Session approves purchase of screens for Fellowship Hall
Continuing our pursuit of becoming a hybrid church, offering both live and virtual worship opportunities, session on June 22 approved the purchase of two screens and equipment for Fellowship Hall to support the worship experience for both in-person and livestream congregants.
This action came on recommendation of the Worship Committee, headed by Elder Nancy Robohn, which has discussed such a purchase almost monthly since May 2020. These discussions began after the COVID-19 pandemic closed the church facility in March 2020 and the congregation began worshiping via a livestream of the service on YouTube.
Cost of the audio/visual project, not including electrical wiring, is $20,200. Ridge AV of Cedar Park will install an 80-inch wall-mounted, retractable screen near where the temporary screen is now located in the front of the hall. There will also be a 75-inch wall-mounted screen in the southwest corner of the hall, visible to those in the choir loft and the chancel area. Installation will take place after necessary wiring is added to operate the equipment.
Funding of $21,405 to cover the cost of equipment and electrical wiring will come from: $14,000 remaining from an anonymous gift; $3,000 remaining in a fund used for IT upgrades in 2020; $1,405 in memorial gifts honoring the Rev. Justin Jones; and $3,000 from the Pastor Memorial Gifts fund.
Over the past year Worship Committee has heard reports from Philip Smith, Director of Music and Worship, and Susan Isenhour, Associate Music Director, on how this equipment will facilitate the blending of occasional prerecorded music (for example, by ReSounding Voices virtual choir) and other events seen during a livestream of worship and simultaneously by a live congregation present in Fellowship Hall. Use of the screens can also allow for livestream worshipers to lead in worship through video recordings made in their home, and for presenting other media in the worship service.
Action on this recommendation was delayed by Worship Committee during 2020 and early 2021 as there was no estimate on when we would return to live worship, and other financial needs of the church at the time outweighed the need for additional audio/visual equipment in the hall. Watch for more information in the coming weeks and in the church email each Friday.