Sunday, August 31, 2008

funniest vid this week...

A new blog I linked to today (milestone worship) really caught my attention...


pink inc and more...

Andrew Hunt takes some great photos which he shares on Flicker. This is from his church in Lynchburg, VA.

I've been working on designing this type of set which usually involves spandex and some sort of pole system. I've been inspired by a stretch fabric design company called Pink Inc. They do some amazing stuff in the arena of stage design.
This is some of Pink, inc.'s designs.

Some other cools sets...

Several of these are from Courney Feia the Creatvie Arts pastor at HighPoint in Minneapolis.

What do your worship set designs look like? Share your link with me and others...

Sunday set list #6...

Our awesome worship leader Mel (on the left).
I'll intro other band members in weeks to come...
Revelation, Pt. 5 "Heaven"
Sunday Set List: August 31, 2008
Set 1
O Praise Him
Sing to the King
-Meet and Greet
-Baby dedication: We have a lot of babies in our church and have a quarterly baby dedication.
Today was a special dedication-as the father of the baby is heading to Iraq in two weeks.Set 2
Dramatic Scripture reading
Revelation 21 & 22
Message: Revelation, Pt 5 "What Heaven Will Be Like"
This was a very emotional Sunday for our community. A long time member, Jeff Watkins went to be with God this week. A young man, only 35. His love and passion for God was an inspiration for all and now he is free of his severely disabled body and is running free with God.
Closing song
Agnus Dei
The worship sets really seemed to connect with people today. We always spend a focused time of prayer in our pre-service service (a mini-service for those serving on the weekend).
This also relates to our experiential set for the week (clouds). Which envolved a new element, projection onto the ceiling. We are working towards moving further in, further out and further up - in our worship experience.
How do you reach out to engage more senses than just the stage?

Saturday, August 30, 2008


Revelation Pt. 5 "Heaven"

For this week's worship set design we are projecting this ^^^ motion loop (representing heaven) on the ceiling of the auditorium through out the service.

We are working towards moving further in, further out and further up. Our venue is fairly large a 400 seat junior high auditorium and there is a lot of blank space. So we have been playing with various ideas on moving the focus away from the stage all the time. Breaking through the fourth wall.

We also had a dramatic Scripture reading of Revelation 21 & 22 (whilte scrolling on screen). We have decided that we will read a lot more Scripture aloud on stage through out the next year. (no comment on the use of the papyus font, I've tried so hard to get it banned. But our graphics/mulit-media gal and our pastor are in love with papyrus)

The clip is from a new place I found last week called Muddy River Media, who provide free, quality media resources for churches using the internet as the primary delivery tool.
They carry various things like count-down timers, motion loops, stock photo's and more. Worth checking out.

Our Sunday set list.

Have you used projections in unique places? Tell me about it.

This is going to be submitted to Ragamuffin's Soul Creative Chaos (if he decides to blog on his birthday)

Friday, August 29, 2008

Thursday, August 28, 2008


This is one of the coolest videos...
Glow video @ One Red Pilot

Glow from Chris Crutchfield on Vimeo
Glow from Chris Crutchfield on Vimeo.

What I like about it is that it has a surreal feeling to it. Almost feels like Second LIfe meets
Cold Play...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

(vicar of vibe)

I am Dorothy. The self appointed (vicar of vibe). Everything I do is geared towards what is relevant to the skeptic mind of this up and coming generation. The first goal of everything that I design (creative elements in worship) is geared towards enticing the skeptic.


I alternate between the top rating hard rock radio station, top 40, and country. I rarely listen to Christian radio.

Follow Nielson ratings:
TV: I watch everything on broadcast tv at least one time, whether I like it or not. If it is hot, I watch it more often.
Cable (this cracks me up):
Nascar is always up there.
Sponge Bob is in the top rated cable shows all the time.

