On Christmas morning, we had one service all together at 10:30 instead of our usual three. We wanted it to be a short, joyful celebration of the birth of Jesus, in an environment where kids would be present and could enter in.
Our brass ensemble and choir added to the celebration, but the biggest part of it was all the people together in one room. I haven’t seen any counts, but it was amazing to see people everywhere, downstairs, upstairs, north to south, completely full. We raised the roof on “Joy to the World”!
During the time we sang together at the beginning of the service, I had some Christmas images I have collected over the years projected on screen, pictures of the Nativity that were classic, modern, white, middle eastern, black, and hispanic. We read the Christmas story together from Matthew chapter 1, and I shared brief reflections about that with more pictures. We had a time of open worship together, a prayer experience, and went out singing “Joy to the World.” We truly were, I felt, gathered in worship.
Since I now have more server space with the move to Webjive and greggsgambles.com, I decided to post several versions of what I shared.
The best experience will be if you’re on a Mac and have Keynote, Apple’s presentation software. I used it for the first time, and really like it. It has all the pictures and movies we showed, and if you show the notes as you move through, you can read what I said at the same time that you’re seeing what was projected on screen. So, if you’ve got Keynote and a broadband connection (it’s pushing 43 megs), here’s the file for you (It’s a disk image, which when you double click, will open in the finder and show you the file.)
The second best experience will be for anyone who has Powerpoint. I exported the presentation out of Keynote, and it translated fairly well: the movies and pictures and notes are intact, the transitions just aren’t as cool. It’s a zip archive with the presentation and the media folder/directory. (download file, decompress, go… 45 mb). (Ok, I just typed that and realized how far we’ve come. The WHOLE HARD DRIVE on the first computer I owned was 40 mb…)
Finally, if you just want to read what I said without all the media, you can just click here.