This week the Uniting Church’s Assembly has published the video series that I produced for them about Christian beliefs from a UC perspective. The series is here. The videos are designed for use with newcomers to the Uniting Church, people preparing for baptism and confirmation, a ‘basics’ series about Christian faith, for high school religious education, etc.
1. Believing in God – Rev Dave Williamson, Rev Eseta Waqabaca-Meneilly, Dr Deidre Palmer
2. Believing in Jesus Christ – Rev Dr Geoff Thompson
3. Believing in the Holy Spirit – Rev Dr Paul Dongwon Goh, Rev Steph Tai, Rev Dr Tim Hein
4. Receiving the Scriptures – Rev Dr Monica Melanchthon, Rev Stuart Cameron
5. Living as God’s Church – Rhanee Tsetsakos, Rev Dr Andrew Dutney, Rev Charissa Suli, Rev Alistair Macrae, Rev Dr Amelia Koh-Butler
6. Serving God’s Mission – Rev Alistair Macrae, Rev Dr Amelia Koh-Butler
What a fine group of people, wise and expressive. Some of the interviews went for an hour.
The videos are designed to open up discussion and be a resource for learning – they’re not statements of dogma, even through they’re full of doctrine. There’s a discussion guide currently being completed. It will be available sometime in August. There are also transcripts which will be available.
We actually started filming two series of videos in 2015 with Phillip Johnson from flip Creative. Phillip was great to work with and pushed me in ways that were usually helpful! We finished the first series and it was launched on the Assembly website. You can find it here.
But by then I had run out of energy for the second. So it sat there without much work, and then my role with the Assembly finished. Consequently the project went nowhere for ages. In 2018 I suggested to the Assembly that they commission me to finish it. I’m grateful to Rob Floyd and Lindsay Cullen for agreeing to this and supporting it.
However we then couldn’t get access to the original footage, apart from a couple of bits that I had (Interviews with Andrew, Monica and Stu). So I offered to reshoot the interviews myself. Some people had moved on from their former roles (Ben Myers, Janice McRandall, Jason Kioa) and so we included a new and more diverse group of people. Some agreed to be interviewed a second time. (Alistair, Amelia, Geoff) The Assembly provided some footage from NYALC gatherings and A Destiny Together and QLD synod provided film from the Uniting Women conference. We had some film of congregations from the first series (Sunnybank UC, BELLS Caloundra) and I had filmed some additional churches (Adelaide Sudanese congregation, Salisbury UAICC congregation). Lindsay arranged for some great pieces from Uniting NSW-ACT.
In the meantime I finished my PhD thesis, got a new job and moved cities and states, so it got stalled again.
I am most grateful for assistance given by colleagues and friends Duncan Macleod and Amelia Koh-Butler in relation to filming and hospitality, and a heap of moral support. The original reference group from 2014 have forgotten all about this, but it included Colleen Geyer, Phil Smith and Neil Thorpe. This project was originally part of the work of the Assembly Formation, Education and Discipleship Working Group (FED).
The background music is from the album Reverie by Rob Timbs. Rob was a wonderfully gifted South Australian musician who passed away a couple of decades ago. I was looking for instrumental music and decided on guitar music. I looked at commercial stock music and didn’t like anything. For some reason I thought of Rob’s album and found a bunch of tracks that I thought were perfect. Rob’s wife Maxine was most gracious in giving permission for the music to be used. Matching tracks with each video was in itself something of a spiritual exercise for me, and deeply moving.
The album was recorded by Chris Adams at Good God Studios in Adelaide on November 13, 1993. Rob is playing his beautiful Martin D-45.
For me, this is something of a tribute to Rob, as his gift will be shared widely in God’s service. The soundtrack will always make my spine tingle.
So there you have it. The early filming in 2015 was EPIC and its a whole other story.
[Phillip filmed with a Canon DSLR (70D I think) and my 5D Mk III. He had a colleague do some filming with a Sony DSLR of some kind. Andrew Dutney was filmed by a guy we hired in Adelaide who I think had a Sony as well. I actually learned a heap from these other guys, and acquired some serious gear envy. For the filming that I did, I hired a 5D Mk II for some of it. I’m running a RODE NTG-2 into a Tascam DR70D portable recorder and a a RODE wireless kit into the camera. I synced the footage in PluralEyes (Red Giant) before bringing it into Final Cut Pro X. The video was recorded straight to camera. In a future shoot I’d like to capture it to HDMI but the Canon doesn’t output audio to HDMI.]