Slides during worship?

In the recent Mystery Worshipper report 3298 (Peace Lutheran, Peoria), the reviewer criticises the church for using projected images throughout the service. These included not only the words of the liturgy but pictures illustrating the points made by the Minister in his sermon. The reviewer clearly found these images to be less than helpful and, indeed, described them as "hellish". A subsequent exchange of thoughts on the report can be found on the MW "Comments" page.

I don't wish to get into the pros and cons of this particular report. But I was wondering what shipmates feel about the use of such images (and, indeed, video clips and the like) in worship? The reviewer stated that, although s/he is not Lutheran, s/he is familiar with "the standard Western form of liturgy" and believes that this was true of the regulars present at that service - although it was also obvious that many visitors were present.

So, three questions.

1. Do such presentations help folk who are not familiar with the format of a church service (including the "monologue" type of sermon) to engage better with what is going on?

2. Are many of our forms of worship so wordy and cerebral that they say little to modern folk who may well be more used to thinking in visual terms?

3. As a general rule, does the use of carefully-chosen images enhance worship or detract from it?

I must confess that I have a dog in this race as I follow much the same format at the church mentioned in the MW report. Many of my congregation find it helpful, some don't, one or two close their eyes so they can just listen rather than look (or so they say!)
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Comments

  • Gath fachGath fach Shipmate
    I think slides can enhance worship, as long as they are done well. Depending on the type of service of course
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    edited April 9
    So, three questions.

    1. Do such presentations help folk who are not familiar with the format of a church service (including the "monologue" type of sermon) to engage better with what is going on?

    2. Are many of our forms of worship so wordy and cerebral that they say little to modern folk who may well be more used to thinking in visual terms?

    3. As a general rule, does the use of carefully-chosen images enhance worship or detract from it?
    There is no definitive answer to these questions, I don't think.

    Some people will find them helpful and an aid to deeper engagement. Others won't.

    Some people will think more in words and others will think more visually. Some who are visual will like the slides, and others will find their visual-thinking needs met by the sanctuary itself and the actions going on it, or by "reading" the face of the preacher.

    Some will find these carefully-chosen images enhance worship, others will not.

    Personally, I'm probably pretty close to the Mystery Worshipper. To me, they usually are a huge distraction—enough of one that were they a regular part of worship, I'd be looking for a new church. The problem for me is that in my case they discourage engagement. During the sermon, they make me feel, at best, like I'm watching a movie or TV show; at worst, they make me feel like I'm enduring a business presentation or lecture. They detract me from engagement directly with the preacher. I'd consider them hellish.

    But I'm well aware that they work well for some people, and that they enhance engagement for some people. I don't think those people are "wrong" while I am "right." I think we're different, and that we respond in different ways. As I indicated, I don't think that I could worship long-term where screens and projections are a standard part of worship. But that doesn't mean I think that no church should have them. I'm just likely to avoid a church that does have them and be drawn to a church that doesn't.

  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    I’m the person who prepares the PP for our Church. I’m an AV button presser too.

    Hymns and everything are on there. So no hymn books, leaflets, service books - nothing in the congregation’s hands. People’s heads are up and they speak and sing better - one plus. One minus is that the wheelchair or chair bound need to be near the front and not all prefer that.

    Not one person has complained ‘tho and many have said the pictures enhance their worship.

    Personally I dislike the use of videos and YouTube - but our minister uses them a lot, especially in the children’s bit.

  • AnselminaAnselmina Shipmate
    I think they can be great for children's presentations. Or maybe to illustrate something in a sermon which is usefully helped by a visual, say if someone was talking about the geography of Judea, or referring to something it's hard for us to imagine. But it has to be done carefully and slickly to work.

    If it's done all the time, though, or gratuitously it can be tedious at best and extremely distracting at worst. Use like salt: tiny doses, very sparingly for best flavour results.
  • Yes, what Anselmina said.

    I think it would be very distracting to be looking at slides or whatever during the Eucharistic Prayer, for example, when one's eyes should be piously directed to what the priest is doing...

