The Hotchkiss Community United Methodist Church is trying new technology and worship services to better meet the diverse spiritual needs of the community.
Pastor John Hiestand began using a projector and a portable screen for lyrics.
Once the pastor believed the congregation wanted the projected lyrics, they contacted a company in Norman, Okla. who put a video projection package together.Sept. 9 was the first day of full operation of the system. "It has proven to be exactly what we had hoped it would be," Pastor Hiestand said. One member commented it was the first time he could sing the hymns because he could now read the lyrics on the approximately 86-inch screen. The projector system is also used for scripture and responsive readings.
Pastor Hiestand also leads the congregation at Crawford Community United Methodist Church which decided on a large 72-inch LCD flat screen television for their congregation. Both churches still use bulletins for services and people can still sing from the hymnals.
In the future the projector system could be used for webinars, conferencing, YouTube and Skype with the Easy Worship software the church purchased. The system is operable with the church's main computer or a laptop.
The church has used the system for just four weeks, but it is already inspiring creativity among the congregation. One member has made E-banners. For Youth Sunday on Oct. 28 and during the Stewardship Campaign, the young church members will create videos.
Funds for the projection system came from Memorial Funds mainly from the Louise Addams Family and Charles Hallenbeck.
The technology is also used during a new service the first Thursday of every month. The Breathing Space service gives people a chance to relax and shut out the world for a little while. The service consists of music, videos, and readings which culminate in prayer and meditation. "It's a time to remind yourself you're living in the presence of God," Hiestand said. The Breathing Space service is at 7 p.m. in Hotchkiss on the first Thursday and in Crawford on the second Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. "These are gift services. You don't have to sing a hymn. We don't take any offering. It truly is a time to just sit and take a quiet moment out of your busy life," Hiestand said.
On the third Thursday of every month in Hotchkiss and on the fourth Thursday in Crawford the churches offer Spiritual Practices services. Both start at 7 p.m. "It's a way to introduce the community to some of the more interesting and spiritually fulfilling practices that are available. In October, the churches will have a Taize style service. It will be a service of music and prayer based on a model created by brothers in the Taize ecumenical community in France.
"In America we don't have a similar week long experience, but there are Taize services. Many churches offer these, but I think this is the first in this valley," Hiestand said.
The music in the Taize service is simple, chant-like pieces to get worshippers into a meditative rhythm leading to prayer time.
The pastor pointed out that the Sunday services have different goals with praise and worship. They present a different prayer opportunity.
At the Hotchkiss church on the third Thursday, they will have a Labyrinth Walk, an ancient spiritual practice. The pastor and his wife own a portable labyrinth. A labyrinth is not a maze. People do reach their goal, the pastor said. The 36-foot diameter circle with patterns is too big for the church. Hiestand needs to find a location perhaps at a local school for the walk.
The third Thursday services are meant to give the congregation and the community the opportunity to explore new spiritual practices and experiences. These services are on the fourth Thursday in Crawford, except in November due to Thanksgiving. The Crawford service will be on the fifth Thursday in November.
Crawford hosts a bluegrass service the first Saturday of the month at 6 p.m. with music, scripture and prayer. The 27 String Band performs. During the potluck, there is a gospel jam session. Local bluegrass musicians are invited to participate.
On Saturday, Oct. 13, at 1 p.m., Crawford Community United Methodist Church will do their annual animal blessing for pets and livestock. This is done on the Feast Day of Francis of Assisi who was known as a lover of animals and nature.
A family movie night is offered at 6 p.m. on the fourth Saturday in Hotchkiss and the third Saturday in Crawford.
Sunday worship is at 9 a.m. in Crawford and at 11 a.m. in Hotchkiss.
Bible studies are available Tuesday evening and Friday morning. Call the church office at 872-3540 for information.blog comments powered by Disqus