Debriefing the Easter Invitation Video Project

Earlier today, Nurya Love Parish and Frank Logue tried out a new technology in public, and Episcopalians around the country joined in. Blab.im is still in beta, but early indications are that this live videostream technology is both simple and enjoyable. There are many ways the church can make use of this new social platform.

Today, we used it to discuss the Acts 8 Movement’s video evangelism project. The conversation included call-in guests who shared their experience with the video and gave ideas for future projects.

Watch the video:

Or, if you prefer just the audio, grab it here (and ignore that huge face which I can’t figure out how to change!):


How could you imagine using Blab in ministry?

Your Free Easter Invitation Video

Get your 2017 Easter cartoon here!

Your friends at the Acts 8 Movement are glad to offer the Episcopal Church a video for congregations to promote their Easter liturgies. The video above is our gift to you. You may post it as is, or you can download a high resolution video and with some basic video editing skills create a customized video for your congregation.

We thank the Episcopal Church’s Presiding Bishop Michael Curry for his voiceover cameo role in the English language video. We also offer the video in more of the languages our churches worship in with Spanish, French, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Tagalog, Ilocano, and Dinka language versions.

A Note About Customizing this Video
When we launched our Christmas and Ash Wednesday videos, we added a blank spot right before the closing “The Episcopal Church Welcomes You” for congregations to add their service times or other information into the video itself. Now with experience, we see that the process takes time and gives an easy spot for those watching the video to move on as many users watch 95% of the video. We’ve omitted this blank space in the Easter video, realizing that the effort does not provide the desired results. This is an iterative process and we are seeking to learn. To find out more of what we have discovered along the way, please read Nurya Love Parish’s helpful post 7 Lessons from the Ash Wednesday Video Experiment.

Those with video editing skill may still customize the video. You could add your church name, the URL of the church website, or the logo to the video itself. You may even add a photo from your congregation with some information during “The Episcopal Church Welcomes You.”

The files you need are linked below each video. Simply Right Click the links to save the files, then upload to your congregation’s Facebook page as a video. Add a brief invite and service times and you are done. Or just embed or link the YouTube video above or any of these videos at our Acts8 YouTube Channel.

English language version MP4 file:
EasterInvitation.mp4

Spanish language version MP4 file:
EasterInvitation-Spanish.mp4

French language version MP4 file:
EasterInvitation-French.mp4

Korean language version MP4 file:
EasterInvitation-Korean2.mp4

Mandarin language version MP4 file:
EasterInvitation-Mandarin.mp4

Cantonese language version MP4 file:
EasterInvitation-Cantonese.mp4

Ilocano language version MP4 file:
EasterInvitation-Ilocano.mp4

Tagalog language version MP4 file:
EasterInvitation-Tagalog.mp4

Dinka language version MP4 file:
EasterInvitation-Dinka.mp4

The Director’s Cut
The Nine languages in one Video version MP4 file:
EasterInvitation-MultiLingual.mp4

Advertise on Facebook
We encourage you to use this video as if it were your own in sharing the Good News this Easter. The following tutorial is provided to walk you through the process of downloading the video from this post, uploading it to Facebook, and creating a Facebook ad.

Facebook automatically plays videos uploaded to the site which is why we recommend this option. If the downloading and uploading process is a challenge, feel free to simply post a link to the video on YouTube in your invitation.

There is no charge for using this video, it is simply our gift to you.

We wish you a most joyous Easter,
The Acts 8 Movement

We Are Still Learning – Give Us Feedback
The Acts 8 Movement continues to learn based on your feedback. Nurya Love Parish will be conducting another survey of churches who use the Acts 8 Movement ad in the Easter season. To participate, please provide your email address using the form at the end of this post.

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Thank You to the Many People Who Worked on this Project
Thanks to David Simmons who wrote and recorded the original score for this video edited and produced by Frank Logue. We give thanks to Alex Montes-Vela and his sister Sandra Vela for once again translating and recording the Spanish language video. Ada Wong-Nagata once again came through with a Cantonese language video and worked with the Episcopal Asian Ministries Chinese Convocation to record this in many voices as well as to create a Mandarin language video. Aidan Koh worked with the Korean convocation to create a Korean language version. Fred Vergara translated a Tagalog text for Filipino congregations and Leonard Oakes and Ruth Paguio worked with others to record the audio. Leonard Oakes also added a second of the major Filipino languages working to translate and record the voiceover in the Ilocano language. John Deng pulled together a group to create the Dinka language version for South Sudanese congregations. Pierre-Henry and Sophia Buisson provided the translation and audio for the French language version.

A Note About Permissions
You may use this video without concern for copyright infringement or incurring any fees for this usage.

We created this video using original video recorded for this project together with clips purchased from videoblock.com and are using them within that licensing agreement. Everyone participating donated their time and work product to the project.

Lydia & the Ladies Library Association

A few weeks ago I drove to our diocesan office for a meeting. As I turned onto the main street of Kalamazoo, my eye was immediately caught by the signs attached to the light poles. On each one was a picture of an old-fashioned brick building with a horse and carriage in front of it. Under the picture were the words “Ladies Library Association, est. 1852.”

I confess that when I saw these signs, my first thought was “This organization looks really outdated. Why are they paying for this publicity?”

I had a few minutes before my meeting, so I went to their website. I got my answer quickly: they’re having a capital campaign. I still had time, so I clicked on the History link in their sidebar. And that’s when I discovered there was more to this story.

In the days when colleges only admitted men, the Ladies Library Association was known as “college for women.” They founded the first library in Kalamazoo. They were the first women’s organization in the nation to gain the right to finance and own property.

Against all odds, the Kalamazoo Ladies Library Association imagined and worked for a future where women and men had equal rights. They were willing to dare, to dream and to risk to bring that future into being.

In Acts 16, we meet Lydia, a Gentile who worships the God of Israel. She shows up for prayers on the sabbath day, and hears Paul. She is so moved by Paul’s testimony about Jesus that she decides to be baptized, and her household with her. She is fully welcomed into the church, and she fully welcomes the church: she urges Paul and his companions to come stay with her while they are in town. Not long after, Paul and Silas are arrested for preaching Christianity. They are stripped, beaten with rods in public square, and locked in jail. As soon as they are released, they return to Lydia’s house. She must have quickly realized that being Christian comes with a cost.

The first Christians stuck with the mission they had received from Jesus: to welcome everyone who wanted to live in God’s way, and to teach them the ways of God. They didn’t let anything get in the way of that mission. Being arrested and beaten by the authorities? A minor setback, quickly overcome. Seeing that being Christian can get you thrown in prison? Yup, that comes with the territory.

Against all odds, the first Christians imagined and worked for a future where all knew the saving love of Jesus Christ. They were willing to dare, to dream and to risk to bring that future into being.

At some point in their past, the Ladies Library Association of Kalamazoo made a choice. They decided that preserving their heritage was just as important – or maybe more important – than their original mission. Why do I think so? Their logo includes a horse and carriage, not a woman reading a book. Their capital campaign is to restore their historic building. Once, they focused on creating a new future; now they appear satisfied to preserve a noble past.

On the wall of the Scottish Parliament are these words: “Work as if you live in the early days of a better nation.” That’s how Lydia and Paul and the apostles lived. As a result, you and I know about God’s grace in Jesus Christ. Once upon a time, that’s how the Ladies Library Association of Kalamazoo lived, and as a result, a better nation was born.

What would you do if you worked as if you lived in the early days of a better nation?

What would we do if we worked as if we lived in the early days of a better church?