Contributing

Contributing to this web site

Mar 202015
 

St. Paul’s Church uses the free (open source: free as in free speech; free as in free kittens) digital signage system called RiseVision.  RiseVision’s in the so-called “cloud” and works with various Google services.

This system delivers digital sign content.

It uses four sources of up-to-date information to present an engaging display.

  • St. Paul’s online Google Calendar, shown here.
  • A slideshow stored in Google Apps, to which Deb Hay has access.
  • A daily bible verse, provided by the ELCA in an RSS feed.
  • Weather, provided by RiseVision.

If your Google account (@gmail.com or @stpauls-nbpt.org) has access to RiseVision, you can go to their web page and log in. Once you’ve logged in, you’ll see a menu offering

  • Presentations — screen contents: the design of the stuff on the sign screen.
  • Gadgets — the modules used to present particular information, like the calendar.
  • Storage — we don’t use this.
  • Displays — There’s one display for the sign in the Great Hall. If you add another sign, you add another Display.
  • Schedules — Governs what Presentation appears when on a Display. We have one Presentation for general use and a second one for when 12-step groups use the Great Hall. The Schedule shows which Presentation should be used when.
  • Settings — Stuff like the street address and time zone.
  • Users — A list of users who can access the RiseVision service to control digital signs.

There’s online documentation for all this. The RiseVision team is making great strides improving in 2015.

How does the actual digital sign work?  It’s a TV set, connected to a media player gadget. The medial player uses WiFi to connect to the building’s network, so it can access the RiseVision server. You can read about the Tronsmart Vega S89 media player  used at St. Paul’s Church here. It was bought based on price. There’s a remote control for it, as of late March 2015 stored in a box in the tv closet in the library.

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 Electric Signs at St. Paul’s  Posted by on Fri, 20-Mar-15 Contributing Comments Off on Electric Signs at St. Paul’s
Sep 192014
 

Let the one who has ears, hear! –Jesus

We offer assistive listening devices at St. Paul’s. These are little gadgets that look like old-timey transistor radios with earbuds. They’re powered by 9 volt batteries, and pick up a signal transmitted from our public address system.

We bought them here. This setup with a transmitter and four receivers costs $410.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/746960-REG/Nady_ALD_800_AA_ALD_800_Wireless_Assistive_Listening.html

If you need extra receivers, you can buy them individually for $50 here. We are doing fine with the four receivers in the original kit, but it’s helpful to know how easy it is to add receivers and replace lost or damaged ones.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/119631-REG/nady_ald800raa_rfd_hearing_assistance_receiver.html

We also bought some cheesy rechargeable 9v batteries (I forget where… Radio Shack??) to power the receivers.

Finally, we bought some extra standard earphones of various kinds. Some of our worshippers prefer over-the-ear stuff.  And a couple bring their own earphones. To plug standard earphones into these receivers, you need these adapters, which are 41 cents apiece. (Amazing! the only thing cheaper is a gumball.)

http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_id=104&cp_id=10429&cs_id=1042901&p_id=7128&seq=1&format=2

You should be able to get going, batteries and all, for about $425 or so.

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 Assistive Listening at St. Paul’s  Posted by on Fri, 19-Sep-14 Contributing Comments Off on Assistive Listening at St. Paul’s
May 302014
 

Getting ready to write blog posts

Here’s what do do to get ready.

