Realizing the Vision: How Space Brings Clarity
Defined space is the region within a structure where a specific activity is designed to take place. In a gym, the hardwood floor is set aside for playing basketball. In an aquatic center, the pool is the focal point and everything from the locker room to the lobby is supplemental to the core function of swimming. So, too, a church, whether centuries old and cruciform, or a rectangle built last week from steel beams, must have defined space. The primary worship area is central to the corporate service of worship. It may take many forms, but the function is the same: to provide an environment conducive to worship. An adobe building with a thatched roof and dirt floor may facilitate worship as fully as a Renaissance cathedral when its space is intentionally defined.
Extending the Experience
In the shadow of the Auburn Tigers’ SEC football stadium, Cornerstone Church has emerged as a college-town UMC congregation with a heart for the surrounding community. As part of their vision to reach those outside the adjacent neighborhoods, the church decided to expand their space through satellite campuses. In order to achieve a professional look and a consistent structure, the existing media systems in the worship center needed to be replaced. Worship leader Brian Johnson was tasked with the role of finding a suitable solution to the problem without detracting from the ongoing resource-intensive kids’ area renovation and satellite launches. His approach centered on significant upgrades to the stage lighting in order to achieve a usable video image, replacement of the aging primary projector and the introduction of a new camera to capture the improved image for distribution to the satellite facilities.
Keeping It Personal
Stage lighting is a space-defining action, for it forces attention on illuminated areas and draws focus away from darkened regions. Therefore, the purpose of stage lighting is to highlight something while occluding something else. There is a positive and negative interaction present between the two components of light and dark. To arrive at the desired result, Brian brought in a design team whose intent was to create immediacy for the remote campuses via thrust-lighting with its high contrast look and 3D-like imagery. A bevy of Lightronics 19-degree Ellipsoidals with their tight beam angles and stark edging gave the stage the impact it needed for lead pastor Rusty Hutson’s sermons to be as realistic twenty miles away as they are twenty feet away. To give some visual warmth to the stage, a quad of ADJ PR500Pro warm-white LED cans were spaced on the overhead truss. The PR500Pro lights are capable of variable Kelvin, meaning they have the ability to be anything from cool-blue highlights to amber-based warmth. BluLight’s X1 software package was installed to control the system in a simple, GUI-based environment.
Quality Over Quantity
For the video to relay the newly improved image, a good source camera was essential. Often, two medium quality consumer cameras are purchased in place of a single high-quality unit in order to meet the desire for alternating images. However, this approach misses the mark, for it delivers a shifting but uninspiring visual. It is usually better to devote the available resources to a single prosumer camera with up-market glass, sensors and controls. Cornerstone allowed the right choice to be made and selected a Canon XF-305 native HD camera mounted on a Libec RS-450 tripod and sending its signal to a Panasonic AV-HS400A switcher with HD-SDI cards outputting to a Kramer VS-41HD 1×4 switcher and VM-10HD distro. The result is s singularly excellent picture available at the new centrally-located Christie L2K1000 10,000 lumen projector as well as the outlying Sharp Aquos LC70LE632U 70” LED flat panel displays flanking the sides of the sanctuary. In addition, the satellite campuses receive the same stellar image as the worship center thanks to digital transfers of the sermons.
Thanks to the savings achieved by a disciplined approach to the core needs of the church, enough money was left in the budget to allow the children’s area to be upgraded as well. A new Hitachi CP-X4014WN wireless-networkable projector was installed along with a Da-Lite 94331 HD format screen and a selection of new LED lighting and QSC speakers.
More space can mean more than immediate space. In the case of Cornerstone Church, it meant a collection of disparate space spread where it was needed most. Instead of growing in, Cornerstone is growing out and becoming more effective in the process.