Hello, World!

by on Oct.01, 2009, under Faith

Hi everyone!¬† I’m “Solid” Thomas, and this is my new blog site which I promise to faithfully ignore and forget to post to as often as possible ūüôā

Sitting at work... playing with camera phone...

Sitting at work... playing with camera phone...

If you’re wondering about the nickname, here’s the story.¬† Last summer I finally found a home for my faith — somewhere that I felt I could grow spiritually.¬† That place is Granger Community Church, which is located in¬†Granger, IN about 15 minutes or so from where I live.¬† In about October of last year, I¬†finally realized that the best way to feel¬†comfortable at a church that size (5,000+ attendees per weekend) is to become involved beyond just showing up.¬† One weekend they offered a “VolunTOUR” which is an opportunity to take a guided tour through the facility and be shown the various opportunities that the¬†church has for its members to become involved on-campus.¬† ¬†

This tour, given by Brian (a volunteer who occasionally plays bass for the worship team), was very eye opening for me.¬† It is amazing how much work goes into creating the atmosphere there which allows people to feel comfortable even on their first visit.¬† They need people who clean, plant flowers, mow lawns, teach children, sing, dance, play instruments, collect offerings, greet people at the front door, check kids in to their classes….¬† there are dozens of different jobs to do on a given weekend and they are ALL important!¬† Given my past working with the stage crew in high school, I felt like I would be right at home working with the technical arts team, so I expressed interest there and they took my name.

A few days later, I was contacted by Kim Volheim, the Creative Arts Talent Specialist.¬† Kim invited me in to interview me and give me a rundown of what specific needs they had on the tech arts side, and to see where I’d be a fit.¬† I told him about my history with stage crew — Lighting, flashpots, spotlights, set construction, etc — and he suggested that the spotlight history, in particular, made me a good candidate for an I-Mag Camera operator.¬† So, I signed up!

At this point you’re wondering “What the heck does this have to do with your nickname?”¬† Look, I’m getting there!¬† Skip to the bottom if you’re bored ūüėõ

I came in for training during a Journey class, got down the 5 basics – Iris, Focus, Lead, Headspace & Zoom (no particular order).¬† I finally worked my first weekend service, I believe I was on camera 4 (Stage left).¬† I had a great time.¬† I just love getting the opportunity to do something new and be able to noticeably improve so quickly!¬† By the end of the night, I was getting comfortable with “Rack Focusing” (blurring the camera smoothly while the director fades your shot into someone elses).¬† I also got comfortable with the desired shots for that camera and the iris levels, etc.¬†

My next weekend, I was ready for camera 2!¬† The trick with cameras 2 and 3 is that you need to have a steady hand and a good grasp on leading.¬† This is because these two cameras are the ones that share duty during the message — when one of the pastors or worship leaders is addressing the audience, often for an extended period of time — and you tend to have to keep a fairly close shot of them without allowing them from “leaving the shot.”¬† It turns out that this is where the spotlight experience is particularly handy, because spotlights follow exactly the same rules!¬† Apparently I did pretty well here right off the bat, and here’s why I say so…

We had a gathering soon after that of all the I-Mag operators & directors, along with a few other technical arts team members, at Kim’s house.¬† We all showed up at this wonderful potluck-style event and shared in board & card games, conversation, and good food.¬† At one point whilst I was playing Euchre with some of my new friends, one of the other directors (who I had not yet met) walked in and was introduced to me.¬† When she saw me she said “Oh!¬† You’re Solid Thomas!”¬† Apparently I had been so reliable after such a short stint on the camera team that I had simply earned the title “Solid” without even knowing it.

As you can imagine, I took this as a compliment and have since decided to own that name.¬† A few of the other team members have also been known to address me by that moniker, particularly “Princess” Julie Liebetrau.¬† If you ever notice us refer to eachother as PJ and ST — this is why!

So, there’s my story!¬† If you read this whole thing, you must be awfully bored, but I appreciate the interest.¬† I’d like to close by saying that if you have a church you call home, make sure that you take the time to volunteer there.¬† You have no idea how important this is to your own growth both in Christ and in your community!

Always remember, friends, You matter to God.  God doesnt create junk.  What would that say about Him?

-Solid Thomas

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