Download the $3 BlogPress app. For $3 you get nice camera functions.
Add the St. Paul’s web site (“blog”):
 Tap the Settings gear at the lower right.
 Press Add another Blog
 Use these values:
  Blog Service Provider: WordPress
  Username: Martha Hubbard
  Password: (whatever)
Press Save. in the upper right corner

Writing a blog post

To write a post:
  • Find some WiFi if you can if you’re uploading photos
  • Open the BlogPress app.
  • Tap the Write icon on the lower left.
  • Give your item a title by typing it in the Item box.
  • You can ignore the Location item.
  • Then write the text of your item in the blank area below Location.
  • To include a photo, click the camera item in the upper right.
  • Then take, or choose, the photo you want included.
  • Tap the little blue i next to the title.
  • Tap the Categories item, and tap Martha’s Blog (orwhatever category you choose) so it’s checked.
  • Then tap “< Options” at the upper left,
  • then “Done” at the upper right,
  • then “Save”
  • Then hit Publish Now.
And that will be it.
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 iPhone Blog Posts  Posted by on Fri, 30-May-14 Contributing Comments Off on iPhone Blog Posts
Mar 292014
 

 

Photo

Michaelangelo’s

Pieta shows the dead Christ In

His Mother’s arms

 

Before that He was

Dying on the cross after

That He was entombed

 

When He rose from the

Dead He shortly disappeared

Then to Galilee
Where He mingled and

Then dispatched orders to His

Followers.  Fiat.
Pieta 140318 Plus~rtg

 

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 PiETA Plus ~ Tom Green  Posted by on Sat, 29-Mar-14 Contributing Comments Off on PiETA Plus ~ Tom Green
Mar 122014
 

Lenten Sonnet

Christ’s Gethsemane Garden agony

Whiplashed body jumps in testimony

Each knifepoint crown thorn draws breathless pathos

Christ falls three times carrying His cross

It would seem determined to capsize

And then it would even deny His rise

But somehow Christ falls and gets up once more

Comes the time to die, the earth in tremblor

His followers joined in a tradition

His Pieta after Deposition

Then Christ was entombed behind a great rock

And when they came to seek Him ~ aftershock

Christ mingled in Galilee soon to send

“Disciple all nations…until times end.”

 

 

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 LENTEN SONNET ~ Tom Green  Posted by on Wed, 12-Mar-14 Contributing Comments Off on LENTEN SONNET ~ Tom Green
Nov 232013
 

Part II (Chaps 6-10) ~ Part III (Chaps 11-15)

These five words below in caps are chapter headings from the book above. This Post is a continuance of

EPISCOPAL RECEPTION 10/05/13 (by) Tom Green. It is also a completion of JWAE (the book above). The numbers in (parentheses) are page #s.

THANK, SHAPE, WORD, MAP, ROOTS (Part II ~ Chaps 6-10).

THANK (65) “We gather at Communion table not to escape the world’s problems but to escape the world’s answers.” Bishop Arthur Vogel. And the Rev. Chris Yaw chimes in with: “Episcopalians gather to worship God not to please ourselves.” (68)

SHAPE (77) “Episcopalians live our way into a new way of thinking rather than the opposite.” (Koinina Community, 77)

What does it mean that the United States has 5% of the world’s population but consumes 30% of the world’s resources? Somehow that doesn’t surprise me, yet it floors me.

WORD (87) The Bible must be taken seriously but not literally Yaw relates; most agree, yet forget in the heat of discussion. It is also a library for community reading and owned by more, by far, than any other tome. And Yaw also states that: “the Bible is God speaking to us.” (89) In Episcopal Churches four selections are made each Sunday from the Old Testament, a Psalm, the New Testament and a Gospel.

MAP (97) refers to the Book of Common Prayer which guides us in the journey of Christian life. It seems to be the Bible “rearranged for worship.” (98) Note: all unattributed citations belong to the author of JWAE, the Rev. Chris Yaw. The Latin saying “Lex orandi, lex credendi,” translates to “praying shapes believing.” (99)

ROOTS (107) A rough estimate indicates humanity as being at least 1,000,000 years old (108) that humans with brains the size of ours the age of 500,000 years and Christ at 2,000 years ago. This seems a long time ago but, with this backdrop chronology, it provides us with a different perspective. In what way, I’m not sure, but there must be a sermon in there somewhere.

