Tuesday, April 27, 2010

How we use Power Point at St. Stephen's

At St. Stephen's in Casper, Wyoming, we use Power Point most Sundays, and we like it. We do the entire Morning Prayer service about once a month from Power Point. We have pieces of the other services on Power Point: The Gloria, The Prayers of the People, and the Sanctus, and sometimes other things. We don't announce the Gloria or the Sanctus, so it helps to have the music and/or words on the screen.

Our goal is to use Power Point for all services this summer as an experiment. To make that happen, a group of us are assembling a "library" of smaller pieces of liturgies so we can easily cut and paste to prepare a service.

I would not have thought our congregation would be one that likes Power Point, but we do. Like Susan mentioned, we like to stand up tall to pray together -- the difference is noticeable from congregation and from the leader's role.

This is how we got started: Last fall, the Liturgy Team asked the congregation if we could try it out. After a few weeks, we met with those who didn't like it to find out why. We learned that our font wasn't big enough to be seen from the back of the church. After negotiation, we switched to a size 54 font. We rearranged some furniture to make the viewing area bigger and higher. We bought a projector with enough lumens to shine in our bright sanctuary. We use simple slides - not a lot of glitz. During times when the congregation is listening, we use what I call a placeholder slide - an image that reflects the season in some way, often from nature.

We still use hymnals most of the time as we are not totally satisfied with the way our music works on Power Point, but it is getting better.

I saw this explanation on the website of The Episcopal Church of the Nativity in Scottsdale, AZ:

Environmentally Friendly: rather than print a full paper bulletin, we will hand out paper announcements and project the service on a screen. .

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