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CMG Profiles: Gus Peders

By September 28th, 2022Articles

Where do you serve?

I serve at Friends Church in Willoughby Hills, Ohio.

What is your position there?

I am the technical arts director. I’ll have been on staff here for four years this November.

How did you get involved in church media?

I started out doing church tech shortly after elementary school. I wanted to continue helping with our children’s choir and I liked computers so I took it upon myself to make sure everything in their meeting room worked reliably. My very gracious mother let me stay at church one Sunday afternoon and I tore the entire system apart (which, as an adult staff member I cannot recommend any middle school age child think of doing.) After figuring out which wires go where, testing everything out, and labeling the system, I left a note for the adults to, “Not touch anything. It all works now. – Gus” Word got to our staff audio guy, who told our student ministry volunteer leader, and he plugged me into our student tech arts ministry. Until I graduated high school, I was basically the student ministry’s tech arts director. Fast forward a few years and I had left the church the explore life outside the church (long story, another time,) but God had another plan for me. The church was looking for a staff audio guy and I accepted the position, a position which soon grew to encompass video, graphics, lighting, and IT. That brings us to the present day.

How big is your media team?

I have an awesome core of 13 volunteers who help out with weekends on a regular basis.

What does your setup look like?

Hooo… our system setup is interesting. I think first I need to set up what our weekends look like. We meet on one campus, but have two venues in which services happen simultaneously twice a Sunday. Our “primary” facility is a multipurpose gymnasium (known as the Activities Center or AC) and the secondary facility is a more traditional style worship space (known as the Worship Center or WC.) Each venue has its own music team that performs live at the start of the service and then the message portion is simulcast from the AC to the WC. For graphics, our system is fairly simple in both rooms.

In the AC we have a MacPro tower that is running ProPresenter 5 that feeds a single VGA video signal to an Extron Crosspoint 300 88 that routes the signal to six projector positions of which only four actually have projectors at this time (another story for another time.) The current layout has two Sanyo PLC XP57Ls projecting onto screens on either side of the stage, a Panasonic PT DW830U on stage projecting onto the cyclorama, and a third Sanyo PLS XP57L projecting onto screen at the rear of the room. In the WC we have an early 2008 iMac that also runs ProPresenter 5. The iMac has two VGA video feeds. One, which has the stage display signal, runs to a 1×4 VGA DA which sends the signal to two Seiki SC 552GS flat panel screens for confidence monitoring. The other feeds the screen for the congregation and hits an Extron ISS 408 8×1 switcher before continuing out, also VGA, to our Sanyo PLC XP55 which rear projects from a room behind our stage.

To distribute graphics content to our rooms, we use a dropbox account the holds all of our still and motion imagery as well as sermon graphics and videos. Our ProPresenter installs have hot folders that point here for on-the-fly VJ-ing, but usually I create the lyrics slides beforehand and sync them to a folder on our server that our other machines pull from. We use ProPresenter’s manual sync for this and not their cloud sync because it doesn’t allow for hot folder usage.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with the CMG community?

One piece of advice… start thinking about what visuals you will use for the weekend early. I have put some of the dumbest things on screen and done a huge disservice to the congregation God has given me to lead by putting off visuals until the last minute. As soon as you have the set from your worship leader, start listening to the music and try to understand how it makes you feel and what visuals you have or need to have to help the congregation get there.

How has the CMG Monthly Pack impacted your ministry?

The CMG Monthly Pack has enabled me to put together coherent and meaningful visual stories to accompany the music in our worship services without placing a large dent in my yearly budget. Even when I don’t use them, I often draw inspiration from Jeff and the CMG team’s visuals as a launch point for each weekend.

How can people find you online?

Twitter @GusPeders and Instagram @GusPeders.

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