But, being mindful that the 20 somethings (and younger) don’t really watch tv. They download more often than TiVo.
Life is on demand. A favorite quote I recently found was; *I love that we are considered both “technologically proficient” and “technologically promiscuous”… They’re right… I’m fickle… and so are all the students in my world…. (Brad Cooper’s blog)

Digitally enhanced/enabled media:
More importantly, one of the trends I have been following for many years is that our society is undergoing major changes in the syntax of our lifestyles and communications. It isn’t defined by
age/generation . It is defined by technology and mindset.
I even coined a new tag to define
GEND (digital generation). Simply stated you either are digitally connected or not. You either get it or you don’t get it. This digitally enhanced/enabled media is re-defining the boundaries on how various social groups and generations interface with each other: on some very basic levels, i.e. general preferences in lifestyle, communication and worship environments. A new language of interactivity has evolved. And this is giving rise to this digitally divided generation bracket.

But, most significantly, I hang out with younger skeptics. I don't know why, but God has blessed me with the ability to be friends with the tattooed, pierced, disenfranchised skeptics. I love it. We talk about everything, including spiritual things. It's imperitive to be non-judgemental, love them where they are at. I really listen to what is important to them.

We have to pay attention to these trends and make a choice not to get stuck in any mindset. We must stay cutting edge all the time. Never resting. Not doing ministry from memory instead of imagination.
Cutting edge can sometimes hurt, but it is much better than becoming dull. More people are cut with dull knives than sharp. But, I feel it is the sacrifice we must make to stay culturally relevant for each generation.

There you have it. It’s what I am called to do.

I am Dorothy (vicar of vibe)…

What do you do to stay culturally relevant? And how does it reflect in your worship design?

Monday, August 25, 2008


I'll just mention I wasn't too fond of our current graphic.
To be fair, we softened it a lot because of the children.
AND, we just recently created a multi-media team. Previously, our poor graphics person was just hanging out, using istock photos, without any drection really.
Our last series (forgiv3n3ss) graphic was our first in house design by the awesome David Spicer and was really cool. It branded across with an in house video.

So we are working on it.
Do you have an in house graphic artist?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sunday set list #5...

Revelation: Pt. 4 "When Time Ends"

Set List:
(disclaimer: I am not on the worship team, so I don't know which versions are being used)

"The End of the World As We Know It" R.E.M.
Our Love is Loud

Deliver Me (Jesus Paid It All)
(Tis' So Sweet to Trust in Jesus)
This is Our God
"Come Again" Greg Genter (in house)

This is part of Sunday Set List at Fred McKinnon's blog.

We also had a coffee house set (ala Starbucks)

We also had a funny video which I will post when it is publically posted.

I don't particularly like our graphic for this series...

gossip meter…

Today, I’d like to have a gossip meter. A machine that would register when the gossip is starting and tell me what to do…

Several years ago, I was the victim of a malicious gossiper at church. It was horrible. She would invite a group of people out to dinner after church and talk about me.
I tried and tried to confront the person (Matt. 18). I called (several times) and asked her point blank what she I had done to offend her and she refused to tell me what was wrong.
What was worse in my opinion was that this person spreading the gossip was the chairperson of our elders and that she was talking to some of our new believers.
What hurt the most though, was that people I considered good friends, allowed the gossip to be spread and did not stop the person.
To this day, I don’t have any idea why she was so angry.

Yesterday I got caught in the middle of a gossip session. It was a birthday cook out for a friend at church. Family, co-workers, old friends, new friends, believers and skeptics.
I was having a grand time. Talking to friends and finally settling in to get to know a co-worker of the gal that threw the party. She was a really nice gal and a skeptic.
It started innocently, as a person who used to attend our church was trying to catch up with where various old friends were in life now. Then all of the sudden it took a turn towards malicious gossiping. You know how it starts: “Do you remember _____? Well, she was my room mate and…”
I didn’t know how to stop it. My excuse was I didn’t know the person that was talking. But, I did know at least one of the people who was listening to the gossip.
I just got up and left the party.
I could see the skeptic gal as I left, she had moved and was sitting by herself and watching this group of “loving Christians” with what appeared to be a smug look on her face. I was sure she was thinking “what a bunch of hypocrites.”
But, it’s been bothering me since then. I should have stopped it.

At our church we actually have sort of a mandate against gossiping. Our pastor has taken the bull by the horns several times. But, we also call ourselves the imperfect church. Because we are.
It’s too late for me to stop it today, so I did the least I could do. I sent an e-mail to the gal I was chatting with. Apologizing for not stopping the gossip and asking for her forgiveness.