    IJ
  • Baptist TrainfanBaptist Trainfan Shipmate
    edited April 9
    During Communion I do project up the congregational responses (which can also be read on the service sheets for those who have trouble reading the screen - remember that we don't use Prayer Books, indeed having responses at all is quite un-Baptist). But otherwise I just have a simple line drawing of the Eucharist which doesn't change, basically so that the screen (directly above my head) isn't blank.

    On Easter Sunday we had a Family Service. I used quite a lot of pictures and a short video during the "family" bit but nothing during the (quite brief) "adult" sermon. I didn't use the projector at all during our early Communion service.
  • I think the waggish adage, 'All power corrupts but Power-Point corrupts absolutely' can be applied to church services as well as business presentations.

    I mean, WTF - 'What the actual ****' as Kerry Mucklowe in the BBC 3 mockumentary 'This Country' says - do Power-Point slides actually add to any presentation (worship or otherwise) UNLESS they actually illustrate something we wouldn't know otherwise?

    You want to describe Harlech Castle, say? Show a picture of Harlech Castle. That works. That makes sense.

    But to illustrate a sermon point about 'freedom', say by having a bloody Image-Stock illustration of a broken shackle ... why? Why?

    I endured a dreadful sermon the other week by some trainee vicar who fancied himself as a stand-up comic. In fairness, he did use that to make a point (part of which was that he would never make it as a stand-up comic). But almost everything he said was accompanied by some bloody redundant image or other.

    'I was walking down the road ...' (image of road)

    'I met a man ...' (picture of a man)

    I mean, FFS!!!

    Hellish doesn't come near it.

    The fella deserved to have weights suspended from his scrotum and to be roasted slowly over a pit of burning pig-shit into eternity and beyond.

    'Look, you moron. I fucking understand what freedom means. I don't need a bastard picture of a broken pair of shackles to ensure I get your point ...'

    I wouldn't mind so much if, say, there was a picture of a flat-roofed middle-eastern house to show how the blokes who lowered the paralytic through the roof in the Gospel story could have done so.

    But to have a picture of a flame, say, to accompany some inane comment as to how we need to be 'on fire for Christ' or some such ... Nah!

    Is outrage. It's unnecessary. It's bollocks.

    Don't get me started ...

    Oh, you already have ...

    (I'm sure Baptist Trainfan isn't guilty of this sort of thing, by the way)
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    edited April 9
    I put a picture up during communion - usually something like this.

    It doesn’t change and it doesn’t distract (imo)
  • It may not distract, but what is it for? What does it do?

    Do you put up a picture of people singing hymns when you are singing hymns?

    Do you put up a slide of someone preaching a sermon when someone is preaching a sermon?

    If someone is leading the prayers and intercessions do you accompany this activity by putting up a slide of someone doing the same thing?

    The picture of communion may not be distracting but what is it meant to 'do'?

    How is our appreciation of receiving communion enhanced by having a Power-Point image of the communion elements?

    What does that add?

    Now, I'm all for iconography. I get the point of that. Icons are meant to be 'windows into heaven.' They point beyond themselves to a deeper reality.

    What does your picture of a communion cup and the bread and wine point to? It simply serves to illustrate that it's the time in the service when people receive communion. They already know that. They are doing that anyway. What does the picture add other than mere window-dressing and decoration?
  • Yes, I see what you and BT both mean - nowt wrong in images like that, certainly within the context of the sort of service you describe.

    I was being a bit tongue-in-cheek, as usual, but in a more Carflick setting, with elevation of the Host, swinging of incense, ringing of bells, sung Sanctus/Benedictus etc., there's enough going on without looking at Picshers as well!
    :wink:

    Meanwhile, could someone please attend to poor Gamaliel, who seems to be having some sort of Fit?
    :worried:

    IJ

  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    Boogie wrote: »
    I put a picture up during communion - usually something like this.

    It doesn’t change and it doesn’t distract (imo)
    I'm afraid it would distract me, as, at least in my experience, it becomes the focal point, or at least competes with what's going on at the altar/table in being the focal point. It's hard to ignore a big picture on a big screen.

    I'd have to agree with Gamaliel—putting the words to hymns or responses up is one thing, but this seems gratuitous. The only point seems to be to make sure the screen isn't blank. But I'd frankly prefer a blank screen.

