random in the last four weeks, two of them used a screen with power point for the words to the songs and for other things too. Is this a typical ratio now? One handled it a little better than the other (is this because in the first one, the pastor was looking at a screen, too? Maybe.) I've come away feeling a little on the stodgy side about it. I mean, at my previous church the senior pastor would sometimes project art images on wall using a computer, so I'm not a total novice at this idea. And, based on current usages, you'd have to guess that I am a big fan of technology in general and computers in particular.

But re having the words projected: it just does not create a worshipful environment for me. I can believe that it's better for the pastor to have everyone looking "up" instead of into the bulletins, but I wonder if it really creates a better community feel to have everyone gazing at a big screen during hymns and (at today's service) for sermon points. For me, if there's ever a screen anywhere, i'm always mesmerized by that, and find it hard to look at other things (people, the cross, the elements or whatever.) Do the rest of you have this problem?

I know this is an old conversation, but I sure would appreciate having your opinion about screens in general and your experience in particular.

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