The first sound check went fine. On the second sound check, everything went sideways.
Every Sunday, the people with speaking parts in the worship service rehearse almost two hours before the service, to practice cues and slides, to check microphones and internet connections. This past Sunday was more complicated because we were doing a joint Zoom service with the UU Fellowship of Midland, our closest UU neighbors. So I included a second sound check, to double check everything before we started. That’s when a persistent, metallic, squawky feedback started sounding through our speakers. We tried everything we could think of to fix it, as the starting time for the service came and went.
We ended up starting 10 minutes late, doing the best we could and still having some glitches throughout the service.
And still, I was able to hear the spoken joys and sorrows from the Midland sanctuary 30 miles away. And still, the two congregations lit the chalice in each of our sanctuaries in recognition of shared UU values and traditions. And still, I was able to connect with those in the Mount Pleasant sanctuary and those on Zoom with a message of hope. During the service, with the chaotic technology glitches, I felt like our determination to connect with one another and the love we show in doing so is stronger than the challenges we face.
For almost three years we have been forced into a new place where we rely on technology to connect us in the congregation (and elsewhere in life). The majority of times, the technology works as expected. We can and should seek to constantly make the technology the best it can be. It will never be perfect, there will always be mistakes--and the connections between people are what matters. Let us commit to creating and strengthening those connections, in person and on Zoom and any other way that we can.
May love unite us, in our families and friendships and congregations. May love unite all Unitarian Universalists in our homes and in our sanctuaries.
May we use the tools that humans have created: the written word, the telephone, email, text and video conferencing—to enhance our connections; to understand one another better; to connect in love and hope; and to bring yet more love and hope to the world.
May it be so.
Rev. Andrew Frantz
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Rev. Andrew Frantz
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