  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    What do stained glass windows do?

    A (good) image helps me to concentrate. Those who don’t find it helpful close their eyes or look down.

    But I don’t need to argue about this - it works at our gaff and I put in a lot of hours making sure it works well. And that will do.

    :smile:
  • I'm not against decoration for decoration's sake.

    I'm sure the hard work you put in makes a lot of people very happy.

    Stained glass generally fulfilled a didactic purpose originally, I'm told - although I can't for the life of me work out how people could actually make out some of the imagery at the distances involved.

    I don't understand why an image of communion helps you to concentrate when the real thing is there in front of you. It doesn't make any sense.

    If you'd have said that it's a pretty picture and you like pretty pictures then fair enough.

    But you seem to imply that there's more to it than that.

    Liturgical colours on vestments and so on convey meaning through symbolism. They also look pretty cool.

    I'm not quite sure what the funny hats that Orthodox priests wear are meant to convey that they can look pretty cool too.

    If someone is playing a musical instrument do we need to look at a picture of someone playing a musical instrument at the same time in order to help us concentrate?

    Sorry - I know I sound a complete Eeyore but I don't buy it.

  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    edited April 9
    I’d say stained glass windows usually blend in, though they can be a (welcome, sometimes) distraction. But usually the image isn’t as sharp or “in front” as a screen.

    I’m not really trying to argue, either, Boogie. And I’m sure you do put in a lot of work—work that is, I hope and trust, appreciated. I’m simply trying to point out what I said to start with—different people will have different reactions. Some will find the pictures engaging and meaningful, some will find them distracting and off-putting. Some won’t really care one way or the other. It’s no different from some finding formal liturgy meaningful, while others find it offputting. Or particular styles of music. Or whatever else can happen in worship. That’s just the way it is when people are involved. Everyone has preferences and tastes. That’s why I’ve tried to be careful to frame what I’ve said in this thread in terms of my preferences, tastes and reactions, and have tried to avoid generalizing my feelings to others.

    I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer here. There’s only what works and doesn’t work for most people in a given place and situation.
  • I find stained glass and other images/decoration within a church building a very welcome distraction at times. I've sometimes preserved my sanity at our parish church by looking at the rather lovely stained glass behind the altar instead of listening to whatever tosh the preacher is preaching ...

    I'm sure I wouldn't find the images you project at your place distracting, Boogie. There's nothing 'wrong' with the one you've shared with us and as Bishop's Finger says, it probably suits your particular context.

    It simply seems a bit superfluous.

    But each to their own.
  • I think the positioning of the screen can make a big difference. Making it the central feature of the worship space is a no-no for me, but positioned reasonably high and/or off to the side (paired with another the other if necessary) it can be useful without being intrusive. That seems to be how it is used in a more formal liturgy, but those whose liturgy is unwritten seem to have the screen very central, presumably because there is usually no altar or cross in the central position.
  • Indeed, and if it isn't a screen it's the 'worship band' or some other aberration likely to make the Baby Jesus cry ...
  • Baptist TrainfanBaptist Trainfan Shipmate
    edited April 9
    I think the positioning of the screen can make a big difference.
    A lot depends on practical considerations for every building, of course - "ideal" may not be possible.

  • In a more Carflick setting, with elevation of the Host, swinging of incense, ringing of bells, sung Sanctus/Benedictus etc., there's enough going on ...
    Indeed, and some cerebral Reformed types would complain that the ritual itself distracts them from the mental contemplation of Christ.

  • My thinking would be that if the only place you can put your screen is intrusive and distracting then you'd best do without.
  • O quite - as others have said, what works for one may not necessarily work for all. Certainly, ritual can be easily overdone.

    I've seen a video of a service at a Mar Thoma parish in America (IIRC), where there were PP screens on both sides of the church. English to the south, Malayalam to the north, and plenty of room in the middle for the ritual!

