Worship

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A Peek Inside our Worship Service

Here's a looks at how we conduct live-streamed services during the covid-19 pandemic from our broadcast studio at Glen Cairn United.

In the early days of the lock down there were only three of us in the building. It was a strange and lonely situation. We slowly added a few people as the lock down eased, and in September 2020 we reopened for limited in-person services. In December 2020 we locked down again.

Most of us attend the online service only. We are happy to see a few people in-person, and very happy that most have chosen to keep themselves and others safe by staying home. For those who have taken that tough decision and stayed away, here’s a peek inside.

We started off one night in September by removing most of the chairs. The sets of chairs that remain are 2 m apart.

Musicians must be separate from the congregation. We are lucky to have the glassed-in room at the back. It’s affectionately known as The Fishbowl, and its off limits to everyone else. Scott, Kati, and Lisa had a little fun with that.

We decorated for Christmas, turning the fishbowl into a snow globe.

The streaming set up is pretty basic. We have a laptop sitting on a kitchen trolley. There are two cameras. The main camera is on a tripod at the front where it can face different locations. The fishbowl camera is a webcam like you would have on your computer at home.

The sound feed comes from our sound board. It all comes in on the cable on the left of the laptop under the yellow cable cover at the right.

Here’s a closer look at the streaming set up. The laptop on the left controls the cameras and streams the service to YouTube. The laptop on the right is for monitoring the live stream on YouTube and following the comments during the service.

Look down and you’ll see a mess of cables and equipment on the floor. There has been no attempt at neatness.

Yes, the laptop on the right is sitting on a flowerpot stand.

Here's Matt at the video and streaming controls.

Mike and Ken are in the sound room each week ruling the audio world and monitoring the service on YouTube.

Sitting in the congregation the experience is much the same as attending on a sunny summer Sunday after two weeks of solid rain, though there aren’t even that many folks in the congregation! You can see and hear everything just as on a normal Sunday. During the hymns we all stand and turn to face the Fishbowl. It must be strange for Elaine to have the whole congregation facing away from her.

Hymns are different though. We all stand in silence listening to Scott, Kati and Lisa.

The offering is different too. We don’t pass the plate. There is an offering plate at the door when you come in. One day this fall we arrived to find this oddly appropriate offering.


Recently this little fellow has joined the congregation. Most Sundays you can see him in the fishbowl with Kati. Hello Zintar.

Photos copyright 2020 by Wayne Johnston and Lisa Petch. Used with permission.

What hasn’t changed? Every Sunday we come to church. There are few in the building, but there are many of us worshipping. Through the many months of this very odd year that has been the one constant. We are together. We remain Glen Cairn United.