I don’t like printing things. To me, printing out materials for something that is going to be used one time and then tossed away is a waste of both paper and ink – materials I don’t feel like spending a lot of money on. For all my antagonism towards printing, however, even I have to admit that there are times where a printed sheet often managed to get out of the way better than having a few gizmos with me.
Funerals have been a particular conundrum for me. As far as I’m concerned, my job at a funeral is to offer a small glimmer of hope of Gospel and then get out of the way to help people express their grief. It’s a formula which works for me. For several years I was fine printing out my short order of worship for a funeral, using my iPaq/Palm/iPod Touch/iPad to read the Scripture passages. This worked ok, even though I felt like I was juggling too much. The arrival of the iPad on the scene, however, led me to cease the printing portion of the movement. Instead, I’d put the order on my iPhone (in Airplane mode) and read the Scripture from the iPad. I hated it. If I felt like I was juggling too much with a piece of paper – using two electronic devices felt like I was doing an acrobatic routine.
My biggest problem sprang from the reality that devices which were so good at getting out of the way were suddenly in the way. I’d have to wake one device, and then another, and suffer the odd looks that people would give when i unloaded multiple computers on to the podium. It wasn’t good.
My recent embrace of user notes, however, has now afforded me a solution. Olive Tree’s reader allows me to create a user note without linking it to a verse reference (which, ironically, is something I want to be able to add manually so I can edit user notes in two pane mode). This allows me to put the order of worship in a second pane, and access the Scripture readings in the first. I tried this at a funeral last week and finally found myself free of any sense of juggling. If you have an iPad, and you’ve been leery of using it in a pastoral context such as a funeral or wedding, you might want to give this a try.