A Total Disruption to Worship

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Posts 24
First Baptist Church of Shallotte | Forum Activity | Posted: Sun, Nov 3 2013 11:58 AM

It is with a heavy heart that I write this post.  As a Worship Pastor, I strive to insure that there are minimal disruptions in the corporate worship experience of our people.  We strive to ensure that the worship flow is seamless.  

When shopping for the right presentation software for this congregation, our IT team spent hours trying every demo out there on the market.  Proclaim, by far, exceeded our expectations.  Every module and component met a need we had within the scope of the worship ministry.

We have patiently installed the weekly updates and anxiously anticipated each new feature.  However, as of late, we have been totally rocked out of the boat.

The Maverick upgrade to Mac users has somehow caused Proclaim to be unstable; crashing at unpredictable times.  We worked through the issues when we attempted to use Proclaim for our UPWARDS Ministry Awards Banquets earlier this week.  We publicly apologized to the hundreds of parents who were promised a memorable slideshow of their children.  It was embarrassing and we were humiliated, but were tolerant because we knew someone in Proclaim headquarters was working on it.

Today, I am more than humiliated and embarrassed.  I am brokenhearted that hundreds of souls, desiring to worship in Spirit and in truth, were not able to see text because Proclaim crashed our new iMac a half-dozen times before our Pastor came to the pulpit.  I am brokenhearted that seekers, who don't bring a Bible with them to church, had nothing to see as the Word was read because Proclaim crashed a seventh time.  I am brokenhearted that the sermon notes that were to engage the worshiper could not be seen because Proclaim crashed the computer an eighth time.  I am brokenhearted that when the people were given an opportunity to respond, there were no words displayed because Proclaim had crashed our computer a ninth time.

I am broken because there was no mass e-mail communication warning churches that Proclaim is currently unstable with churches using Macs with the Maverick upgrade.  That simple email could have enabled worship leaders all across North America to find an alternative before today's train wreck. Maybe there is a post among the thousands on this forum that sent forth that warning, but I am confident that I am not alone in saying that I do not have time to comb through these posts.

My team and I are disappointed, frustrated, humiliated, and tired.  We will meet very soon to decided whether or not we will continue with Proclaim.

Posts 53
Stephanie Murphy | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 3 2013 12:15 PM

I will have to say that I echo this post.  Our MacBook Pro (OS X Mavericks) went down numerous times today.  While I know that being able to keep up with and adjust to new operating systems is not an easy task, like the user at First Baptist (above) mentioned...it would have been nice to have a warning so that I could come up with a back up plan.

Posts 22
awebbrausch | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 3 2013 12:18 PM

We just installed a brand new iMac last week, but didn't upgrade to Mavericks (yet) because of the reported issues....  

We still experienced crashing during our pre-service loop repeatedly this morning.  

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 3 2013 6:24 PM

I am not a Proclaim or Mac user. However, as a retired IT nerd I would never upgrade an operating system without either having a week or so of parallel testing or an un-upgraded backup. There are simply too many things that can go wrong between an app and the OS. As to where the fault lies in this case, I do not know but I do hope you walk away with a lesson in caution for all your apps.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 146
David Medina | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 3 2013 6:42 PM

I am sorry to hear of your experience, and I totally agree with MJ Smith.

I too worked as a Computer Engineer for many years and now, as photographer, I work every day with computers. You never immediately upgrade operating systems of a production machine until you know and have been certified by your program creators that the software has been tested and approved to be used in the latest operating system. And even then you test it before you use it live. Then, and only then, you upgrade your systems.

As a matter of fact, I never, ever upgrade my machines until the first couple of service updates to the OS. 

It is not necessarily and probably is not Proclaim fault. It may be very well  no ones fault (except whoever decided to jump into Maveriks as an early adopter). I have read too many complaints from early Mavericks adopters that have encountered problems with comp ability issues. 

And for those who do not bring Bibles to church, why not just give them real paper bibles to take home? 

Posts 1205
Ward Walker | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 3 2013 8:33 PM
MJ. Smith:

I am not a Proclaim or Mac user. However, as a retired IT nerd I would never upgrade an operating system without either having a week or so of parallel testing or an un-upgraded backup. There are simply too many things that can go wrong between an app and the OS. As to where the fault lies in this case, I do not know but I do hope you walk away with a lesson in caution for all your apps.

+1. In general, no third party software vendor is going to be fully successful after the launch of a new OS by an OEM. Jumping straight to the latest upgrade makes you bleeding edge, and that is what happened here.
Posts 1416
Wes Saad | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 3 2013 10:07 PM

Adding a slightly different comment... if your entire worship experience falls apart from a computer crash, something else is very wrong with the service.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 3 2013 11:32 PM

First Baptist Church of Shallotte:
My team and I are disappointed, frustrated, humiliated, and tired.

