With all the moving parts ( 3 computers, 3 cell phone cameras, 2 access points, an external sound card, lots of cables, etc.), there was no way this livestreaming process was going to work when the congregation returned to the sanctuary. We knew that we couldn’t take up half a pew with all of our gear, nor have wires strung throughout the sanctuary. But, Dave had a plan.
The church service (in normal times) in displayed on screens at the front and back of the sanctuary. A presentation slideshow displays the hymns, prayers, and scriptures. Although we had tried to duplicate this approach using our computers, the drain on the CPU was too much. Even without the presentation running, opening the streaming software on either of our computers could take a long time – several minutes. We had been creating images of each slide of the hymns and scriptures and placing them in folders for the streaming software to use. This was too much work to lay on top of creating the Sunday service presentation. We knew that the right computer could handle the presentation as a source, would have a video graphics card, and a sound input jack to take the soundboard output. So the search began. After weeks of research, Dave finally found a desktop that would work for (of course) a good price. And work it did. OBS opened in seconds. The service presentation didn’t degrade performance at all. We were getting closer.
When the service moved back outside, we started using the wireless mike outside for Pastor Barry, instead of the wired mike inside. However, the wireless mike failed frequently. When a wired version also had problems, we got permission to search for a wireless mike that Barry could clip to his collar. It arrived within a week, and got rave reviews from the congregation for the improved sound.
As you may remember, we had developed a checklist after a near meltdown of problems with the restart of the drive-in services. We’ve been using it ever since, and it has made a difference. Especially when things start to go wrong. Luckily we haven’t lost the internet completely again.
With the increase of Zoom meetings, the church needed a computer that could be used for this without interfering with the Secretary’s work during the week. The “guest office” computer wasn’t usable because the internal speakers and microphone didn’t work, although it did have a webcam. Several weeks ago, Dave had purchased a sound card that we thought we could use to make the sound input work on Cathy’s computer. We went a different way, but the device was the perfect solution to allow the mike to work on the guest office computer. The speakers were easy as well. There were 2 external speakers sitting on the shelf in the office. Once plugged in, we had camera, mike and sound.
When summer school starts in a few weeks, Kim’s Open Door will be working with rotations of small groups of kids on campus here at Faith. To ensure they can do this safely, they needed masks. Adult-sized masks were acquired quickly, but child-sized masks were more of a problem. Cathy went to work making 20 child masks. With Barry’s donation of some more sheets, we were able to change up the colors a little bit as well.
She’s also made some more masks for relatives, and as a thank-you to Fermin and Angelica for changing the oil in the truck. One way or another, they keep disappearing.
No. We aren’t heroes. But there are more of them on campus here at Faith than are sometimes recognized. This sign was placed outside Beyond 90 and Kim’s Open Door who are helping the local immigrant community navigate and obtain services during the Covid-19 shutdown.