O.k. So I don’t really need a gossip meter…I know what to do. I pray that next time I’ll be quicker to stop it.

How do you handle gossip? Are you the speaker, listener, watcher? Do you allow, believe, disbelieve, not-receive it or stop it?

Proverbs 18:8 (NIV)
8 The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man's inmost parts.

Romans 1:28-32 (NIV)
28 Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30`slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31`they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32`Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Starbuck's coffee shop.......

That's right. Starbucks on stage...

08/25/08 Revelation Pt. 5 "End of the World"

Another whirlwind week with one week to create this worship set design. Our pastor requested a coffee shop set-up this week. Thankfully, I had planned this out in my head several weeks ago and had already snagged this promotional marketing from Starbucks. It helps to always be thinking ahead.

This is an actually promo set from summer 2008 at Starbucks.

All right; first of all I must confess that I work at Starbucks and do all of our promotional sets at the store. The moment I saw this come in, I knew exactly what I would be doing with it for church. I've actually been carrying the Starbuck's promo in the trunk of my car since the middle of July.
Really! lol!

<-- The promo sign came in pieces that linked into each other. I just purchased a metal tiki torch stand from Walmart for $5.
Stuck in a metal pole, painted black to hold the sign steady. I'm going to try to find some more of these metal stands to use with a pvc pipe system we've built. Especially while they are on sale for the end of summer clearance.

NOTE: Stores sometimes will give away promo materials after it is done. Become friendly with your local baristas. If you like something, ask nicely (in the past I have written people's names and phone numbers on the back of the promo item) and you must show up the day they are throwing it away. Christmas promo sets are sometimes sold at minimal costs after the season is over.

Our producer for this week Dan, had this bistro set of table and chairs at his home.
The lamp is from Ikea.

This will also link to our free giveaway for guests. Each week, we give out a Cross Current logo mug, filled with logo'd m&m's, a Starbuck's giftcard and some info about Cross Current.

As a side note: I tend to carry lots of design stuff in my car. In my trunk, I have several bolts of cloth (that I purchased at the Walmart $1 table), several types of black stools for stage props, boxes etc. I also currently have 6 yellow pool noodles, a hula hoop and a stuffed elephant in the back seat of my car. It's pretty funny sometimes. People will look in the back of my car and actually ask why I have those items in the back seat and I tell them about the cool things that I get to do at church.

What do you have in the trunk of your car?

This is a part of Creative Chaos//25 at Ragamuffin Soul...
FYI: Local outreach opportunity:
While I am talking about Starbucks. Often there is a great opportunity for helping out a local shelter if you can organize the people at church.
Most of the morning pastries are marked out daily. Often there is quite a bit. If you are able to gather a group of people willing to pick up the marked out pastries each day and talk to the manager, you could probably arrange with your local Starbucks to pick the pastries up (sometimes in the afternoon or at the close of business) each day and deliver them to the shelter. Some are willing to do it, others may not. It's a win - win situation.

Friday, August 22, 2008

more scent ideas…

Been thinking this week, after the incredibly positive responses to the bread machines, I’ve been trying to think of more ways to implement natural scents. We do have several very scent sensitive people on our weekend team. We did cinnamon incense last week and it did bother at least one person with asthma.

1. when we do the tabernacle set-up again, maybe we could do the incense stand outside of the building…

2. with the bread machines:
I want to try adding cinnamon and/or other spices to bread and bake it during service.

3. bring a microwave in and cook popcorn just before service.

Ha, ha! I like to make people hungry!

Still thinking, still want a scent machine…

Sunday, August 17, 2008

tabernacle experience...

This is being submitted to Creative Chaos // 23 @ Ragamuffin.

Series: Revelation: Christ, Redemption Fulfilled (continued)

This was created in just one week. It was a whirlwind experience, but EVER so powerful. The message was really wrapped around the creative elements. I’ll provide a link when it is posted on the website.
Creative elements: here is what we came up with:

Altar of burnt offering (bronze):
A table with crimson cloth and bronze cloth draped over it.
Large rectangular container wrapped with paper (next time it will be bronze). Lights and a fan inside, with crumpled orange and red cellophane.

