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Youth Column: Staying Connected

Monday April 4

Daniel Lyall and Jackson Murtaugh highlight their work during the Covid-19 pandemic as part of the AV (audio visual) team at Bishopton Parish Church.

During the pandemic we have been recording, streaming, and helping people stay connected to church while being at home.

As you know we have been stuck at home a lot these last two years but at Bishopton Parish Church we have all been able to worship God using technology and computing devices. This has helped us connect with more people around the world. People from New Zealand, America and the Scottish Isles have been joining in on our services and worshipping God with us.

We have a team comprising of six people ages 12-70, all working together to make the Bishopton Parish Church AV team.

In 2019, after moving our AV Desk to a larger space in the Church, we started recording the Online Audio Services using an Audio Mixer, Laptop and Audacity Recording Software. This service would be edited and then uploaded to our website so that those who were unable to make it to Church could still tune into the service each week. CDs were also produced for those who didn’t have access to the internet and couldn’t make it to church.

But then Covid-19 hit…

We weren’t allowed into our church building, so Sunday services were cancelled which meant we had no way of recording each service. However, we were able to record short audio sermons from our Cornerstone Church Centre to be posted on our church website. In May 2020, to assist with the Online Video Services, we started using our Hymn Catalogue on our Team Storage Drive, to allow us to add Hymns to the Online Video Services each week.

In May 2020, the recordings of Online Video Services began. Back then we only had an iPad to record, a microphone for the audio and video editing software. This kit was very simple, but it got the job done! In July 2020, we added Hymns to these services. In August 2020, we purchased a camcorder to film the Online Video Services. This significantly improved the video quality of these services. This camcorder was purchased around the time when we started recording services in the church again, which meant that we could link the camcorder up to our sound system. This also significantly improved audio quality, so we had a great system for recording these services. In April 2021, as we returned to our church building, we started livestreaming. Our first livestream took place on April 11 2021, and it was a great success! The livestream allowed members of the congregation to stay at home and watch the service in real-time.

PowerPoint was being used in our church before Covid even started, to project hymns onto our Newly Installed Screens. When the pandemic hit, the AV Team started using PowerPoint on our Online Video Services to insert slides for prayers and hymns. The use of PowerPoint was further extended when we returned to our building. In Bishopton Parish Church, PowerPoint is now used for hymns and prayers, Bible Readings and Choir Introits and Anthems. We have a team of 2-3 people who create the PowerPoints on a weekly basis. However, to use PowerPoint and other software, two management centres are required. These management centres are based online and are used for device management and software/account management. The device management centre is used for managing devices and making sure they are secure for livestreaming and software use! The software/account management centre is used for managing user access to our team drives and email system, and for managing our software (like PowerPoint) and making sure it is up-to-date and is being used correctly!

In the two years since the start of the pandemic Bishopton Parish Church AV team has come a long way and learned many new skills. We have upgraded over time, but we have kept the same goal of helping people worship with us and stay connected.

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