Sabbatical Blog

...chronicling some of my projects and learnings during this time apart from parish ministry

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Multi Site Multi Venue Church

I've been reading church websites today...specifically, websites of churches which are multi-venue (two worship services going on on the same property at the same time using a video feed-usually one is a traditional sanctuary service and one a video cafe) or mult-site churches using a video feed (or tepe). In all these situations, there's a worship leader at each site, leading the liturgy and the singing, but when it comes time for the message, on goes the tv screen and worshippers get either a live or taped version of the morning's readings and sermon.

So...if some people want to sip their starbucks and eat pastries (and toy with their blackberries) while listening to the sermon, they can do that in the video cafe. In one church, there was a venu especially for "life long Christians", where old fashioned hymns were the music of the morning. Iin that church, the "regular" worship had gone to contemporary music only.

If we can get our iministry project going (the audio is well on the way, and video is next) I can see all sorts of possibilities for this technology. Not only could our teens tune into the sermon from the privacy of their comfy den, and the parents of restless children or persons who can't sit for an hour see the service from the side lounges, but we could have our own cyber cafe in the Social Hall during the service the Forum doesn't use. And....we can imagine satellite groups of First UU'ers in Roswell, Portales, Gallup, Socorro, Moriarity, Grants, Clovis, Las Vegas. And we could sell videotapes to Fellowships to use when they can't get programming locally. And... how about a cybercafe on campus somewhere?

I found it all very exciting. There are websites such as http://www.multisiterevolution.com/, a book coming out next month, and some possible training opportunities. Amazing!

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