Lamp stands (gold):
We already have three lampstands (with a total of 7 {holy and complete number} LED candles). We took them and simply grouped them together. Just the candle stands, Next time we hope to paint them gold.

Bread stand (bronze): I have a medium sized brass table. Found four gold colored chargers at World Market. We used one on the bread stand and three on the communion table. Had a display of representative bread (for show in the beginning). If you will note in the picture, one of the ends was torn off; because we forgot to get an incense holder and we actually used the end of the bread to put the incense in. lol.

The bread machines were again placed through out the auditorium and were baking through out the service. Mmmm…

Incense stand (gold): small group podium with gold cloth draped around it. Found a metal bowl (at Walmart) and spray painted it gold. Placed cinnamon incense in a piece of bread.

Holiest of Holies:
Front curtains were closed until we were “allowed access into God’s heart”. When opened, revealed the Holiest of Holies, the very heart of God. Which before Christ, only the high priest was allowed to enter.
Stage curtains were pulled in to create a smaller more intimate space.
Long lengths of chiffon and fishing wire and plastic clips. Hung from rafters, draped across at angles and weighted with sand bags.

When the curtains opened, we had a dancer, dancing to Agnus Dei. It was so amazing, during the dance the people in the congregation just rose and started praising!

Communion elements: On stage we had three tables placed in a triangle shape with white table clothes. Gold chargers (*see above) cups, standard communion elements. And a representative cup.
Everyone was invited into the heart of God to partake in communion.

The last picture is really bad, but it was so cool, it was a young mom who was actually teaching her son how to raise his hands and praise God. It was amazing, so I had to include it.

Afterwards, everyone was invited to hang out and eat the warm bread (placed on the bread stand), as the priests would have done.

We will be doing this again!

Have collected various color clothes over the years at the Walmart $1 table.

Do you have a special store to buy design items, like the $1 table at Walmart (are you smiling Jim)?

Didn’t do: Laver and the other stations this time:
Comes before lampstand and bread station.
May need two because of logistics (the aisles in the auditorium). Two desks covered with black covers with brass bowls on them (and water)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

bread machines during worship…

We finally did it! The outcome was amazing…

This was part of our “Revelation” series “Christ: Redemption fulfilled”.

We had three bread machines running throughout the service. The tantalizing smell of fresh bread baking…wafting through out the entire auditorium. Smell the scent here..

Then we had the warm bread set up during communion (along with some pre-made loaves). Also we were invited to gather at the end to simply share bread together as the worship team continued to play.

Our pastor really brought it home. He is an amazing teacher.

After this week my husband wants bread machine…

Have you utilized scent in your worship design? I’d particularly be interested in other scents…

I’d eventually like to purchase a
scent machine. This technology is being utilized in many commercial applications, so I know they have overcome the issue of scent sensitivity.

P.S. After lots of challenges bringing this to the table, it went so well that our pastor wanted to repeat the entire thing over again in a tabernacle experience..

for more details...
more on implementing scent into worship…
This was submitted to Creative Chaos//22, Thursday's at Ragamuffin Soul.

Friday, August 8, 2008

nothing is impossible...

Just something interesting about this...
Particularly Micah @ @pmich relating it to with God EVERTHING is possible.
Sometime I have really wild ideas. Particularly the one about holograms in worship. I know people look at me like I am strange. Incuding our own fuZe (creative) team. Even my own friends.
One person even asked me why would we want squids in worship. Ah, think he missed the point. It wasn't the squid-like creatures that fasinated me; it was extrapolating the holograms concept to be utilized somehow in worship. It's nice to know that someone else thinks big!
That is why I love the blogging community. I find lots of other freaky minded people (and that is a compliment, really!)
So to all my new freaky minded design blog friends in cyberspace: thank you for being there!

Tell me about your freakiest idea...come on dream big!

Dynamic Tower Skyscraper: Every floor self rotates, powered by wind and sun.

Thank you to pmich@ Leading the Arts

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

God's facebook...

Our awesome media team again. The final video for God's facebook.

This was for August 3, 2008. Revelation (series pt. 2) "God Beyond Time".

