September 2017

Over the course of the past year we have discovered what a difference a quality sound system can make for worship and events in the sanctuary.  Clear sound with rich tones, and without the frequent hissing and cracking we had previously experienced have made for a more enjoyable worship experience.  Several people have benefited from using the hearing assistance devices.  These can be used either with an earbud or headphone, or for those with newer hearing aids, the sound can be transmitted directly into the hearing aids.  One such user shared that the first time he used the hearing assistance devices was the first time in 10 years that he clearly heard the gospel!  The control booth, built by Tom and Becky Markwardt, is beautiful, but have you noticed that it looks half empty (or is it half full?).  That’s because we are only half done with the full sight and sound project.  The sound portion is done.  Next up is the sight portion.

Phase two of this project will include the installation of cameras and recording equipment, as well as projectors.  This will not only further enhance our worship experiences with the ability to show video clips, and project Sunday-specific art, photos and text, but will boost he quality of our presence online and on TV.  The quality of the videos of the sermons we post on our website and the worship services that are broadcast on ICTV with be so much better.  And since the sight system will be integrated with the sound system, the quality and clarity of the sound of the videos will be outstanding.  Another outreach/ministry that will be made possible with the sight system is creating and gifting quality DVDs to the families of those we have funerals for.

Phase Two has been “on hold” as we raise the funds necessary to complete it.  The cost is approximately $50,000 – very similar to phase one.  To date we have raised about $18,250, which is 1/3 of the cost.   Just recently the pace of contributions has picked up again with two very generous donations.  The hope expressed at the August meeting of the council is that perhaps now is the time when we will be able to be more intentional about bringing this project to reality. 

What can we do in the meantime?  First, if you believe that the Sight System can enhance, support and expand the worship and outreach ministries of St. Andrew’s, perhaps you will consider making a special financial gift over and above your regular offerings.  There is also a “hands-on” way to help this cause.  The old organ speaker screens on the front walls of the sanctuary need to be taken out, and the opening dry-walled.  The mudding and taping need to be as smooth as possible.  The intent is to project directly onto the walls so that we do not have obtrusive screens.  Then the entire wall needs to be painted.  The best case scenario is that that work can begin after one Sunday’s worship service and be completed prior to the next Sunday.  If this is a project you could be part of, or if you have questions, please contact Conley Janssen (218-244-2841) or Pastor Dave (218-838-8202).

Thank you for your past and future support of the Sight and Sound project. Now is the time to take this step.

October 2016
All of the sound equipment has been installed and is fully functional!  Yesterday (October 18) we got sound in the Fellowship Hall. This system can either be used as a stand alone sound system, or it can be used in an overflow capacity, so that people in the Fellowship Hall can hear what is happening in the sanctuary.  It is 
user friendly. Just an on/off switch, a volume knob and then you select which input you want to turn up or down.  There are 7 inputs: one wireless handheld mic, the sanctuary sound, iPad (or anything that connects with a 1/4″ plug), and 4  mics that can be plugged in.  Versatile but simple.
Stewart Enterprises will be able to wrap everything up next week for phase one of this project.  Just a few miscellaneous things to get done, plus labeling and tidying up some cables.  
Next up:  Stewart Enterprises will be training a few people from St. Andrew’s on the sound system in the sanctuary, who will then be able to train others.  Are you interested in being a coordinator (teh one who trains and schedules others)? Please let Pastor Dave know.  We will also be looking for people who are interested in to be part of a team to serve in the sound booth.  With just sound to be concerned with, one person per worship service is what we are in need of. 
August 2016
Construction has begun on the control booth.  That’s exciting news!!  The ‘shell’ has been constructed by Tom and Becky Markwardt and they will soon begin adding the finishing touches with wood donated by Rajala Mill.  We are excited for the progress being made.
May 18, 2016 
We are currently only $7,754 away from fully funding phase one (sound).  Thank you for all you have done!  We hope with this news of how close we are many will be motivated to step forward with additional contributions. We feel strongly that a reliable sound system is necessary to grow our ministry.  We know people have been frustrated with the current sound situation, and we eagerly anticipate that changing.   Phase two, which will allow us to project and to have a quality video presence online and on TV, will cost an additional $50,000.  We will not do this until we have the funds to pay for it.  But this too, is necessary for a growing, vibrant ministry in this day and age.
April 5, 2016
Tom and Becky Markwardt met with Jody Stewart from Stewart Enterprises to discuss plans for the control booth.  Tom and Becky have graciously expressed interest in building the booth.  Having talked through the booth, Jody Stewart will be sending specific drawings for the booth.  These will include not only dimensions, but will indicate where we need electrical outlets.  After that is known, we will be able to get bids from electricians.  There are two main locations needed for electricity – the booth and room to the left of the chancel area.  Fortunately, there is a breaker box in that room with open slots for breakers/new circuits.  The booth will be adjacent to a beam in the sanctuary through which electrical wires may be fished from above, where there is already electricity.  Again, we will wait to see what an electrician can tell us.  Then, we should know the cost as well as the electrical that is over and above what the cost is for Stewart Enterprises. 
April 1, 2016 Update

