On behalf of our Session we would like to share with you the exciting additions coming to our sanctuary this summer — new and upgraded video and audio equipment! Over the years our church has made several advances in the sanctuary to support worship, including a sound system, air conditioning, and even further back, electricity and the church organ! In this present chapter in the life of our church, we are excited about the technology advancements that will be coming in the months ahead.
After several years of preliminary discussions about upgrading and augmenting our current sound system which was last modified approximately 20 years ago, BRPC will be making a number of changes to our technology to further support and enrich our worship life. Our vision is that the new systems will allow us to bring to our present in-person worship experiences some of the creative elements that were so meaningfully used over the past year. By doing so, we will continue to nourish the spiritual development of our current members and also help reach people that may be
looking for a church community to call home. The questions and answers below explain the details and answer some of the questions you may have:
What is being installed? When will the work be completed?
We will be installing 3 new/upgraded systems over the summer:
1) A video projection system,
2) A video capture/streaming system, and
3) An enhanced sound system (including speakers and control system).
The systems will be upgraded during weekdays and will not impact any Sunday services. We anticipate that the work will take place mid-summer.
Why are we installing new video and audio equipment in the Sanctuary?
There are many reasons why we believe God is leading us to bring this new technology to the sanctuary. Worship leaders and church members will be able to create and display content for inclusion in the service. The content will include:
- Hymns, Scripture passages, unison and responsive prayers
- Moments for Mission with video information directly from the people doing mission work, whether local church members or those mission efforts that we support farther away
- Excerpts from choir and special music concerts,
- Content that will allow us to highlight the message in sermons or music by displaying complementary images or word passages
- Other beneficial elements from our current online service
Participation in our services will be able to continue by those people that are not local or able to be at church: remote mission partners, college students, people who cannot physically attend church due to illness or mobility limitations, members who live outside of NJ, etc.
With the Video Capture/Streaming system, we can better reach people at home or other locations by being able to livestream our services with the same content that people in church will see. An upgraded audio system will provide better sound in the sanctuary for all worshippers, including an enhanced audio transmission system for worshippers with hearing loss. The new system will also give us a modern control system that we can change/modify without having to pay someone to come every time we want to make even a minor change.
Tell me about the specifics. What exactly will be put in? Where will it be?
The Video display and projection system will avoid making dramatic changes to structure, architectural detail, or the aesthetics of our historic church. The integrity, beauty, and reverence of that beloved space will remain intact. There will be two fixed frame white screens on each side of the sanctuary (see picture below), and they will be acoustically transparent so there will be no impact on our music program. The projectors will be mounted on the ceiling over the balcony out of sight lines. Content displayed on the screen will be connected with the audio system. There will be a flat screen TV strategically placed for the choir so they will also see anything projected on the screen.
- The video capture and streaming system will record and also livestream worship services held in the sanctuary through the church website and our Facebook site. There will be unobtrusive cameras above the balcony and microphones on the ceiling.
- The audio system will implement new speakers that are less intrusive in the sanctuary than the present ones and that will also have better sound. The new system will have improved technology for the hearing support systems.
- We will make use of a small desk that is already in the back of the balcony for a control center, where we will connect a laptop to control the video and audio systems.
How was the decision made to make this modification?
The Worship and Music Council identified the need for video and audio systems to enhance our worship experiences and to facilitate livestreaming of services — to bring together the best elements of our online service with the best elements of our in-person service. Over the past year, the Sanctuary Screen Task Force studied the need for a video projection system, video capture/streaming system, and improvements to the sound system. We identified and worked with a contractor (Somerset Media Group) that has significant experience with video and sound systems in historic churches, and unanimously proposed making these changes. The Worship and Music Council subsequently made a motion to Session to approve these upgrades, which Session approved unanimously in their May meeting. The Sanctuary Screen Task Force was chaired by Rob Brown and included the participation of Dennis Jones, Chris Fortin, David Pasnik, Jeff Schaub, Jean Sorabella, Gary Ingram, Maureen Paterson, and Rudy Hyzer.
Is the Church Staff enthusiastic about this installation?
Yes! Dennis, Maureen, Chris, and Gary all saw the demonstration and wholeheartedly approve of moving forward with the new equipment. They are excited to guide and support this new initiative. Any new elements included in our services will be done to enhance and enrich our experience of worshipping Almighty God, and will have the leadership, guidance, and ownership of our church staff.
How much will it cost and how are we paying for it?
The Somerset Media Group proposal quotes the work at $64,000. We believe this is a faithful investment in our future. The Trustees have approved resources from our General Reserve Fund so no funds will be used from our 2021 church budget.
Who is doing the work?
Somerset Media Group has designed and will install the equipment in the Sanctuary. They have experience integrating audio and visual equipment in churches around the Tri-state area. Their objective is for their work to bless and strengthen the worship experience in churches and not distract from worship
What additional resources are needed to support this exciting project?
Gary Ingram is our Communication Coordinator and the skilled hand behind our present online worship services. Gary has agreed to lead the team of volunteers that will be needed to operate the equipment each Sunday morning. Worship leaders and other staff members will be responsible for any content as they continue to envision, prepare, and lead our worship services
If I have questions or want to get involved, who do I contact?
Reverend Dennis Jones, Senior Pastor
David Pasnik, Elder and Chair of Worship and Music Council
Rob Brown, Chair of the Sanctuary Screen Task Force