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Book: Silver Screen, Sacred Story: Using Multimedia in Worship

Michael Bausch. Alban Institute, 2002. ISBN 1-56699-271-0. 137 pp. (paperback). $14.50.

In this book, intended for leaders and those on the front lines of worship planning, Bausch explores underlying issues, examples of multimedia, processes of building acceptance, and some practical considerations concerning uses and resources.

Bausch begins by arguing that electronic multimedia can revitalize the church and speak to those who are otherwise marginalized; then goes on to develop strategies for building support for a multimedia program, calls worship planners to become fluent in visual language, and describes various aspects of producing media. An appendix of common technical, organizational, and artistic questions and a suggested liturgy of dedication for a new installation concludes the book.

While Bausch warns that technology use should spring from the core values of the congregation, he does not suggest what values might preclude multimedia. He cautions that technology should never become the focus of worship in itself, but does not explore what that focus should be or what parameters should restrict media. He recounts how multimedia brought out hidden talents and resources in his congregation, but does not discuss costs that an intensive media program might take away from other efforts of the church. He calls the church to both engage and be critical of modern media, but describes liturgical media in terms of excitement and growth. Since such exuberance is common to most discussions of media and worship, the examination of mistakes might have been more illuminating.