It will soon be one year since we moved online for our services due to the pandemic. Our first week online was filled with problems – the most significant being that we were unable to just pull videos from YouTube to use for streaming worship. Our feed was shut down immediately by Facebook because we did not have permission to use the videos in our service. That following week I started looking to see what others were doing and came across the streamed service for Saddleback Church in California. Their worship team had gone and recorded six weeks of worship sessions in anticipation of the lockdown and the composition, presentation, and invitation to worship were beautiful. On a chance, I reached out to them and asked if it would be possible to pull their worship into our streaming services. The answer was not just a yes, but an emphatic yes that included encouragement from the director of worship who was formally from the East coast and wanted us to have every tool we could use.
Few of us expected to be away from in-person services for so long. Easter came and Saddleback released a new format for their worship that took remote recordings from all the singers and tied it all together into a montage of voices and video that was a joy to worship along with. As the year continued, they continued to be creative and continued to be contagious with their zeal for worshipping our God and maintaining a high standard for the quality of what they produced. Colossians 3:23 comes to mind: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord.” I have been blessed to be able to have the team lead us in worship as we have been online, and it is not easy to begin our transition back to being without them again.
I know that many of you have been blessed by this worship team as well and as a church, I wanted to thank the team for all the work they have done and for letting us tag along. So, I’d like to invite you to be part of blessing them back. Included in this email is a unique link to our own page on a site called VidHug. With this, I’d like to collect videos of anyone who would like to thank or even pray a blessing over the team that will be stitched together and sent along to the Saddleback worship director so that he can share it with the team. It’s essentially a VIDEO HUG from our church to the team in California. I am asking that the videos be completed by Sunday, January 31. The link will stop accepting videos at that time and I will be compiling them and sending the single video later that week.
Because of the size difference of our fellowships, it doesn’t seem practical to thank them financially. I hope enough of you will take the time to do this so we can express our thanks and send along some encouragement. After worshipping with them for almost a year it feels as if we have gotten to know this team. There are too many people involved to collect all the names and photos, but I was able to pull together a collage of the more prominent singers that includes their names and have attached it below so you can know who they are. The Worship Director is John and Stepfanie Cassetto and their photo also follows.
If you are planning to join me in this thank you, please also remember that it is so much more than just the singers here. There are so many musicians and other singers that are part of the team, and we don’t want to neglect the sound and video techs that are recording, mixing, editing, and producing the end product. As someone who pulls together what we need for Sunday service, I can tell you there is a tremendous amount of work being done by this team to put forth this work.
Here is the link to get to the page that will help collect your video:
Thank you for helping make this special!