(if you'd rather listen to me talk about our new worship plan than read all of this, please click here for the video version!)
A lot has changed in light of COVID-19. Schools, arts organizations, and many businesses have shut down and a lot of us are in the midst of social distancing and isolation. First B has temporarily closed down all in-person gatherings at the church building and will be moving our church services online for the foreseeable future. The sermons, prayers, scripture readings, and music will all be posted in video form on our website, firstb.net.
A lot of the worship components of this online service will consist of pre-existing YouTube videos. However, I am working hard to keep our community of worship musicians involved in our services, even if this is happening at a distance.
To that end, I am encouraging anyone who is interested to film a video of you leading us in a worship song. This does not have to be anything fancy; a cellphone video of you singing or playing your instrument in your living room would be great! You can pick a favorite song of yours (something old, something new, whatever!), practice it for a few days, film a video, and send it to me. I have spent the last few days learning some basics of video editing, so I can take your video, trim the beginning and the end if needed, and add in the lyrics on the bottom of the screen (be sure to leave a little bit of space at the bottom of the image for lyrics to be added in). This is going to be a fun way for us to stay connected in a time of isolation and to continue to encourage each other in worship of our God and King.
Church Council has also granted us permission to have a few people meet at the church in order to practice and/or record a video or two. These would need to be very small groups (2, 3, maybe 4 people) and we would need to take some precautions (lots of handwashing, keeping healthy distances, etc.). Meeting at the church is going to help a lot if:
- You want to play an instrument that you don't have at home. We have pianos, organ, drumset, bass, and more at the church that you are welcome to use (and I am willing to disinfect them between uses!)
- You want to make a video, but are unsure about the technology involved. I would be happy to do the camerawork while you do the music!
- You would be more comfortable making a video with another person or two.
In all of this, I want to make myself a resource to you to help make these worship videos possible:
- I can provide you with sheet music for the song you're looking for (digitally or in print) and help find a good key for your voice/instrument.
- I can help you pick a song to record if you're having trouble deciding.
- I can be your camera guy.
- I can be your backup musician.
- I can put you in touch with another musician or two if you're looking for a collaborator.
- I can be your video editor (I think adding lyrics to all of these videos will really help people to be able to use the words to worship, even if it's an instrumental video!).
Please let me know if you are interested in taking part in this video worship project. I will be happy to answer any questions you have and help with any of the details along the way. I will be compiling all of the videos y'all make, making one or two of my own each week, and building a library of videos that we can draw from for our upcoming online services.
Where will these videos be posted?
Our worship videos will be posted on First B's YouTube channel, "FirstB Lethbridge." While the primary intent of these videos is for use inside our congregation, they will be public videos that could be accessed by anyone.
Will my name be listed on these videos? How will my privacy be protected?
We are using first names only for the videos posted on the First B YouTube channel. On one hand, we want people to get credit for the work they have done. On the other hand, many people have an online component to their profession or other activities and won't necessarily want these videos to be the first thing that pops up when a potential employer or customer searches their name online. So, we will be primarily presenting this as a project of the church, with individual musicians and techs listed by first name only.
If you want your video to be removed from YouTube at any point in time, let Matt know.
Do these videos have to posted on the First B YouTube channel?
No, you could also post them on your own YouTube channel and send us a link.
What video file format should I use?
Any format that can be uploaded to YouTube should be fine. MP4 is probably the most common video type.
How do I send my files to the church? They are too large to email!
You can use a file transfer service such as Google Drive, Dropbox, WeTransfer, etc. For most of these services, you can send the files to email@example.com.
I sent you a video, but it wasn't in last Sunday's online service.
We are hoping to have several "homemade" videos in each Sunday's online service, so we will be making selections each week. If your video wasn't included this week, it will probably be included on another Sunday in the near future.
I made a video, but I'm not sure if it's good enough to be posted.
We are not expecting these videos to be professional-grade, well-produced YouTube sensations that are going to get 5 million views! We are looking for something authentic and real - a chance for our congregation to stay in touch with our community of worship.
With all that being said, you may not be satisfied with your first attempt to make a video. If that is the case, I would recommend you continue to practice your song for a couple days and then record it again a few days later. A lot can improve over the process of practicing, recording, noting changes to make, practicing again, and recording again!
I am interested, but not sure where to start.
Give me a call at 403-593-0959 or an email at matt@FirstB.net. Without "live" services to be preparing for every week, I am trying to make myself available to help in any way possible/practical. Let's talk and make a plan!
I don't want to double up a song that someone else has done already. What songs have already been submitted?
You can feel free to record a song that someone else has already done; I'm sure there will be a lot of differences between the two recordings! However, if you don't want to overlap, here's a list of what songs have been done already:
- Be Thou My Vision
- Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus
- Fairest Lord Jesus
- I Surrender all
- Jesus Messiah
- Joyful, Joyful
- Living Hope
- Shout to the Lord
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details