Two typical responses to our plans for a new sound and sight system are “much needed” and “ambitious.” 

Our plans are much needed.  We need a sound system that works reliably, and which is flexible enough to support worship and other events in the sanctuary and fellowship hall.  This includes being able to make quality recordings, and to play CD’s and MP3s.  This includes an up-to-date hearing assistance system, and a separate but integrated system to support events/classes/forums in the fellowship hall.  Clear sounding microphones and speakers are essential to it all.

We need a “sight system” that allows us to have a better presence online and on local TV, as well as gives us the ability to use images in worship, to project words, to make videos of events like funerals for grieving families, or of weddings for couples.  People’s expectations of how a church uses technology have changed over the decades and quality sound and sight are a given. 

Our plans are ambitious.  The total cost will be about $100,000.  To date, we have $32,754.85 in the fund for Sight and Sound.  Thank you to those who have contributed!  In addition to an ambitious financial goal, our timeline is ambitious as well.  We hope to install the system in July of this year.  Ambitious?  Yes!  But can it be done?  Yes!  It can be done as each person and family of St. Andrew’s makes plans to make a special contribution – over and above our normal giving to the church.

As was mentioned in the letter we sent to the congregation in February, one way for many of us to support this is by donating money we receive if we get a tax refund.  It would only take about 70 families each donating $1,000 to achieve our ambitious goal.  For other families/couples it may mean more sacrificial giving.  Instead of a $3,000 vacation abroad, perhaps this year a domestic trip for half the cost would allow you to give $1,500.  Instead of buying a $45,000 vehicle you’ve been thinking about, maybe making the sacrificial decision to get a vehicle for only $35,000 would allow you to make a significant contribution.   Maybe this year is the time to sell that “extra” car that’s just been sitting in the driveway.  Giving your Required Minimum Distribution to the church from an IRA could go a long way.  Business assets? Family Foundations?  Have you recently been a beneficiary of a life insurance policy payout?  (This is a very specific situation, but not unheard of.  One local church had one person donate $80,000 for a sound system from a life insurance policy after his wife died.)  What about accumulated cash value of life insurance?   Some people have matured savings bonds in a safety deposit box or cookie jar.  These are just some ideas, and not every one of them is plausible for everyone.

We can do this!  If necessary, however, we could do the project in two phases.  Phase One, with a July install date, could be just the Sound system.  It would include

  • Control booth
  • Digital Mixer (the “board”)
  • Audio processor and amplifiers
  • Main speakers and monitor speakers and subwoofer
  • Wireless microphones with transmitters and receivers
  • Suspended microphones in front of balcony to record choir and organ
  • Hearing assistance system
  • CD player and recorder
  • Fellowship hall sound
  • Labor to Stewart Enterprises
  • All the cabling and connectors etc.
  • Electrical work for control booth

 Phase One would cost about $47,000 to Stewart Enterprises PLUS the cost of whatever electrical work needs to be done to get appropriate power to the control booth.


If done in phases, phase two would be the “sight” portion and would include:

  • 2 LCD projectors with long throw lenses
  • Video monitor mounted on balcony (for worship leaders to see from up front)
  • Video monitors in Fellowship Hall (north and south overflow) and nursery
  • Video switcher and components (in booth)
  • Video production interface (in booth)
  • 2 video cameras
  • Camera controller in booth
  • 2 custom computers for video projection and recording (in booth)

Phase two would cost about $45,000 to Stewart Enterprises PLUS whatever costs there may be associated with the congregation removing the “sound grates” from the front walls, installing drywall and painting the walls.

Doing this project in phases may result in slightly higher costs as it would include two separate installation items for Stewart Enterprises. 

We can do this much needed and ambitious project!  It will take all of us rallying together in our fund raising efforts. Thank you for your participation and generosity. 


