Neither seen nor heard…

I’ve always wondered why anyone would want to watch tv shows or movies on a phone, what with the small screens and the holding. Then Amazon Instant Video showed up on my iPhone, and well, now I know why someone would want to watch, say, an episode of Sherlock on one’s phone while in bed, or watch Arrested Development while on the elliptical at the gym… The answer is, of course, it’s convenient. Ridiculously convenient.

So anyway, I just watched the Arrested Development episode “Public Relations” from Season 1 (I’m watching the series for the first time right now) where Michael is trying to get his son into a prestigious private school whose motto regarding children is “neither seen nor heard.”

And this motto reminds me of two different moments from our services yesterday. It was one of those days that went fine, great, even, but I was a little irritated with myself over a few things that slipped through the cracks. Tall Sound Guy was around, one of our new Apprentices was available to help, and all of our team was there, and still, I was not ready to go when our starting countdown was under two minutes. Sigh.

At some point in the morning, I saw a music stand at the front of our room that needed to be in the other room. I was mid-task for something else, so I thought I’d ask someone else to move it. But I forgot.

In the middle of the first song, I remembered that it was still there, and right around the same time, I got a text asking for the stand. I walked to the front of our room (thankfully, everyone was standing, and I’m not all that tall), grabbed the stand, and headed to the other room. When I got to the other room, I made an executive decision to be neither seen nor heard in that room, and asked someone else to walk the stand to the front of that room.

The Other Thing that happened was that we had baptisms in both services. It all went off without a hitch in the first service, but in the second service, we had the syncing song, to be followed by the baptisms (via video from the other room). However, things didn’t line up correctly. The song in both rooms was finishing up, and Children’s Pastor came into the baptistry and began speaking… except that we weren’t quite ready and couldn’t hear or see him in our room. We got both audio and video going at just the right time, so no one in our room really missed anything (except for the brilliant and witty remarks of Children’s Pastor leading up to the actual dunking). Despite a few moments of freaking out on my part, as Helper Elf noted, we were the only ones who thought it was really awkward. Well, maybe us, and the folks who were sitting near the booth.

Um, what’s going on?

In a meeting last week, I told Worship Pastor that one thing out of the ordinary on a Sunday morning had the possibility of making things really stressful for me. If you know me in the analog world, then this might seem kind of strange. I think I’m a fairly laid back and flexible sort of person most of the time, and certainly, one thing outside of the norm generally doesn’t (nor should it) phase me.

Yesterday, there wasn’t exactly anything out of the ordinary, but it wasn’t exactly a completely normal day. And there were two things that happened that likely went unnoticed by the majority of folks in attendance, but were quite stressful for a small group of people.

As we’re a “baptist” church, we baptize folks by immersion, and when we do this during our regular services, it’s sent via live video to the other room. Although our welcome is usually done via video, the pastor coming into the baptistry adds a component of possible mayhem, as there’s no way to really communicate directly when to come out.* So as that room finished their song, Senior Pastor came down into the water and began to speak. This is what was supposed to happen, except that we had done a poor job of syncing the song, and in the other room we were still singing and couldn’t go to the live video. So Worship Leader in that room had to basically stop Senior Pastor and tell him to wait.

Although all of us on the headset were freaking out, and likely the worship team in the other room felt a bit awkward on stage, in our room, it was a super smooth transition, and no one had any idea that something had gone awry.

The other incident was possibly even more subtle, and likely noticed by no one in attendance. To end the service, Worship Pastor began the closing song on the piano. When the keys came in, it was clearly wrong (to me, it really wasn’t all that loud nor was it noticeable). But when Bass Player came in, it was loud and kinda noticeable (again, to me. And maybe to a handful of folks).

I didn’t think much of it, but when the song and service ended, I knew something was up, because the entire band was on stage circling up around Worship Pastor. As is their wont, they made their way back to the booth and I found out that Worship Pastor started the song in a different key than was rehearsed when he began the song, and each member of the band discovered the discrepancy on their own, by entering in the wrong key a half step away. This is one of those moments when absolute pitch would certainly have been of benefit.

What an adventure, to do the same thing every week!

*Please don’t judge my research skills based on the fact that I linked to wikipedia not once, but twice in this post.