    IJ
  • AlbertusAlbertus Shipmate
    Now I think of it, there's a brilliant idea here. Get a good plain wall at the east end and a selection of slides so you can have the backdrop of your choice- stained glass from Chartres one week, Comperish English Altar the next, Orthodox iconostasis, Royal Arms/ Creed/ Commandments- whatever you like!
  • sabinesabine Shipmate
    Two refugee Christian congregations from Burma have joined the regional conference my Mennonite Church belongs to. I was invited to a worship service with a few others representing the conference. Since I don't speak the language (Mara) I was very happy to be able to meditate on the Psalm selection that was projected in English during the course of a 40-minute sermon in Mara.
  • Or we could all wear virtual reality headsets so we can see whatever we want.
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth Mystery Worship Editor
    Are we still providing links to reports?
  • PigwidgeonPigwidgeon Shipmate
    AMEN to everything Gamma Gamaliel has said above! If my parish ever decided to put up screens and slide shows I'll be sliding right out the door. (I love the quote about "All power corrupts but Power-Point corrupts absolutely.")

    :lol:
  • Is your audience God, retirees who've attended since they were babies? people from elsewhere who're familiar with your denomination. new people who haven't a clue what's going on? Do you wish to close the place down when the last grey hair is dead? Or is the place already rocking the casbah?

    It'll be different in different places I think. But no church can continue to do things just because that's the way it's always been done.

    We are just getting going on this stuff because otherwise we are done in 10 years if we don't. I have lived through 2 church closures. Don't want a third.

    It is uncomfortable for some. Hope they'll get used to it. And they might enjoy the fresh meat new people.
  • Are we still providing links to reports?
    Thanks - didn't know how to do it and was hoping for Hostly intervention!

  • Baptist TrainfanBaptist Trainfan Shipmate
    edited April 10
    I endured a dreadful sermon the other week by some trainee vicar who fancied himself as a stand-up comic. ... But almost everything he said was accompanied by some bloody redundant image or other.

    'I was walking down the road ...' (image of road)

    'I met a man ...' (picture of a man)

    I mean, FFS!!!

    Hellish doesn't come near it.

    (I'm sure Baptist Trainfan isn't guilty of this sort of thing, by the way)
    Guilty as charged, at times, I'm sure!

    Way back in 1966 David Frost made the same point about what he saw as over-illustration in TV news bulletins ... so (as usual) we are just 50 years behind in this debate! Enjoy: https://tinyurl.com/y9x7khb3

  • What NOprophet said. If we are to succeed in sharing our message with unchurched people, we need to try and put ourselves in their shoes - which may not be what we "like".
  • We don't have projected song words (yet). The main reason being that we don't have anything approaching a worship set. We encourage people to choose songs that fit with wherever the Spirit is taking us. PowerPoint can easily kill participation.
  • Wet KipperWet Kipper Shipmate
    Like Boogie, I am an AV button presser too
    We meet in a school hall, rather than our own building, so we do not have a ready supply of hymn books or bibles. Therefore the words for the songs, and the Bible passages get projected (on to a wall at the side of the school hall stage)
    If there is any sort of call/respond liturgy or specific prayer, we will project that too

    Some people like to have nice pictures behind the words, some don't. I prefer plainer backgrounds when I'm "driving". We've even had (shock horror) moving images behind the words.

    As we are not in our own building, we do not have many decorations to aid concentration/distract like you would find in a church building. We have an embroidered front over the lectern (i think they cycle through 4 or 5) and a cross which is often decorated with flowers or items in front of it which relate to the sermon

    Like Boogie, I will often put an image up during communion - people find it helpful to have something to look at whilst the cups and bread are being passed round. Usually the image will be of a cross, or perhaps a GIF/film of a burning candle

    In terms of a sermon, we just project whatever the preacher gives to us, if anything. Some people want to consider this as "teaching", and no, you were learn better if they are given a set of points to write down for remembering later. Many people ask us to play short movie clips to illustrate their point, or to hear a point of view or explanation coming from the person who said it in the first place rather than just reading it out.

    Some preachers do use too many images, some seem to want to just read everything from a slide - but it's the same issues you would find in delivering a presentation in a business sense, or a school assembly, or helping the Scouts learn about Astromony / First Aid /your expedition to the Amazon. Some people are better at it passing information on than others.
  • What NOprophet said. If we are to succeed in sharing our message with unchurched people, we need to try and put ourselves in their shoes - which may not be what we "like".

