Dave Pingel, a friend of mine and awesome man of God, wrote this in response. Dave is one of the best examples of a loving and tender father that I have ever seen.
“In the calm and quiet solitude of the middle of the night beneath a velvet canopy bespeckeled with star light, when the hurried, worried pace of life is at a rest and the hustle and the bustle await the next day yet; when the air is cool and clean, soothing to the soul and time is somewhere sleeping, all by itself, alone - the voice of God resounds in noiseless quietude proclaiming ageless mysteries to the listening, chosen few.
God’s voice is like the night – of peace, tranquility; like a sea of silent sound whispering eternally. He speaks not to the ear but softly to the heart with words worth more than gold His ways He does impart. Yet, God is not like man, nor are His methods mortal; He needs no helping hands, no earthly wreaths of laurel. God needs not the MIND of man to receive the gifts of heaven - but it’s to man’s HEART that the heavenly gifts are given.
I am going to start a new series to show the photos I take. Living in a City like Chicago I am always surrounded by amazing inspiration for the art I create. I often have my camera with me and will snap photos of things I find interesting.
For Good Friday this year we did a short theater piece where a man beat a cross on stage. While he was beating the cross a figure representing Jesus was hanging from a rope on the other side of the stage responding to every blow. During this scene a sin would flash on the wall with every hit.
For Easter Sunday, we took one of the crosses he beat on stage and hung it in a stair case that connects our two main lobbies. The Good Friday theater piece was very moving for a lot of people and they are reminded of the sacrifice that Jesus made for us every time they enter the building.
Late last August my wife went to visit her parents. I took the opportunity to go see The Dark Knight. I first went to Navy Pier to see it at IMAX but it was sold out. I took a bus to the next closest theater. After the movie I started walking to the L station. It was one of those amazing summer evenings and after seeing Chicago in the Dark Knight it was an amazing feeling to walk down those streets.
On my way home I saw a shoot happening on lower Michigan Ave. I wandered down that way and snapped a couple of pics on my phone. They had wrapped for the night and the cast was leaving when I got there. I often wondered what they were shooting. There was a CTA bus down there so I thought it may have been an ad for CTA.
Today I was sitting in Joseph’s office and we were listening to The Fray’s ‘You found me’. We were talking about the video so he pulled it up on You Tube. I saw them on the bridge and knew what it was. I had been there and seen the set up.
I love living in the city. I love the crazy things you stumble upon.
They shot this on top of 311 Wacker. It is the building Jazz, my 6 year old, can see out of his window and judges whether it’s bedtime by whether the light is on or off.
Easter at park was fairly low key short service. We did 4 services at our main campus and one at our Lincoln Park Campus.
I used 4X8 sheets of white coroplast hung by black chain to create the reflective surface for the center projector. I also treated the entire room with a breakup pattern in an amber color.
We also did baptism as part of our easter service we have always done it at the lake during the summer and baptize a large number of people. We have started doing them in small numbers. I was against each person sharing their testimony but in the end think we should always do small numbers so they can share. This became a real family moment and people connected on an emotional level to each of the people being baptized.
The set for Good Friday had to provide space for the band to play and for a short theater piece. The band was small keys, electric, drums, acoustic, and violin. The theater piece consisted of a cross that we created out of metal studs that would be beaten with a metal pipe and a rope with a hook on the end for a Jesus character to hang on.
I wanted to create a oppressive feel in the room. The ceiling of bulbs above the band made the space feel small and closed in. This was done with sockets from IKEA and 90w par 38 spot bulbs. I rented 4 MAC 700 wash and 4 MAC 700 profile fixtures.
As the cross was being beaten we flashed sins with our center projector on the wall above the ceiling of bulbs.
It was cool how the cords for the bulbs became a piece of art when his from the sides with a rotating pattern.
So we really have not been doing a lot of cool stuff lately but just the basics while getting ready for Good Friday and Easter. I did want to post this image because I thought it was just very cool. She was singing about being sheltered under the wing of God.
So we are going through 1st Corinthians. We are hitting the relationship part in February. We have branded this section Relationship Status, This is a preview for the series. Week one is dealing with sexual immorality, week two is Singles, week three is marriage, and week 4 is divorce. The last couple of series have had complicated art so we decided to make this one really simple to keep things mixed up. This is a very different look for us so it will be fun to hear people’s response.
This was another element in our Martin Luther King Jr service. This is a live recording of Michelle singing. This was not a planned element it was a spontaneous creative moment during rehearsal Sunday morning, I went to my office and put the footage together. It truly was a special moment Michelle stood center stage backlit only, it was powerful.
Martin Luther King Jr weekend at church… what does that really mean. In the past 15 years of being on staff at churches not much.
Park’s new building is in the middle of a very diverse neighborhood in Chicago. The area is being reshaped and redefined and everyone in the area is struggling on what a diverse neighborhood looks like.
As Park focuses on racial reconciliation this Sunday I have struggled to put together a video that merges the two worlds of the past and the present and represents authentically the struggle. Your mind goes to the classic MLK tribute of inspiring music and hearing the I have a dream speech while seeing the classic MLK photos with I have a dream in glowing letters scrolling by. I knew that was not what I wanted to make I sat down with Curt, our music and band developer and showed him this and this. I felt this was fresh inside perspective on the whole situation, this was the lens that people who were in the midst of it used to express themselves.
He came back with using rage against the machine’s wake up as a back drop to express the aggressiveness that was surrounding Martin luther King. This contrast MLK’s peaceful approach, but echos what the country was feeling.
We recorded scratch tracks to edit to, I will blog about the creation of the click tracks in the near future, the band did an amazing job. We did a board recording Sunday afternoon and Michelle came in after our evening service and laid down her vocals. With the three screen setup still in place we were able to create a very impactive experience. The image is 47′ X 9′. I shot the interviews in Chicago’s downtown loop. the point of the interviews was to show how MLK influenced the average African American and how little it means to the average caucasian. We know this seams to stereotype people but for the most part I found this to be true with the people I interviewed.