Lockdown has been tough for all of us. All of us have had dashed dreams. In a couple of weeks’ time, I’m going to speaking about ‘learning to lament’. I’d love to create a video version of a lament, featuring lots of people from our congregation holding up a piece of paper / cardboard with their lament on, then flipping it over after a few seconds to show something they’re grateful for. (If you search on YouTube for ‘cardboard testimony’, you’ll find plenty of variants on this idea.)
I’d love you to take part.
On one side of the paper / cardboard, you’d need to write (in large, clear lettering) a short sentence beginning, “I had hoped to …” or “I’ve missed being able to …” or an equivalent.
If it were me writing it, I’d write “I’d hoped to carry on writing a book”; it it were one of my sons writing it, he’d probably write “I’d hoped to have a birthday party with my friends.” Other possibilities for ending the sentence might be … go on a dream holiday … start a new job … see children enjoying themselves in the playground … cuddle my new grandson … sit my A-Levels … get married … start IVF … give my mum a proper funeral … enjoy the sunshine … go to my niece’s christening … hug my friend who was grieving … have a retirement party … etc.
Be honest! What is it that you haven’t been able to do that has upset you most over these months? It doesn’t matter if it feels something quite trivial in the grand scheme of things - if it has caused you sadness, it’s important to you and to our Heavenly Father - and it should be part of our video lament.
On the other side of the paper / cardboard, you’d need to write (again, in clear, large lettering) a short sentence about how God has encouraged you to keep going through the difficulties of these few months. It might be something about God (“God is faithful” … “God hears my prayers”) or a verse from the Bible (“God says, “I know the plans I have for you …”). It might be an experience which has reminded you of God’s goodness (“Enjoying God’s creation in the Forest”) etc.
Would you do that? (This invitation is open to everyone in your house, by the way - adults and children.) We should end up with a powerful representation of the different sadnesses that we have gone through over these months, but also a testimony to God’s help through it all.
Once you’ve prepared your cardboard / paper (by the way, feel free to be as artistic or creative as you like!) …
1. Take a selfie video of yourself (or if you’re able to, get someone else to take the video) of you holding up (so we can see your face but clearly read the words as well) one side of the cardboard for 10 seconds, before you then turn it over, and hold it for another 10 seconds. Try to look directly at the camera lens whilst holding your sign up, and hold the phone in landscape mode (not portrait).
2. Send the video to us. Either use whatsapp to send to 0770 959 2795 or use www.wetransfer.com to transfer the video to firstname.lastname@example.org - it’s pretty straight-forward (you’ll need to enter your email address and an authorisation code, but you don’t need to sign up forever!). Or if you’re familiar with using onedrive or dropbox etc then use those.
We’d need the videos by Thursday 25rd June.
Need help taking the video or transferring it?
If you’re struggling to take the video, or to transfer it to us, email email@example.com with a phone number and we’ll try to help you out.
The small print - Safeguarding
As a church, we take the safeguarding (especially of our children and vulnerable adults) very seriously. Here’s what will happen with the video you send:
* your individual video will be uploaded to a secure google drive folder, accessible only by me and the video editor(s)
* your individual video will be downloaded to the video editor’s own computer for them to edit all the videos together. They will then delete the individual videos from their computer.
* the finalised composite video will be shown in our online service on zoom and YouTube. Videos will remain on YouTube for 2 weeks after the service they’re shown at.
* the finalised composite video will also be downloaded by our livestream operator for that service; they’ll then delete it from their computer afterwards.
* all of our video editors and stream hosts have been ’safely recruited’ (with DBS checks etc) or are in the process of being safely recruited, but are already well known to us.
By submitting a video to us, you are agreeing that you’re happy with these safeguarding precautions.
Thank you - time to write your words and get your video cameras rolling!