    But equally, trying to chase the mirage of what will engage the unchurched (as if there was a magic secret that will fill the pews) is a hiding to nothing. We need to be conscious of what we're doing and why we're doing it, and sincere about it. Doing something we don't believe in because we think it might attract people unlike us isn't going to work.
  • WildHaggisWildHaggis Shipmate
    One thing that no one has mentioned in this discussion:
    -not everyone is a verbal learner. So words, words, words, can just be......................

    Many people are visual learners, so pictures can help fix something in your mind, to reflect on during the week, rather than just someone spouting a lot of words, which disappear into the ether.

    We need to put ourselves in the shoes of others. So why don't we ask them?

    By the way "slides" - what are they? That was something from '70s.
    Downloads yes. Even clips from "You Tube" can enhance worship and make it make sense.

    To do it just to be "fashionable" is silly. You won't attract people that way and that is a non-reason for using visuals. But to actually enhance what is being said is very helpful for many folks.

    Obviously they need to be chosen with care and not just for the sake of it. And it's not just children who like and use visuals!

    It is good often for Bible passages to be put up, there are so many translations available now, you may not have the one the leader uses, in your seat or bag. I notice that quite a number of folks in our church, when the reading is announced, use ""Bible Gateway" on their phones.

    I like words put on the screen for songs/hymns. But the background and lettering need to be legible and baring in mind that certain colour combinations aren't helpful for those with sight/dyslexic disabilities.

    We do need to move with the times but not just use various techniques for the sake of it or because it is the latest device.
  • Eutychus wrote: »
    We don't have projected song words (yet). The main reason being that we don't have anything approaching a worship set. We encourage people to choose songs that fit with wherever the Spirit is taking us. PowerPoint can easily kill participation.

    That sounds very Brethren-y to me ...

    For some reason the Spirit always inspired Brother So-and-So to pray the same extemporary prayer at 11.15am that he'd prayed at the same time the previous week ...

    I suppose it could be worse. Like the story of the Pentecostal preacher who allegedly prayed:

    'Oh Lord-ah what a mighty time we're going to have this morning! The blind will see-ah, the lame will walk ... the Gospel will be preached with authority and power! Many miracles of healing will be wrought in the mighty name of Jesus!

    ... But Lord, you should have see us if you'd been here last week ...'

  • RdrEmCofERdrEmCofE Shipmate
    edited April 10
    Boogie wrote: »
    I’m the person who prepares the PP for our Church. I’m an AV button presser too.

    Hymns and everything are on there. So no hymn books, leaflets, service books - nothing in the congregation’s hands. People’s heads are up and they speak and sing better - one plus. One minus is that the wheelchair or chair bound need to be near the front and not all prefer that.

    Not one person has complained though and many have said the pictures enhance their worship.

    Personally I dislike the use of videos and YouTube - but our minister uses them a lot, especially in the children’s bit.

    Do you have any VIP's in your congregation? No hymn books, not even small unreadable print ones. No large print leaflets or service guide. Wheel chairs to the front, (hopefully not on the assumption that wheel chair users are all also poorly sighted, and hard of hearing.) Wheelchairs sensibly cited at the front because when everyone else stands up, the wheelchair users can still see in a seated position.

    All very appropriate for congregations below the age of 50, but sight impairments such as Macular and a host of others are particularly associated with age and the vast majority of us, who do not die young, are subject to that.

    Do you at least have an induction loop?
    Not one person has complained though and many have said the pictures enhance their worship.
    They probably won't complain though. Most VIP's don't complain, they just don't return. There is not really any excuse for not meeting the visual and hearing needs of the whole congregation, and if that means also supplying large print leaflets for Visually Impaired Persons and a hearing loop for the hard of hearing, then so be it. OHP images are not and should not be thought to be replacements for service leaflets and hymn books. They should be thought of only as enhancements for those who find them convenient and liberating, (which of course they can be, if used appropriately and not distractingly overused).
  • Our place is 12th century with later 13th/14th century additions, Grade I listed. We don't use screens: we don't have any blank wall other than behind the altar at the east end (extends upwards only 10 feet) or in transepts. With a vault of c80 feet, with cross beams over 60 feet up there is no way to have a suspended screen, even if the heritage bodies would allow.