 Sight and Sound Fund Raising Task Force

Audrey Moen, Council and Stewardship Chair

Brad Petersen, Finance Committee

Barry Olson, Council President

Myrna Peterson, Sight and Sound Task Force

Scott Shrimpton, Sight and Sound Task Force

David N. Anderson, Pastor

March 1, 2016 Update
At our Annual Meeting January 31, we heard some very exciting plans for a new “sight and sound” system for our church.  Recognizing that our current sound system is unreliable, outdated and limited, a Sight and Sound Task Force began its work early last summer with the goal of receiving proposals that included:
  1. A new sound system with components that work and are designed to work together, providing voice and instrumental amplification to aid in worship and other events, that can be heard clearly in both the sanctuary and in the overflow fellowship hall, and which can be expanded or “built upon” as need may arise.  This is central to our mission as scripture asks “How can they believe unless they have heard?”
  2. A visual/projection system that allows for projecting song lyrics, words to other portions of worship, images and video clips, and live shots of what is going on.  We are an increasingly visual society and take in more of what we hear and looking forward, rather than down at printed materials, also improves singing.
  3. A system that allows us to both audio and video record, so that we can post quality videos of sermons and other events on ICTV and online.  It is important in this day and age to have an online presence.  We will also be able to give a video on DVD to families following funerals. 


All of this provides the infrastructure if we would choose to offer an additional style of worship led by a “praise team.”  Please see below for what these systems may “look” like.

The costs of the above systems is $92,000, plus the cost of removing the screens/grates from the front walls, dry walling and painting walls.   We are hoping that members of the congregation can do that work relatively inexpensively, and maybe even after worship one Sunday and before the next Sunday.  We also are responsible for building the control booth, with guidance from our sound contractor.  So there will be at least the cost of materials.  Another expense is the cost of an electrician to get power to the booth.  So it’s the $92,000 plus the work on the walls up front, building the booth and the cost of getting electricity to the booth.

That is an ambitious undertaking and goal, but we believe we can do it.  Even before we officially began asking for special contributions we had approximately $15,000 in the special fund for sight and sound.  Thank you to those who have already given.  As of the end of February 2016, we have raised $28,008!

And now we invite you – and all friends and family of St. Andrew’s – to be part of making this happen, by giving a special gift, that is over and above your normal giving to the church.   Gifts of all sizes will help.  One idea is giving a portion of an income tax refund, which many will receive in the coming month(s). Another is for those who are over 70 ½ years old and need to make a Required Minimum Distribution from an IRA.  If you give a portion of that to a charity (like your church) you do not pay taxes on that, nor does it count as “income” for you, which may help you from being “bumped” into a higher tax bracket.  There will be a team of people making phone calls to members of our congregation to let them know of this opportunity and to answer questions.  We also hope to hold an information or “think tank” meeting to get input from as many people as possible.

In addition to the ambitious fund raising goal, we have an ambitious timeline, as we hope to be able to install the new systems this summer.  Please prayerfully consider what you can do so that we can have a sound and sight system that will enhance the worship experience for people gathered here, as well as those who access us online or on ICTV.   Checks may be written to St. Andrew’s with ‘Sight and Sound’ in the memo line.  



Sight and Sound Fund Raising Task Force

Audrey Moen, Council and Stewardship Chair

Brad Petersen, Finance Committee
Barry Olson, Council President

Myrna Peterson, Sight and Sound Task Force

Scott Shrimpton, Sight and Sound Task Force

David N. Anderson, Pastor



* * * * * * * * * *

So what does the proposal look like?

  • While this system includes projection there will be NO screens that are mounted up front, but we will project onto the walls where the old organ sound “screens/grates” are. They need to be removed, dry-walled and walls painted.
  • There will be two projectors with long throw lenses mounted near the two ends of the balcony rail.
  • There will also be two High Definition cameras – at least one of which will be located in the balcony – and both will be tied directly into the sound system.
  • We need to build a control booth to be located behind the last pew of the center section (north side)
  • There will be a video monitor (like a flat screen TV) mounted back and center in front of the balcony rail so that leaders can see.
  • Additional video monitors will be mounted in front of the Fellowship Hall overflows (both north and south) as well as in the nursery.
  • There will be a user friendly sound system installed in the Fellowship hall for events/programs, for use independent of the sanctuary sound. But it will also be able to work with the sanctuary sound for overflow.
  • Main speakers will be hung way up high (similar to current speakers) and two hanging mics will be hung near balcony to pick up choirs and musicians for recording purposes.


Then there are all the components, microphones, and cabling that make it all work.