October 18, 2018
Mary Ann Starkey
Co Leader, Maris Grove Streaming Team
Streaming church services at Maris Grove? Was it even possible? With encouragement and assurances from our Executive Director, Maureen Heckler and our IT Manager, Mike Hill, we decided to jump in and give it a try! Our Resident Life Resource Manager, Sally Christy, secured a booking for our theater through 2020, so we were off and running. Next came the reality of how will this actually work?
We had a ton of questions- Hymnals? Collection? Communion? Friendship Pads? Walt Burdick came to the rescue by getting large print bulletins from the Church (hymns included); and handles the collections, Communion and friendship pads.
Another issue came up was just how do we stream -- How does it actually work? Mike Hill (Maris Grove's IT Manager) and Lynn George (Westminster's Director of Communications) checked out our theater’s equipment and concluded that all we needed to do was press some buttons and we’d be live. Mike reviewed the technical issues and gave us lots of confidence!
Each person on the Stream Team -- Leonard and Mary Ann Starkey, Rosemary Siegel, and Walt Burdick -- has a role to play. When we needed additional help Jack Robinson and Ken Horton volunteered to handle ushering and valet parking (removing and retrieving walkers). Tony Cistone volunteered to assist with serving communion on the first Sunday of the month. Residents register their attendance, pick up a Bulletin and give offerings at a table outside the auditorium. After the Service, Walt takes the offering to Donna Harrison at Westminster.
The first Live Streaming service was on October 16, 2017. Many residents have offered positive comments as to why they are attending this service: “I enjoy worshipping with my Maris Grove friends.”
One resident discovered that he couldn’t drive after surgery, but he could attend Church in the Theater with his friends and neighbors. He enjoyed the experience at Maris Grove, which he continued to do even when he was able to drive!
Another resident was having several family members visit on Sunday, and she also wanted to attend Church. She invited everyone to attend Church with her in the Theater and they did!
Children’s time is a favorite time of the service, one resident mentioned that she can see the children’s faces better watching the streaming than actually sitting in church
“The seats are more comfortable” and “I can hear the service better” are frequent comments. “I can focus on the Pastor and his sermon, and haven’t fallen asleep during the sermons!”
Rosemary expressed the experience through poetry:
What I Find When I attend Church at Maris Grove in the Cardinal theater there is a feeling of warmth and a deep feeling of Sincerity which seems to be the best cure.
For the day-to-day problems that usually occur.
Thanks to the streaming on Sunday from Westminster all of the week's worries just disappear.
Also, the kindness of our neighbors and friends when they come and when they leave after giving their
Praises to the Lord!
This experience has been a blessing to all involved. It’s not unusual to hear someone say, “see you at Church on Sunday!” Our attendance has been steadily increasing with residents, families, and friends attending. Since then, residents have been attending on a regular basis. It’s not unusual for a resident to drop by the control room after the service to thank the “Stream Team” for providing this service. The team considers our efforts to provide a worship service at Maris Grove to be a meaningful and successful experience and a blessing for everyone.
Editor's Note: we are excited to celebrate Maris Grove's one year anniversary of streaming the 9:45am worship service this week. Photo above is the Maris Grove stream team (L-R) Walt Burdick, Leonard Starkey, Rosemary Siegel, and Mary Ann Starkey.