    So, we use home-produced Orders of Service booklets and hymn books. Each OS has explanations about the feast/season, has clear rubrics for things like posture, shows clearly where hymns occur, etc. There are additional booklets specifically for children.

    The OSs are specific to the season or special Sunday and at the moment we have:
    • Family Eucharist
    • parish eucharists for Advent, Christmas & Epiphany, Lent, Easter, Trinity ("ordinary time") All Saints/Before Advent;
    • Plough, Mothering, Rogation, Sea, Harvest and Remembrance sundays
    • Candlemas, Ash Wednesday, Ascension Day, Corpus Christi, Feasts of Our Lady and All Souls.

    Hymn books are available in regular size, large print or with melody; the musical setting of the mass is on a card; any hymn not in the book is on a sheet with the music.

    We don't publish a pew sheet with readings for the simple reason that it has been decided that they can be a distraction: a notices sheet is handed to people on their way out of church at the end of the service.

    All material handed out is printed on good quality paper and is regularly checked over and anything tatty replaced.

    I've been to services with screens and have to say that I wasn't keen: for people who are short they can be a nightmare, and I do know of one instance where a pulsating background caused a worshipper to have an epileptic episode.

    Quite apart from anything else, I think there is a real danger of worship with sophisticated AV input being reduced to entertainment or something that is done to the congregation.
  • There is not really any excuse for not meeting the visual and hearing needs of the whole congregation, and if that means also supplying large print leaflets for Visually Impaired Persons and a hearing loop for the hard of hearing, then so be it.
    We have a Loop and provide large print service words for those who require or wish them (but only with the words, not the pictures). I don't know what we'd do if someone came along who required Braille - I would be extremely surprised to find we could meet that need.

  • Quite apart from anything else, I think there is a real danger of worship with sophisticated AV input being reduced to entertainment or something that is done to the congregation.
    Of course. But surely it can also be true of services with elaborate ceremonial, complex liturgy and exquisite music?

  • Yes - but then good, engaging liturgy has always been likened to theatre: the key thing is that no one element should be so overpowering as to obliterate the central action and message.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    Yes, we have an induction loop. Yes, we have two VIPs and while one prefers the words on screen, I print a large size copy for the other and a spare for visitors (easily done). @RdrEmCofE, I have many, many blind and VIP friends and they advise me too. I am dyslexic myself so I choose the best visual combinations for reading. The ‘screen’ is large - it’s the wall. The centre of focus is a very large carved cross on the wall. It’s a plainly decorated Methodist church with a different banner at the front each month.

    Videos are only used when asked for by the preacher.

    Here is a photo - you can just see the bottom of the ‘screen’ on the left. The dog is Keir, my ten month old Guide Dog puppy.

    :)



  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth Mystery Worship Editor
    I guess what bothers me is that we seem unable to get through daily life without multiple senses being engaged. It's one thing to be reading a book and come across an occasional illustration or two, but quite another to be subjected to a projected image, either stationary or rotating through a set, that is always there while something else is going on that should be commanding our attention.

    Even TV reporters seem to read the news over a background track of a rhythmic pulse being played. The same for commercials. As if we can't pay attention without having a beat to snap our fingers to. Sometimes it seems almost impossible to go out in public without being subjected to background music. And of course there's the obligatory "hold music" on the telephone.

    Personally I concentrate better when I can focus my attention on one thing, and not have it dragged in different directions at once by multisensory stimuli. I will, however, own as how there may be others who thrive while being distracted.
  • WildHaggisWildHaggis Shipmate
    Amen, l'organist but are we there for theatre or worship? You can have both f course. I have been to High Church services that have had wonderful music and action but have been cold and just like watching a theatrical performance. The worship has been missing.

    I do agree overpowering loud music is a problem, particularly to those with various hearing disorders - an organ can be just as overpowering too if there is too much swell, so not just a problem of modern worship groups. Perhaps someone needs to say something - and include disability rights please. Too often music groups are too powerful.

