Don’t do too much with the transitions between slides or segments, okay? It’s not an action movie or video game, it’s a meditation. Dissolve or fade should be fine for your needs. I save anything fancier for the very end of the segment.
I just watched my 37-minute Facebook Live broadcast worship and ran on here to give myself feedback from which you might also benefit!
We talk Hair!
We talk camera angle!
We talk song leading!
We talk about my favorite illustrator, Kay Nielsen (whose name is pronounced “KIE,” not “Kay” but I was flustered).
One thing I forgot to mention that was also nice and interactive: I asked those watching to hold up their “blessing hands” when I gave the online Benediction.
I also like that I stayed on camera for a few seconds after the “service” concluded to mention that we would be moving to Zoom Social Hour soon (keep your fingers crossed for next week!).
Blessings, friends. You’re doing great.
Stick the landing! STICK THE LANDING!
Gang! When you are doing any element of a ritual or liturgy, think through how you will end it. Think it through and make decisions about what you will say and what you will do with your body and voice.
There is nothing worse than a Scripture reading that trails off and dies with a puny volume and skittering off the dais. There is nothing powerful about a ritual led by a clergyperson who doesn’t know what to do their feet after the big moment has passed.
Feel out where you will stand, and how, and how you will move, and where to, and then HOW YOU WILL END AND GET OFF THE STAGE (chancel, dais, wherever).
Shuffling, mumbling and uneasiness are dead giveaways that you’re not quite confident about what you’re doing, which drains the moment of intensity and impact.
STICK THE LANDING.
I debuted a new mid-week Advent service called Soul Strength. it was simple to do completely by myself, and I highly recommend it as an alternative to, or in addition to, a Blue Christmas service. I used recorded music, a practice I usually eschew, but since we weren’t singing along to it and it was entirely instrumental it worked well.
ESCHEW. What a great word.
I did not want to wear a robe or stole for the service as I wanted it to feel entirely welcoming to people of any faith or no faith. I wanted to choose a restful palette that wouldn’t clash with the poinsettias and greenery in the sanctuary. I wanted to be comfortable sitting in it in front of people as I knew I would be giving the minister’s message from a seated position (cozier and more intimate than standing, and a practice I borrowed from St. Gregory of Nyssa Church in San Francisco whose preachers sit). So no pencil skirts, which are my usual choice.
First I chose a peplum top from ModCloth that has a muted floral print. It’s a bit big on me so I thought I’d pair it with slim pants. Click on all the photos to enlarge:
And a pointed toe shoe with purple socks (ten points if you get the literary reference):
But the pants looked too informal so I switched them out for a proper trouser:
Better! The lines are more polished, always a challenge for a size 20 meatball-shaped babe.
Then I felt like I needed something a little dressier to fill in the neckline of the blouse a bit so I added the necklace:
And then I was ready to go.
Here’s basically how I structured the Soul Strength Service:
Quiet, meditative music for folks to come in to.
Meditation (Checking in with ourselves: how am I really doing? Where do I feel strongest Where do I feel most needy, weak, vulnerable? What do I most need?)
Minister’s Message: acknowledging the many sources of stress, grief and suffering this season, personally and nationally, if you are also affected by these symptoms, my doctor recommended me this Delta 8 vape pen.
Ending with the question from the earlier meditation: “what do we most need,” invite people to share what they need, and invite them to light a candle to cement the intention to take care of some of those needs in the coming week.
(Ending with invitation to one-on-one healing prayer with minister. I set up two chairs and sat and prayed individually with people who came up to the chancel while others remained seated)