Before tonight, the only time I’ve been on tv was a horrible experience. I was a sophomore in high school, our baseball team had a big game with state playoff implications, and the television cameras were there. We were losing late in the game, I was on first base, and somebody on our team hit a shot in the gap. I rounded second, came flying into third, was planning to score…and my coach held me up right as I touched third base. Trying to stop, I fell on the ground, got caught in a rundown and got tagged out between third and home. The rally ended, and we lost.

The next day, I’m at school, and our star shortstop is one of the first guys I see. He just starts laughing, and pointing, and laughing. “I saw you on tv! You looked like an idiot, falling down, flailing around! You got on tv!”

Do you see the pain I’ve overcome in my life? 😉

Tonight was a much better experience, as our church got some great coverage on KOIN 6 news, the Portland CBS affiliate. Liz, a faithful blog reader, goes to our church and works at KOIN. She heard they wanted to do a story about churches using the web, and mentioned that we podcast our services. Long story short, they sent a reporter and cameraman out to our church. The best part was that Alan Akins, our sound guy who made the podcasts happen, got some great recognition. They filmed him at his house uploading today’s service to the web. I was really glad for Alan, and for our church. (Side note: we are by no means cutting edge with web technology. Lots of churches do way more cool stuff than we do, and I told the reporter that when they called to ask about the story. But I guess they felt better doing the story about us because of Liz, so thanks Liz!)

Once we get permission to get a video clip of the story on the web, I’ll post a link. But I gotta share one more thing that happened. The camera guy and reporter were filming our second service from up in the balcony. Since I wasn’t preaching, I sat with Elaine up in the balcony, too. In the prayer right before the offering, I heard this loud whispering coming from their general direction, and I was mad. I’d been worried they would be really distracting, and up to this point, they had been really unobtrusive. What were they whispering so loudly for?

I looked over, and my irritation at them turned into complete embarrassment and mortification. One of our ushers, I realized, was recruiting the reporter to collect the offering on the other side of the balcony. The reporter was great. He was ready to do it, but I couldn’t handle it. I went over to him. “I am SO sorry!” I said. “I’ll do this. I can’t believe he asked you to do this.”

After the service, I went over and apologized again. “It’s like the worst stereotype. Some new person shows up at church, and it’s all about the money!” He just smiled and said, “Hey, if you ever need some help up here on other weeks, give me a call!”

It felt like a Seinfeld moment.

15 thoughts on “TV

  1. I have not seen the story, but I read the script when I got to work this morning. I think it turned out pretty good! Thanks for your willingness to put yourself and NFC on TV.

    As for the offering thingy, I’m sure reporter Kohr Harlan and photographer Charles Fisher thought it was funny 🙂


  2. Well, it isn’t like the usher was pressuring the reporter to contribute money – just inviting a new guy to participate in the service. How incarnational. (is that the right emergent-type word?)

    I haven’t listened to this week’s service, but I could guess that perhaps NFC sermons are less likely to outright offend as many people as some churches they could have featured, either on the left or the right.

    Congratulations on spreading the Word far and wide.


  3. Aw, I lost my first comment by making a technical mistake and now I have to do it over. Mild stress: what if I end up commenting twice and I don’t say the same thing both times…maybe I should just forget it but then you’ll wonder why I’m popping on and off and/or parking on your site (because now it’s time to take Gertrude into town).

    Anyway, those TV folk were what kept me from sitting with my friend AJ this morning. Being on my own for second service, I planned to go sit behind her and make unruly comments in her ear but when I got upstairs, there was a large black camera pointed in her general direction. Perhaps this was providence.

    I too noticed the commotion but with practiced Quaker discipline, ignored it; but not without first thinking to myself, ‘someone apparently doesn’t realize how noisy he or she is being.’ I obviously missed the best part. Thanks for passing the plate, by the way. I think I heard my neighbor murmur something like, ‘guess they didn’t get enough the first time’ when someone (not you) tried to send it down our row again. I love the balcony for all its imperfections. You should visit us there more often. 🙂


  4. When you came upstairs, I leaned over to Jason: “Gregg’s joining us balcony people!”

    When you got up during Worship In Giving (aka. pass the plate), I exclaimed to Jason: “Dude, Gregg’s gonna USH!”

    Little did I know you were trying to save the poor reporters. See, we have a very casual regard for practices in the balcony – it’s not so much about being pretty but functional (oooh, perhaps we’re more Quaker-like than the floor people? I mean, we sit on the *simple* non-padded pews . . . hmm . . . ). If Dave H. had been up there, this never would’ve happened, you know. 🙂

    Nice job ushing – very smooth.


  5. Ok, Ok I gotta chime in…..

    I heard the “loud ” whisper and recognized the tone, but little did I know who he was recruiting! Busy with the buttons, I felt safe from the “Draft”(forced into service, not a cool breeze) that had gone through the balcony before the service.

    I think I’m going to put a stop payment check to the photographer….he said he was getting my good side…..he lied…..l don’t have a good side!

    BTW, this is my first ever blog entry or reply. Did I get it right?


  6. Josh – I thought you looked great on TV! 🙂

    Just wanted to let everyone know that the NFC story was picked up by CBS and put on the satellite feed. So… our little church could have been shown on CBS stations across the country!!!


  7. Thanks for all the comments! Josh, you commented right and ALL your sides are good. I LOVE the balcony, by the way.

    And Liz, what cool news about CBS!! I had a fun phone call yesterday from my high school speech teacher who saw me on the story. It was great to hear from her!


  8. Liz- If you could pass on our appreciation for the great work that the station did on this story that would be great! I also think it is wonderful affirmation for the great work that Alan and the sound folks are doing! Way to go Alan!!


  9. was hit by a hacker last night and the link I posted yesterday is no longer valid. But THIS ONE is! Sorry for the trouble/confusion.

    I will make sure my peeps at the station know how much we appreciated the story 🙂


  10. Hey Gregg,

    Those are a couple great stories of being on TV! It’s cool that NFC’s getting some media coverage… =)

    I also wanted to say that when I was at the World Gathering of Young Friends in this last August and I told people I went to Newberg Friends, a couple people said, “Oh yeah, I listened to your sermons on podcast! It seems like a great church, and the pastor seems really cool.” I agreed, of course. They said they’d been doing some pre-Gathering research to learn about these crazy Evangelical Friends. So I was really grateful for the witness we have out there in cyberspace of a community trying to be true to our Quakerism and our Christianity (not necessarily in that order…) It was a good point of reference with a few people as so many from diverse backgrounds came together in Lancaster.



  11. Hey New Friends Church People. As I told Gregg Sunday, coming to Newberg is a little out of the way for those of us who live in Vancouver but I’d be happy to help pass the plate on any given sunday. Love that balcony. Love that church. thanks for letting us in. kohr harlan, koin-tv.


  12. Pingback: Aj Schwanz » Quakes Can Pod

  13. Loved the shout out for the Coast, Gregg. I like to think that you were thinking of me. Most everyone else down here doesn’t even know what iTunes is, let alone what podcasts are. 🙂 I mean, it was only a year ago that they switched from dial-up.

    Way to go!


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