    Not every church can provide braille and the books are huge anyway. But if you have a Braille reader in your congregation...............you should.

    If you are short and you enter a church that uses a screen, ask if you can sit near the front. I usually do, with arthritis, I can't stand for long (don't know what I'd do in Orthodox liturgy - sit with the old folks round the edge ledges, I think). If a church that won't let you, you should exit. They are not disability aware and not allowing you to worship as able bodied. I think a lot of newer churches who stand for ages while singing (not that this is necessarily bad) do need to be more inclusive, not everyone who is disabled uses a wheelchair!

    I do agree about VIPs. You can't include every disability but if you cater for the most common and if you have someone in your congregation, you should cater for them. We need to be mindful of others and recognise that not everyone is the same as us,
  • Just to say that I've been quite surprised by this thread. I was expecting quite a lot of blanket condemnation of the use of accursed projected images in worship, but in fact we've had a good discussion. Thank you!

    (And no, I'm not a Host!)
  • I've seen projected images used in very formal church settings - for a Stations of the Cross service, where the stations were projected on to a cloth draped over a cross, or another contemplation service where images were projected on to a white cloth draped over the altar table.

    The irritation often arises when the screens and other visual aids are being placed over carvings or stained glass windows, or being put in such a way that the altar cannot be seen, all of which are often visual aids in themselves.
  • sabinesabine Shipmate
    Theater? Worship? It's subjective. When I was young, in a difficult period of my life, and spiritually searching a friend invited me to go to "a social program" at his church. Nice food, nice people...but then the program began. Images of waterfalls and rainbows (and maybe kittens) projected on the wall.

    My first thought was This. Is. So. Lame.

    I wanted to leave, but I didn't want to ditch my friend or stumble over people's feet or give the impression that I was stalking out. So I sat there.

    And somewhere in the middle of the program I was overcome with the total assurance that God loved me and always had.

    Coincidence? Power of the PowerPoint? God's use of the moment? Who knows. I'm just glad I was there.

    And I am much more inclined to live and let live when it comes to the worship style of others.
  • Gath fach wrote: »
    I think slides can enhance worship, as long as they are done well. Depending on the type of service of course

    My limited experience of slides as an accompaniment to a sermon is that the speaker has clearly taken all the examples from "bad powerpoint", "how not to give a talk" and so on, and chained them all together. I've never seen anyone give a good "church talk" with visual aids.

    Contemplative-type pictures being projected whilst hymns are being sung and worship is happening doesn't personally do much for me, but if what you have is a plain box, a projected image isn't functionally very different from a (probably poor-quality) banner in an appropriate liturgical colour.

    I have said before that projected hymns just don't work, because nobody has enough resolution to display a clearly-readable SATB score. Boogie's church sounds like it is almost diametrically opposite my preferences in all things.
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited April 10
    Which perhaps just goes to show how important it is for there to be a variety of ways in which 'Church' is done - as long as (and this has been discussed at length before on these boards) whatever is done, is done well.

    From what I can gather, I believe that, if I were to attend (say) Baptist Trainfan's, or Boogie's, church (es), I'd be participating in a well-ordered worship experience. I hope they'd feel the same, should they turn up at Our Place one Sunday!

    IJ
  • @WildHaggis

    I can tease and act like 'Disgusted of Tonbridge Wells' but I'm very wary of suggesting that 'the worship is missing' in any context or setting - snake-belly low, stratospherically high or all stations in between.

    Is 'the worship missing' at a Quaker meeting, say, when nothing whatsoever is said?

    How do we assess whether 'the worship' is 'there' or not?

    Seems a very subjective judgement to me.

    We might not appreciate or value the particular style or presentation but how can we judge or assess its sincerity? Hath the Lord given us windows into men's souls? as Good Queen Bess said.

  • sabine wrote: »
    Images of waterfalls and rainbows (and maybe kittens) projected on the wall.

    My first thought was This. Is. So. Lame.

    I wanted to leave, but I didn't want to ditch my friend or stumble over people's feet or give the impression that I was stalking out. So I sat there.

    And somewhere in the middle of the program I was overcome with the total assurance that God loved me and always had.
    Wow!

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