And, speaking of sermons, I checked out one made about Cana. All I know, for sure, about this beloved event, is that Our Lady, the Mother of Jesus, said to the servants after her Son balked at doing anything then: Do as He tells you.” She had absolute Faith in her Son. However. the homily I read had a number of paragraphs about Mary’s experience and feelings vv. Jesus, and her life with Him. At first I felt this sermon had to be written and delivered by a woman. When I sounded out my muse about this I was told not to generalize. But, I was right it was written and delivered by a woman. And my muse is a woman too. What lesson can I draw from that I wondered. Maybe when I jump from an airplane I should pull the ripcord. Anyway that sermon was delivered last January. And I am glad that I found a copy of it since I did not hear its stirring words being delivered. So far I haven’t had to use a parachute.

PART III (Chaps 11-15)

ROPES (119) “The important thing is this: To be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become. Charles Dubois (119)

“History is important because the lives and stories of those who came before us continue to teach and inspire us and people like our parents know the ‘ropes’.” (120) They’ve been there, done that.

PROPHET (129) Here are a few things that we could prepare for when that time comes: “Pick a destination and be open to surprises along the way. Reconcile…with the estranged…it’s called forgiveness.” (131)

Saint Francis of Assisi mentioned love and forgiveness twice in his prayer, everything else only once. That indicates to me the importance of forgiveness And recently somewhere I read that love is found in forgiveness. Prophets are known to “speak truth to power, justice to oppression.” (132)

CONNECT (141) A Kenyan Eucharistic Liturgy says: “I am because we are. We are because He is.” Reminds me of another I like: “I AM love me as I am.” Just in case I add: “But, still I must try to improve.” Get up after every fall.

Chris Yaw tells of visiting the Holy Trinity Church in Dubai where he was handed a bulletin and a book. And he felt right at home although many miles away. (143) That is Connection.

REFUGE (149) Red is the color of many Episcopal Church front doors because that stands for a place of refuge. Red is also the color of Christ’s blood, the sacrifice of martyrs and the power of the Holy Spirit. (150) Besides being a place for those fleeing violence, the Episcopal Church shelters many converts (70% of American members is mentioned. Chris Yaw ends this chapter with this sentence: “I wouldn’t be surprised if the gates to heaven are painted red.” (158)

TREASURE (!59) This chapter heading comes from a friend of the author of JWAE who said: “I think the Episcopal Church is Christianity’s buried treasure.” (160) A recent poll by the Center for American Progress reported: “…that the government should take greater steps to help the poor and disadvantaged in America.” “And that,” said Yaw “was a big reason why this book was written when the Church is in step with 89% of the American people.” (160)

And the Rev. Chris Yaw hopes that I (as a reader of his) begin to understand the Episcopal journey. In my own journey I believe I have grown a bit in my trek from being a nomad to becoming a pilgrim. I Do feel Welcome. My cup brimeth with Joy. And…excuse me… a listener has just called wanting to know who (whom? ~ where is my muse when I need her”)….wanting to know the name of that “Cana” preacher? Oh yes, I have it right here somewhere in my notes…Why it’s someone who live in Essex County, who penned And delivered an inspiring sermon about the Mother of Jesus ~ the rector of Saint Paul’s Church in Newburyport ~ the Reverend Martha + Hubbard.

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 JESUS WAS AN EPISCOPALIAN 11/22/13 Tom Green  Posted by on Sat, 23-Nov-13 Contributing Comments Off on JESUS WAS AN EPISCOPALIAN 11/22/13 Tom Green
Oct 242012
 

Help Wanted: a volunteer webmaster to help maintain the St. Paul’s Church web site (http://stpauls-nbpt.org/) and Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/stpauls.nbpt). This is a great opportunity to learn a lot about nurturing an online community, and a chance to serve the parish community and the cause of the Good News of Jesus Christ.