They actually created God's facebook page and Ed's facebook page (not on facebook) that were interactive.
Thanks to Bill, Tim, David and Jeff our mad media team and Greg our writer.

Do you facebook? lol!

Submitted to Creative Chaos// 21 at Ragamuffin Soul 08/08/08.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

myspace v. facebook...

TIME: MySpace v. Facebook: competing addictions...
Intersting article, almost a year old on the differences between the demographics of facebook and MySpace.

"On a per capita basis, MySpace has 4% more women visiting its site than Facebook. Facebook users tend to be more affluent, with its users skewing towards households earning over $60,000 per year, while MySpace users skew toward lower income levels, with 12% more of its users earning under $60,000 per year. Using the psychographic system Mosaic to track U.S. Internet users, it's clear that there's a class distinction between users of the two social networks. Facebook's most predominant group of visitors in Mosaic is "affluent suburbia," a group that Mosaic describes as "the wealthiest households in the U.S., living in exclusive suburban neighborhoods enjoying the best that life has to offer." The predominant group for MySpace, on the other hand, is "struggling societies," or households that are primarily single parent, single income, raising families on lower incomes and tight budgets."

I wonder what the stats say now?

Do you do MySpace, facebook, both or niether?

I have only 114 friends on facebook, feel free to become my friend. I closed down my MySpace a couple months ago. i hardly know anyone on MySpace. Hmmmm, what does that say about me?

Monday, August 4, 2008

Lord's prayer...

from Tylor at man.of.depravity

Is your church this multi-cultural?

stage set design using EPS foam...

We are totally mobile. Load everything in and out each week.

Working on creating general stage designs to be used

Sort of like this…

But, looking to use Expanded Polystyrene (EPS)

We’ve been investigating (researching) using EPS foam (expanded polystyrene) for stage set designs. We found a company called Universal Foam Products. It requires a minimum $250 order.

Since we are loading and unloading every week, it’s been recommended that we use a minimum of 1 inch thickness, 1 ½ pound (density) foam for our 48” x 96” sheets. She said it would be about
$20.00 a sheet - around 12 sheets for our $250.

About the paint, this is very important - NO OIL BASED PAINT TOUCHING THE FOAM!!! It disintegrates the foam. Water based or latex paint ONLY directly on the foam. If you want to use spray paint you MUST put a coat of latex underneath.

I'm trying to gather a group of people that are interested in set designing and 5S (using all the senses) experiential worship elements. If you are looking for this kind creative exchange of information feel free to contact me.

Question: Have you worked with foam before in set design?

Friday, August 1, 2008


What is 5S? designing 5S (using all 5 senses) experiential worship elements...

I am obsessed with this concept. I spend hours and hours research, searching youtube and such.
Striving to break through the
fourth wall. I like to think of it as taking the design further up (designing above the audience and stage), further out (into the venue, aisle, etc.) and further in (interactive, and things that evoke emotions)…

From Wikipedia:

"The fourth wall is the imaginary wall at the front of the stage in a
proscenium theater, through which the audience sees the action in the world of the play. Although the concept has been around since before the ancient Greeks and is used by Shakespeare, it was made explicit by Denis Diderot and spread in nineteenth century theatre with the advent of theatrical realism. Critic Vincent Canby described it in 1987 as "that invisible screen that forever separates the audience from the stage."

visual - not just on the stage, changing it up, stations, holographic images dripping down and interacting with the people, dancers in the aisles.

sound - beyond the music, sound of the ocean, bringing sound out into the congregation (i.e. djembe drums spaced though-out the venue.

sense of smell –is the closest, most powerful sense linked to our memory. This is so under utilized in our design.

"Dr. Luca Turin a biophysicist at the University College London explains: “We don’t smell with our noses, we smell with our brains so we shouldn’t be surprised that fragrance has a direct effect on our moods"

Great research information
at Scentair

taste - well, of course there is the obvious; communion, more recently we were discussing the taste of vinegar (Mark 15: 36 One man ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink.) and actually having people taste it.

touch/kinesthetic - something to touch, clay, a box to open, different textures to explore. interactive - moving around, dancing, get off your duff

5S: This is a more centralized remix of research I’ve been compiling for months.

How do you break the "fourth wall"?