I Give Up!

Integrating Projection and Fixed Worship Visuals

If you’ve been reading this column for any length of time, you’ve already heard me whine about my struggle to reconcile the fleeting nature of projected visuals with the more tangible and tactile nature of permanent or semi-permanent worship visuals. Bright shiny pixels versus wood and cloth! Here I give up the battle and admit that projection is here to stay.

Adapt the New

Don’t throw away everything you know about what works and what doesn’t work as you embrace projection technology. It’ll take time to develop the same visual discernment for new ways that you have for the old, but it will come. Remind yourself that just because the hardware cost a lot and runs magical software doesn’t mean it’s good for worship.

In this design, strips of fabric frame and support what appears on-screen. In return, the design of the projection images carries through the shapes established by the fabric design. Getting reflective colors of fabric to match projected images is almost impossible to achieve. Instead, compliment using similar shapes and patterns rather than attempt to match the colors.

Store-Bought Communion Ware

After five years of trying to find the right metalsmith or potter to create original communion ware, we came across store-bought pottery that fit our space well. It’s from Vietri, an Italian commercial yet “handcrafted” pottery maker. For the actual celebration of the Lord’s Supper, we use a bright aluminum set that includes a pitcher, cup, and juice and bread platters. The store-bought clay pitcher and cup and platter are displayed on the table for most other services.

Compromise, compromise. First we gave into the projection system, and then we bought pottery. Maybe that’s an artist’s job: to make something new and beautiful out of the old—regardless of the constraints.

Dean Heetderks is a member of Covenant Christian Reformed Church in Cutlerville, Michigan, and art director of Reformed Worship. Show and tell him about your experiences at dean.heetderks@gmail.com.

Reformed Worship 88 © June 2008, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. Used by permission.