One of the most bewildering elements of prerecording the worship services is the nonlinear nature of the experience from our perspective. For example, we taped the interior portion of the Maundy Thursday service last Thursday. I will record the Prelude and Musical Meditation for that service today, four days later as I write. In addition, we have a weekly template of prerecording the following Sunday service on Wednesday and Thursday. As the music for the 6:00 p.m. Zoom service is now also prerecorded, that necessitates a weekly evening recording session to accommodate musicians’ schedules. Musical Offerings for the 10:00 a.m. service are typically recorded at night as well and sometimes weeks in advance to account for travel schedules and availability. This week, I am also recording the Good Friday Musical Meditation. Simultaneously, Anna Broskie is assembling the virtual choir anthem for the Easter morning Musical Offering, which is a time-consuming task. So, it is not unusual for me to tune in to Sunday worship and be completely surprised by the Prelude (“Oh, I remember playing that one!”)
Now, I do thrive in the abstract as part of my vocation, even unofficially living in my own time zone (approximately 15’ behind: HST— Heiskanen Standard Time!) And this writing is not meant to be a complaint either. One does what you must during these strange times to make it work—that’s it! But this dizzying experience does make you that much more long for the community and connection of in person worship.
I receive my first shot of Moderna on Thursday this week! Many of us in the Plymouth community and millions around the nation are fully vaccinated or soon will be. Isn’t that amazing?! While we all have our head down in being creative and undertaking the work at hand, it is nothing short of awesome to have an eye wide open to the return of physical connection in our church community. And without the assistance of those adept at technology (Anna, Dean Wallace, Stuart Yoshida, Jim Medlock, and others…thank you!!!), none of our online worship services would even be possible.
As a fan of Dr. Who and his/her time machine the TARDIS (Time and Relative Dimension in Space, don’t you know!), I can’t help but feel as if myself and the staff are bouncing around through time but just a week or two into the past or future. I would prefer to just walk at this point—and wait. Soon, that will be the new norm.
Dir. of Music
Mark Heiskanen has been Plymouth's Director of Music since September 2017. Originally from Northeast Ohio, Mark has experience and great interest in a diverse range of musical styles including jazz, rock, musical theatre, and gospel. He is thrilled to serve a congregation and staff that values diversity and inclusion in all facets of life. Read his mostly-weekly Music Minute here.