FITCHBURG, Mass. - Churches in New England are working hard to reach people for Jesus.
For the past year, the leaders and team members from several media teams across Massachusetts, southern New Hampshire and Connecticut have participated in the “New England Church Media Networking” group on Facebook.
The Facebook group focuses on building real, in-person connections between ministries across denominational lines. The main goal of this is to connect the members with opportunities to meet in person, to share ideas and training opportunities.
While larger Facebook groups focus on an online community, it can be difficult to replace the benefits of having a friend stop by to talk, give advice, or share equipment. The group is open to all church creatives in Southern New England, no matter whether they consider themselves church staff or volunteer.
Unlike some groups, though, it also routinely highlights area trainings from production companies, studios, ministries, and professional organizations, such as the Boston Audio Engineering Society.
On Monday, April 1, the first Network Night of of the year was held at Crossroads Community Church in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. The structure of the evening was largely informal, allowing the attendees to enjoy a cup of coffee and slice of pizza while touring the church’s media facility. Conversation and exploration were the most important activities of the night.
Among those to talk to the group was Anthony D’Elia, executive producer for Revelation Productions, a production and installation company based in Worcester. As with each of the networking nights at Crossroads, there is the opportunity for a vendor to showcase their technology. Revelation shared new technology for sound, lighting, and LED walls, including a series of six-foot Theatrixx Totem digital signage displays, that also featured stage applications and onboard software for developing content.
For sound options, he spoke about the installation of an EAW Radius system at Crossroads in 2017. The arrays and subs were a dramatic improvement to the previous point-source system at the church.
D’Elia also discussed the Mackie FreePlay: a portable battery powered Bluetooth speaker that many churches could use in temporary setup situations.
For lighting, Revelation displayed a line of LED moving fixtures from ProLights, a company based in Italy. The company’s range of products at the church included beam, wash, and profile movers, along with several LED pars. Aside from those fixtures, one of the biggest hits among attendees were the Titan Tubes by Astera, which had diverse uses in both stage design and video.
The Revelation staff that was on-site at the event was very helpful, answering questions, spending time to talk with the gathered crowd.
The evening also featured a presentation by Andy Needham, who spoke about the upcoming Simply Worship conference coming to Bethel, Connecticut.
Andy Needham looks over lighting fixtures during a networking night at Crossroads Community Church in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, on April 1.
Needham talked to those on hand about how he came to form the conference and how it has come to grow over the years, after spending years as a music minister through his band, The Andy Needham Project. As he noted, our position may change, but our assignment doesn’t, and that “someone is going to do your job after you, and they will do that better, and that’s not a bad thing.” He challenged the gathered crowd to celebrate other church's wins. Their success is all the success of the church.
This message was well received by the churches who came together. New England Church Media Networking looks forward to more events at different area churches later this year.