Re-inventing Our Worship

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by Brian Waple

No, we’re not going to start singing Gregorian chant during the worship service (although there is some wonderful spirituality found in Gregorian chant…OK, another article). I wanted to talk a little about what’s happening with our worship space, as well as some of the updates we’ll be making to the technology.

First the worship space…as it was, because the overall stage space had several levels, it naturally broke the stage up into several areas. None of these areas was really large enough to accommodate the entire worship team, and a lot of valuable space was lost. When the decision was made to redo the stage, the Elders smartly decided to build a single level stage. So, under the capable leadership of Bob Hedge, the old stage was ripped out and a new, one level stage was built. A couple of advantages to this: the worship team is all on the same level, and we have the space to spread the team out, as well as more space for other types of presentations. Also, the decision was made to use reinforced plywood sheeting on the floor. This makes the stage area much more solid (hats off to Jim Batcheller).

In addition, the team installed power all along the back wall. This will cut down on the need for power strips and extension cords, and allow us to position sound system gear and instruments where we need them on the stage.

Also, we have hidden almost all of the wiring (personal peeve!) Most of the wiring will now be under the stage. Kudos to Steve Weller and Chris Pace for engineering that.

Finally, speaking of wiring, Steve and Ralph are building several sub-snakes (not the slithering kind), which all of the instrument and microphone cords plug in to. These will be located at various points along the stage, rather than everything going to the one large snake under the piano. The overall advantage is the stage will be much less cluttered.

Now, to the technology upgrades. Our current sound mixer has reached a point where it is becoming too expensive to repair. A request was made to the Elder Board, and they gave us funding for the purchase of a new sound mixer. This past Saturday Steve Weller, Ralph Hirschfelder, Chris Pace and I attended a demonstration of a new, 16-channel, digital mixer, which we’ll be buying in the next two weeks. What this means primarily is that we will have much more capability and flexibility when planning and running our sound. We’ve decided to wait to install the new mixer until after all the construction is complete (this will keep the dust out of the system). There will be a bit of a learning curve with a digital mixer; but, as part of the purchase, the mixer manufacturer will be providing on-site training to get us up and running. We expect to be using the new system by the middle of August (by the way, now would be a great time for anyone interested in running sound to contact Ralph).

So, there you have it…a new stage, a new sound architecture, a new mixer…all for the glory of God as we offer our sacrifice of praise to Him. I want to thank you for your patience as we are going through this “re-invention”, and I pray that you will be pleased with the outcome.

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