I feel like I’ve lived many lifetimes when it comes to technology, as I’m sure most of you feel the same way. We started out with records. Then there was a time of eight track tapes and then on to cassette tapes. Around the time I was in college, I was starting my collection of CDs, and then by the mid 2000’s, I could pay to download music. Now, with my Amazon Prime membership, I can stream many songs, which is wonderful whenever I exercise or travel.
Admittedly, I think back to the days when I watched MTV. When the channel started 40 years ago, the first video to play was the song “Video Killed the Radio Star.” The theme of the song was the change in the music format. Not only could we hear the singers, but we were able to see a story in video form to go along with the song.
But like all new formats, watching music videos on cable TV became outdated. While MTV was a staple in the youthful years of my generation, it’s not really music television anymore. Watching a channel all day in the hopes to see your favorite videos has been replaced by YouTube, a website in which we can recall our favorite videos at the drop of a hat. For instance, if I want to watch Huey Lewis’ video of “The Power of Love” from 1985, I can start the video within seconds.
With the widespread use of the internet, video has not fully replaced radio, of course, but now it runs alongside it. Just as many of our members and visitors listen to the radio on Sunday mornings, many of our congregants and those who run across our Facebook or YouTube pages now have the option of watching a video of our worship from home. This is a wonderful option for our congregants who may be away on vacation, who work on Sundays, or who may be ill. This is not to replace in-person worship but to include more people, sharing the Good News further than before. If there’s a worship service that means much to you and you want to share it with a friend, you can now go online and share the link with them.
As churches look to be relevant in our twenty-first-century streaming (transmitting video) world, we are looking into improving our technology at St. Paul UCC so that we keep connected to our world as well. This was one of the greatest lessons we’ve learned during the past year, and our hope is to continue to strengthen our platforms to stream our worship services so that we can connect with more people. In the coming weeks, we hope to share more information with you on how we hope to improve our technology so that we can live into God’s call for our congregation.
The risen Jesus says in the extended ending of the Gospel of Mark, “Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation.” By expanding our technology, we are able to live into this proclamation by Jesus and share the love and grace of God to the world