  • Skills you need: computer literacy
  • Skills you don’t need: programming expertise
  • Equipment you  need: a laptop or desktop computer with internet access (any make and model of computer will do)
  • Software you need to install on your computer: none

The St. Paul’s Church web site uses WordPress as a content management system. It’s a very popular system. There’s even a WordPress for Dummies book, with a copy available in the church office.  The present webmaster (Ollie Jones) will show you the ropes and be available for all the help you need.

The main duties of the volunteer webmaster are to keep the web site up to date, and to post news, information, photos, and audio files about the congregation.

The St. Paul’s web site is designed to be a community effort. A volunteer webmaster can recruit all kinds of other folks to contribute their work to the site.

A series of articles on how to contribute are on the web site. You can see them here. http://www.stpauls-nbpt.org/category/contributing

Please consider doing this important work. Speak to me or send me an email message if you’re interested in exploring whether this is for you.\\

The Rev. Ollie Jones  oj@stpauls-nbpt.org

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 Volunteer Webmaster Help Wanted: Will Train  Posted by on Wed, 24-Oct-12 Contributing Comments Off on Volunteer Webmaster Help Wanted: Will Train
Oct 212012
 

At St. Paul’s we use a Zoom H1 digital audio recorder. It’s a little handheld gadget that plugs into the public address system and records services and other events in the sanctuary. (The Zoom H1 retails for about $100 at Best Buy or BH Photo Video.)

It’s easy to take audio from the Zoom H1 and prepare audio files (of sermons, presentations, music, and other things) to post them to the web site.

You need a computer to do this. The computer needs a SD (Secure Digital Media) card slot. You also need a micro-SD to SD card adapter.

Your computer needs to have the free open source software package called Audacity installed on it.

Download and install these two programs in order:

1. Audacity itself: http://audacity.googlecode.com/files/audacity-win-2.0.2.exe

2. An extra package, called LAME, to create the MP3 format files we need for the web site: http://lame1.buanzo.com.ar/ . On that page click on the link labeled “For FFMpeg/LAME on Windows:

Then, watch this video for instructions. http://www.stpauls-nbpt.org/video/make-mp3-file.mp4

Once you’ve uploaded the MP3 file to the web site, here are some notes on putting the audio player into the WordPress post.

Here’s the objective: You’re putting what WordPress calls a “shortcode” into the text of the post (the sermon article). The audio shortcode looks like this.

[audio “http://www.stpauls-nbpt.org/wp-content/uploads/whatever/whatever/whatever.mp3“]

So if you go to the Add Media page,
you should pick Link to:  Media File,
then select and copy the audio file’s URL … http://www.stpauls-nbpt.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/2012-12-2-sermon5.mp3 for example,
then choose Link To: Media File,
then press Insert Into Post,
Once you’re back in the post, you can  make sure you’re on the Visual tab, not the Text tab. Then just make the [audio “whatever“]shortcode look right.

If you’re guessing there might be other shortcodes, for good stuff like [video] and [slideshow], you’re right.  That’s a story for for another day.
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 Making audio files for the web site.  Posted by on Sun, 21-Oct-12 Contributing Comments Off on Making audio files for the web site.
Oct 012012
 

I offered to do some research to figure out how we might operate such a display.  Here’s the result of my research.

Summary: Rise Vision looks pretty good!  risevision.com

There’s a company in Toronto called Rise Vision.  They offer an open-source electronic sign system at zero cost (they make their money running electronic sign board systems for very large organizations such as major corporations, hotel chains, and state universities).

Rise Vision is integrated with Google Apps, which we already use in the St. Paul’s church office for email and calendars.

It’s possible to build either interactive or non-interactive sign displays using Rise Vision. Most of their displays are non-interactive. That is, people just look at them rather than click on them or touch them.

We would control the signboard system by logging into the Rise Vision web site. We would use the Google Apps logins we already have for that. Control of the signboard system is only available to authorized people.

