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Monthly Enewsletter from Midnight Oil Productions
Vol 4, Number 5 | May 05
Brand New Photoshop Tutorial and Spark 1 Sale
Create Your Own Lighthouse Graphic
Monthly Media Freebie x2
Spark Volume 1 On Sale
Seminar Update
Another Shirt Story
Mother's Day
Create Your Own Lighthouse Graphic

Have you ever wondered how to turn a daytime photo into night? The popular technique known as "day for night" is a creative way to add compelling storylines to your graphics. And we have a way for you to learn how through our new Lighthouse Tutorial.

This fifth edition of our popular series of free, step-by-step graphic tutorial downloads breaks down the Lighthouse graphic on spark volume 3. In it you will learn how to create a "day for night" treatment and how to make a realistic beam of light. Making effective night scenes, as well as light beams, are both recurring needs in producing media for worship. Hopefully this tutorial will be helpful in your ministry.

In addition to a great learning opportunity, you’ll also have a chance to win fabulous prizes. Submit your completed tutorial image to us here, and next month you may be taking home a Media Ministry shirt and a Virtual Digital Storytellers Seminar.

Continue to watch for new tutorials in this space, and be on the lookout for a complete book/DVD guide on designing images for worship.

Monthly Media Freebie x2: Mother's Day and Flame 3

This month we're excited to offer not one, but two media freebies!

First, as Mother's Day nears this Sunday, many of you may have a last minute need for a lovely image to honor the mothers of your church. If so, maybe our Mother and Child image will fit the bill. Click here to download it now.

We're also nearing completion of our long awaited flame volume 3. Many of you have pre-ordered flame 3 and patiently await this new collection of video intros. Here is a list of the 10 metaphors from spark 3 that will become videos with this new edition of flame:

  • Barn and Silos (Grains of Truth)
  • Chalkboard (Back to School)
  • Fireworks (All Fired Up)
  • Internet (The Healing Connection)
  • Lighthouse (Beacon of Hope)
  • Rollercoaster (Thrill Ride)
  • Telescope (Star Gazing)
  • Tree Roots (Rooted)
  • Wave (Catch the Wave)
  • Windmill (Unseen Power)

Second, this month we're offering our Tree Roots video as a monthly media freebie. The Tree Roots video is a great way to talk about the strong spiritual roots that godly mothers create in their families.

Or maybe you just have a need for a video showing the seasons passing and roots growing. Either way you can download this video here.

Spark Volume 1 Sale This Month

If you're one of the many readers of our monthly newsletter who have discovered us in the past year, you may have not seen our premiere worship media library, spark and flame.

Our popular spark worship graphics resource unveiled Midnight Oil 3 years ago, introducing the concept of layer-based images in worship resources. With its 30 sets of metaphors, flattened BMP and layered PSD files, and supporting creative guides, spark makes a valuable addition to any worship media library. The matching disc of flame videos takes the visual metaphors in spark and sets them to motion, creating compelling ways to intriduce your service or message.

Now through the end of May, discover spark and flame volume 1 for the bundle sale price of $70. That's $10 off our regular price. Click here to learn more.

Seminar Update

This has been a whirlwind spring for us, as we have led our Digital Storytellers seminar in a variety of locations around the US of A. With stops this past month in Ohio, Delaware, Nevada and Texas, we've had the privilege of getting to know many of you creating media on a weekly basis for your local churches. Attendance is up for 2005, and the excitement is too, as we continue to learn and explore media and worship with you.

If you live in or near the Carolinas, you still have an opportunity to catch us this spring, as we conclude our itinerary:

May 21 Charleston, SC Digital Storytellers Seminar
May 23-26 Charlotte, NC Inspiration Conference

In June, one half of the Midnight Oil Team will be joining the Churchmedia.net community for their first-ever national convention. We’d both like to be there, but Len has a baby due on the first day of the convention, so we thought it would be a good idea for him to stay home.

Over the course of three days, our entire Digital Storytellers event will be offered as a keynote address and several workshops. Held June 21-23 at the St. Louis Hilton, the CMN convention will be a fun time of fellowship and learning. Other speakers include Tim Eason, Greg Zschomer, and several community members. To register and learn more click below.

Or, check out our growing list of summer and fall dates, many of which are in brand new locations. Check back for more additions to our fall schedule as we continue to finalize plans!

Jun 21 St. Louis, MO Churchmedia.net Nat'l Convention
Aug 9-13 Santa Clara, CA Inspiration Conference
Sept 22 Omaha, NE Digital Storytellers Seminar
Sept 24 Burlington (Toronto), ON Digital Storytellers Seminar

And remember, you can now attend Digital Storytellers in the comfort of your own home with our Virtual Seminar. Learn more here.

If you’d like to host a Digital Storytellers event at your church, visit our host information section now.

Media Ministry Shirt Testimony #2

Last month we featured a team that is using our media ministry shirts to nurture a budding group of dedicated volunteers at a growing church in Omaha, Nebraska.

We're hearing of many more stories, too. For example, after reading the feature, Jeff Poole from Country Bible Church ordered a collection of shirts to use as a recruiting tool in their churchwide ministry fair.

We also had a nice conversation Nathan Roemer of Grace Bible Church, in Erie, PA. Here's what he said about how the shirts are affecting his ministry:

What's Your Name, Church and Position?
Nathan Roemer, Director of Technical Ministries, Grace Baptist Church, Erie, PA. I’m second from the right in the photo.

How many people are on your team?
About 20 volunteers—most of whom couldn’t make it for our team photo because of severe weather on the weekend we took it.  Our lighting guys, Joe and Dennis, did a great job of setting it up, nonetheless!

Was your team excited when they got their shirts?
We do a quarterly event that our church calls a “Servant Summit.”  Our last Servant Summit focused on the topic of “Team,” and given the theme of your Media Ministry shirts, I thought it would be a great way to appreciate my technical team staff in our breakout session.  I included a card with each shirt as a “thank you” for each person’s commitment to sharing their gifts with the church and for developing our technical ministries through increasing levels of excellence.  Even though I know my volunteers aren’t in it for the recognition, I know they’re almost as excited and grateful for the church’s recognition of their service as I am for them!

Any stories about people noticing the shirts?
We’ve only had the shirts for a couple weeks, but I’ve had a least one person take notice of mine.  The result was a great conversation where I was able to talk about my passion for the technical arts in the church.  I believe that media is our modern-day vernacular.  Just like the spread of the message of Christianity when the Bible was translated into common (local) languages during the Renaissance, I believe that God is using the common language of the technical arts in a powerful way today—from “The Passion of the Christ” to what teams like ours do every weekend.  It was great to be able to share those thoughts again, and I think the “Major League Baseball” theme is a great way to express that we strive to be in the “big leagues” when it some to bringing technical excellence to the Church.

Cool! We couldn't have said it better. Has having the shirts made your group feel more of sense of team?
Our technical team are a wonderful group of committed people who are passionate about God.  I’d like to think that this small gift of appreciation helped reinforce the fact that we’re all in this together for the common goal of using our gifts for God’s glory.  That mission in and of itself forms a strong sense of team, and the shirts are one of many healthy ways to grow and foster that spirit together.

Anything else you’d like to say?
“It’s good enough for Church.”  It’s my prayer that that phrase will continue to become a standard of excellence, rather than an excuse, for the most important work we’ll ever do—whether in technical ministries or some other area of serving.  Thanks for all the resources you provide to help make that a reality for so many churches!

God's Blessings to Nathan and the team at GBC, and to everyone who proclaims the Gospel through digital media.

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