Last night I was in charge of the evening service at St Clement’s, which was one of our monthly arts-based series entitled Reflections on Photography. I’ve had a very busy few weeks including a number of gigs and working on my next assignment for my Open University course (due this Thursday but, I’m relieved to note, now in a submittable form and just needing a little more polish) so I hadn’t got any ideas written down earlier but I had spent some time pondering how to approach it and so clawed out some time this weekend to get things together, including a set of slides showing 7 sets of photos (about 60 in total) with embedded music. It was tight but I managed to get down to the church suitably early before the service to set up and be ready to go.
It turned out that the congregation consisted of five people. Alright, four if you don’t let me include myself. Furthermore there was something flakey about the playback of the music so I ended up having to largely abandon that side of things (probably down to the amp or connecting lead used – I’ve tried it again this morning at home and the presentation works just fine). Was all that effort just a waste of time?
I certainly hope that I can find an opportunity to use the material again. It was also both a pleasure and a devotional exercise to trawl back through my photo collection, prayerfully identifying themes and picking out images to illustrate them. I still find a childlike delight in putting pictures up on a big screen so there was that aspect to enjoy as well. That said, it would have been nice to have had a few more people to share with; our evening services are normally small but I had expected 2-3 times as many. Still, preparation and performance are done as an act of worship to God; maybe it is good to not always have the adulation of large crowds because it would be very easy to start working for that instead of for God.