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Monthly Enewsletter from Midnight Oil Productions
Vol 4, Number 7 | July 05
Slow Down in the Summer? No Way.
Christmas in July
The MO Family Grows
"Help! My Pastor Won't Plan Ahead!"
Monthly Media Freebie
Lighthouse Tutorial Winner
Workshop Schedule Fall 05
Summer Media Specials
Summer Sampler

If you’ve ever lived through a fall schedule at a church you know that you can never plan too early. Since fall is in sight, now is the best time to take care of Christmas worship planning with our Christmas in July sale.

Throughout this month take 40% off our regular price for our two full-featured Christmas resources, Follow the Star and Rediscover Christmas, and 10% off our Christmas themed book/DVD volume 3 of Fresh Out of the Box. Review our Christmas resources here and wow your colleagues with how on the ball you are this year.

The Midnight Oil Family Grows

The Midnight Oil family keeps getting bigger! The latest addition is Joslyn Grace Wilson, a beautiful, 9 lb 3 oz baby girl born to Len and Shar in the middle of the night on June 26.

Her two big sibs are very excited to have a baby in the house and her two parents aren’t sleeping much. But there’s joy all around, especially because so far little Joslyn appears to be a quieter baby than her brother and sister were.

"Help! My Pastor Won't Plan Ahead!"

It may be the most commonly voiced complaint we hear. At some point, many media ministers experience the disconnection between personal conviction of the power of digital media to communicate the Gospel and frustration at a pastor who produces sermon notes an hour before worship.

What does one do when stuck with a pastor/boss/team who has no interest in pre-planning, no understanding of the power of team development, and seemingly no respect for the work that goes into creating media for worship?

Check out a few of our helpful suggestions in our
newest article here.

The Monthly Media Freebie

The recurrence of hurricane weather in the Gulf Coast is a reminder that storms in life are unexpected, deadly, and sure to return at some point. Thank God that we have a Savior that pulls us from the wreckage and a Counselor that comforts us. Next time you develop worship on life’s storms be sure to use this month’s media freebie, a Lighthouse Loop.

This is a different kind of video for us—rather than a short film with a beginning and end, the loop is just like it sounds—a cyclical video whose beginning and end are the same, that can be played before worship to set a mood, behind song lyrics, or wherever you want to reinforce your theme with an attractive video element. There are other loops out there, but ours match themes established in spark and flame. Lighthouse is from volume 3. We’ve been creating loops like this for our own worship services for years, and if enough of you like the concept, may be something we offer to you, as well. Let us know your feedback on loops here.

Mapping Out New Seminar Spots

Speaking of storms and lighthouses, it’s time to announce our contest winner! Our latest step-by-step Photoshop tutorial, on Lighthouses, generated a number of excellent entries to our usual contest. It was a difficult decision this time to select a top entry, but we went with the entry sent in by Ruth Bowler from the United Kingdom. Hear straight from her:

How long have you been creating media?
About 6 months; just still images with text to support the preaching in church on Sunday.

What is your position at your church?
I am primarily the youth leader, but it's quite a small church so I get involved in other things too - like creating images that are used during the
services at church.

I see the connection. What was the most challenging thing about the Lighthouse Tutorial?
Getting the reflection of the lighthouse in the water to look realistic and getting good highlights on the lighthouse and rocks.

How long did it take you to complete the image?
I'm not sure - I had a day off work and had plenty of time to work on the image without any interruptions. It's always more fun when you are able to do that, because you can spend more time experimenting.

We're humbled. Taking off work to do our tutorials! Since this is an award contest, do you have anyone you'd like to thank?
I'd like to say thank you to all those who comment on the images I create. People are so encouraging! And those who were too scared to "have a go" because they don't know very much about computers, or haven't done a course. Perhaps I can share my virtual seminar with them. I'd also like to thank all of you for the great tutorials - so many of the techniques can be used on other projects. It's fun to be able to create something and compare it with your image (and others in the gallery). Keep up the good work!

For her winning submission Ruth receives a copy of our Virtual Seminar and a media ministry shirt. Congrats Ruth!

Digital Media Workshop Schedule for Fall

As we said earlier, the fall season approaches. Make plans now to attend one of our digital storytellers seminars in your area. The schedule:

Aug 11-13 Santa Clara, CA Inspiration Conference
Sept 22 Omaha, NE Digital Storytellers Seminar
Sept 24 Toronto, ON Digital Storytellers Seminar
Oct 1 Northwest Arkansas Digital Storytellers Seminar
Oct 8 Detroit, MI Digital Storytellers Seminar
Nov 12 Camp Hill, PA Digital Storytellers Seminar
Anytime Your Computer Virtual Digital Storytellers Seminar

Wondering if it's a good use of your precious time? Here's what some attendees from our Texas event this past spring had to say about the day-long event:

Enormously practical resources and training. I am encouraged and inspired. Finally, a conference that makes me say, "I can do that!"
-DJ Reed, Coppell TX

My favorite things were the emphasis on consistency in image, the resources, and the understanding of how metaphor parallels parable.
-Judy Van Hemert, Ennis TX

You spoke to me, who knows very little. You showed us and didn't just tell us.
-Sharon Robertson, Hico TX

This workshop has given me courage to make friends with Photoshop.
-Nancy Woods, Ft Worth TX

You work so beautifully together. I can see the Spirit working in both of you. I greatly admire your very obvious love for God and desire to make an "experience" of worship that people will be impacted by. I came not knowing what to expect. It was the most exciting, enlightening and inspiring day. You have blessed everyone here. Great sense of humor, too!
-Tommie Sledge, Irving TX

Summer Media Specials

Some of us are making plans to include the 40 Days of Purpose campaign as part of our fall. If you are one, make sure to check out the official worship media resource for 40 Days, On Purpose Media. Inside you’ll find unique videos and graphics in the Midnight Oil style to correspond to each of the weeks of the campaign. As always, customizable Photoshop files are included. We are proud to work with Purpose Driven Ministries to bring this exclusive resource to you. And for July only, save $5 off our regular price.

Even if you’re not doing 40 Days this fall, you can use these resources like any other Midnight Oil product with the included wordless graphics and videos and layered Photoshop files.

Last but not least—our Summer Sampler is proving to be a popular addition to many worship media libraries. Only $30 for 10 sets of media from the spark and flame library, this limited edition download is only available through the end of August.

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