1,273 Days In The Life of Environmental Projection

It takes deliberate effort and well planned and executed content to redirect that production – to become an environment for worship.

1,273 Days In The Life of Environmental Projection
An example of environmental projection being used in the worship space at Asbury United Methodist Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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1,273 Days In The Life of Environmental Projection

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On Easter Sunday 2014, the church I serve at, Asbury United Methodist Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, used environmental projection, or EP, for the first time.

When we started with EP at Asbury Methodist, we didn’t know what a great idea looked like.

The lead up to this service began my journey with EP. Later this year, that journey will take a potentially significant turn, as I will return to my home country of Australia and perhaps my EP journey will come to an end. That’s because I recognize that there are very few churches in Australia using this technology.

Today, though, I wanted to share some lessons from my journey with EP.

I hope you might take a few moments to think about how this technology could speak to your congregation.

What is Environmental Projection?

Using projection to change your environment might be the simplest way to explain what we are doing. This means we are using the light from a projector in the same way we use light from a bulb to change the environment.

We bring light and the darkness leaves. A new well-lit environment!

When you use projectors to show large format images on the wall of your church, the environment then changes. In days past, they would paint on the walls, and occasionally the ceiling (that crazy Michelangelo!) They would even color and create pictures in the windows, to where these stained-glass pictures would change the environment inside the building.

Creating beauty and telling a story without words.

Today, we have powerful large projectors that can project images on the wall – changing the art we view at a moment’s notice.

There are many ways that you can do EP. One can begin with a very simple set up, with one projector and a computer. Through devices like TripleHead2Go that split a single image across three projectors, allowing you to project larger/wide images. To the many computer servers that allow you to control video and images in many different ways and send to multiple projectors.

In our case, we use the ArKaos Stadium Server to project to five Digital Projection Titan Quad pro projectors that show an image more than 300 feet wide. This basically covers the walls of our sanctuary.

There are many devices available that allow you use EP to change your environment.

Let’s dive into the lessons I have learned over these last few years, and I’d encourage you to think about how you might apply these ideas of transforming your space using EP. 

More About Tim Ottley
Tim Ottley was born in Melbourne, Australia, and after growing up watching friends play rock music and share Jesus in the bars and clubs of Sydney, he moved to Nashville, Tenn., in 1995 to be a rock star. That dream did not come to fruition, but he then started working for record labels and local touring bands, beginning with P.O.D. in 1999 as their first touring manager. Tim would eventually find himself in Tulsa, Okla., and by 2010, he moved into a position at Asbury United Methodist Church, working with audio, video and lightning. Over the last two years, Asbury has made significant changes to services and sanctuary space, including the installation of the largest Environmental Projection system in a church in the United States.
Get in Touch: tottley@asburytulsa.org    More by Tim Ottley

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Worship Facilities Magazine, March-April 2018
The March-April 2018 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers articles about how to prepare, prevent and respond to church violence, a look into what church management software can do for your church community, and a piece on how a once popular nightclub venue was transitioned to become Shoreline Church's new home.

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Technology · Projection · Visual Arts · Environmental Projection · ArKaos · Asbury · Congregation · Environment · Environmental Projection · Production · All Topics

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