Their signboards can be set up to take all sorts of live information, including:

  • Events from a Google Calendar
  • Postings from a WordPress web site
  • Collections of images and slides
  • Snippets from various web sites
  • Weather and stock tickers
  • Youtube videos
  • etc. etc. etc.

I set up a couple of sample signboard layouts that take live information from St. Paul’s Google Calendar and website. Here’s an example you can view online to get an idea of the potential content of the signboard.

http://preview.risevision.com/Viewer.html?type=presentation&id=f669fc86-7ad4-4da0-a1ae-44b0a830fe79

What kind of equipment is needed for the signs themselves?  A dedicated networked personal computer connected to a display.  When the signboard is running, the personal computer’s mouse and keyboard serve no purpose; they can be disconnected or hidden out of reach of little fingers.

If we were to set up a signboard, it would need an old laptop with wifi, connected by VGA cable to a TV set or computer monitor.  We can add as many signboards as we need. Rise Vision supplies a software download for each signboard’s computer that automatically starts up the display when the computer boots up.

How would we keep the signboards fresh?

  • Keep the Google Calendar up to date.
  • Put announcements in the “events” section of our WordPress web site, and give them expiration dates.

We already do those things, and Rise Vision uses that information directly. Both of those tasks can already be done by any member of the congregation who learns how and gets a login and password.

We can also go into Rise Vision once in a while and change up the display layout to keep things fresh. For example, we could change the color scheme as we change the parament colors for the church year.

I don’t know if we want to actually put up these signboards. But I do know it’s possible to do so. I think it’s worth a try.  Put your thoughts in the comments section or send me a note.

Yours in the cause of the Good News,
Ollie+

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 Electronic signboards for St. Paul’s?  Posted by on Mon, 1-Oct-12 Contributing Comments Off on Electronic signboards for St. Paul’s?
Sep 052012
 

Following the lead of the Episcopal Church, here are some guidelines for contributing to the St. Paul’s Church conversation online, both on http://www.stpauls-nbpt.org/ and on our Facebook page and on other social media.

Welcome!  We hope that you will make connections, find and share information, and engage in conversations here.

No personal information

Besides your name, please avoid including personal information.  This is a public website, and any information may be linked to your name and published on the Internet.

No selling

Please do not market your wares here, no matter how useful or wonderful.

Be nice

Our church’s social media pages need to be safe places to engage in conversation. Please remember that these pages belong to a congregation, and think of them as a place for fellowship. Show tolerance for divergent opinions.

No personal attacks or insults. Jesus called the Syrophonecian Woman a dog. But he is Jesus, and we are not.

We understand that there can be many varied opinions on an issue, and we welcome all views and ideas.

Although these pages are monitored, we acknowledge that occasionally something inappropriate may find its way onto it. In most instances, we will send you a notice if we feel if something you posted is a violation of the guidelines. We reserve the right to remove inappropriate posts immediately. Subsequent violations can result in being blocked from this page without warning.

If you see something you feel is inappropriate, call or write the church office, and we will deal with it.

Disclaimer

This should be obvious, but we still need to spell it out. Facebook.com is owned by a third party unaffiliated with St. Paul’s Church; you use any third-party web sites and materials at your own risk. St. Paul’s Church is not responsible for and does not endorse any content, advertising, products, advice, opinions, recommendations, terms of use or privacy policies, or other materials on or available from third parties, including Facebook. Any opinions expressed by Facebook fans are those of the persons submitting the comments and do not represent the views of St. Paul’s Church.

We reserve the right to block any commenter who posts content, or whose Facebook page contains content, that is, in the sole opinion of St. Paul’s Church staff, inappropriate or offensive. We may also block any commenter whose posts constitute testimonials, advice, recommendations, or advertisements for products or services, or any commenter who posts content, or whose Facebook page contains content, that is promotional in nature.

If you have any questions or concerns about this, please call or write the church office.

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 Guidelines for Posting  Posted by on Wed, 5-Sep-12 Contributing Comments Off on Guidelines for Posting