Please don't take this thread as adding to your frustrations. A problem in cases like this is that often the third party software company (Logos) genuinely don't know that there will be problems. They are dependent upon the OS provider for identifying what needs to be modified and tested or they simply run a series of standard tests. Neither approach resembles real life. I remember a Unix box upgrade that was a minor, invisible change that had been run in the test environment for a week. Payroll input was down most of a day when it was moved into production - very embarrassing. So understand the problem can and does happen to everyone. So drop the "humiliated" and join the rest of us as "disappointed, frustrated and tired". The best we can offer each other is moral support, a good cup of coffee, and hope that it is a lesson learned.Coffee

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 53
Stephanie Murphy | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 4 2013 5:34 AM

These are great thoughts!!

I guess the little warning signal in my brain was the one I was supposed to listen to Big Smile  Right after the initial crashing I instantly knew I shouldn't have done the upgrade so soon...and normally I don't, but I have a new Mac and love it so much I couldn't wait...yep, lesson learned.

Thankfully we have a very understanding group of people at our church and I was able to hit the blank screen until I hooked up another (back up) computer and we were able to move forward...no one seemed to mind...

I should add that everything was VERY normal for Proclaim after I installed Mavericks...I spent much time working with it and I created my presentations and it worked great...only when going "On Air" did I notice anything irregular, but when I tested it, it was functional....I didn't test for long enough I guess.

Posts 2902
Doc B | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 4 2013 6:18 AM

First Baptist Church of Shallotte:
hundreds of souls, desiring to worship in Spirit and in truth, were not able to see text because Proclaim crashed

How, exactly, did the church function for the previous two thousand years? I have to agree with Chris. If worship couldn't take place because a computer crashed, there is something far more wrong than software incompatibility going on.

Look in those funny pockets on the back of the pews. There are some old, dusty books wedged in there. Open one up.  You'll get a nice surprise. And in the last 50 years, I've never seen a hymnal crash.

My thanks to the various MVPs. Without them Logos would have died early. They were the only real help available.

Faithlife Corp. owes the MVPs free resources for life.

Posts 13392
Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 4 2013 6:45 AM

Doc B:

First Baptist Church of Shallotte:
hundreds of souls, desiring to worship in Spirit and in truth, were not able to see text because Proclaim crashed

How, exactly, did the church function for the previous two thousand years? I have to agree with Chris. If worship couldn't take place because a computer crashed, there is something far more wrong than software incompatibility going on.

Look in those funny pockets on the back of the pews. There are some old, dusty books wedged in there. Open one up.  You'll get a nice surprise. And in the last 50 years, I've never seen a hymnal crash.

This isn't fair. We don't use Proclaim or any other similar software, but I know I would feel the same way as the original poster if I'd had that experience. (S)he didn't say people weren't able to worship at all, but they weren't able to see text, or read the Bible. When you've prayerfully planned a service, and everything seems to go wrong, it is obviously dispiriting - whether that's a computer crash, a lights failure (which would 'crash' a hymn book during a late service), or even the fire alarms repeatedly going off mid-service (which happened to me recently). The original poster put their trust in the software, just as we all put our trust in the power company and the fire alarm people every week. That's a perfectly reasonable approach to worship, and one that doesn't deserve criticism — though it's a reminder to us all that it's always good to have a Plan B.

Posts 24

I appreciate your question.  Worship took place, it did not "fall apart." However, it was fraught with disruption. Why?  Because the congregation's link to the text of the worship music is a screen.  We do not have hymnals, or pews, or pockets to store such.  This congregation comes together on Sundays and worships in a gymnasium.

Our reliance on such technology should be discussed, as it should.  We wrongly assumed that the Proclaim software was "in-sync" with the Mac OS update.  A "heads-up" e-mail would have been appreciated.

Posts 3501
LogosEmployee
Scott Alexander | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 4 2013 9:30 AM

I'm sorry for all the disruption this instability has caused. We strive to give you the best worship experience possible and we clearly failed this last weekend. I'll be updating the following thread with our discoveries as we work towards resolving this issue.

http://community.logos.com/forums/t/77230.aspx

Posts 4723
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Mike Binks | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 4 2013 12:15 PM

Mark Barnes:
or even the fire alarms repeatedly going off mid-service (which happened to me recently)

I hope you reviewed your sermon content in the light of the warning?

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 4 2013 12:58 PM

My favorite disruption was an earthquake ... flakes of plaster came floating down on the priests for the Noon Ash Wednesday service, I think it was. The result was a service in which our priests got plastered.Surprise

For non-English speakers "plastered" is an idiom that means getting very drunk.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 2902
Doc B | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 4 2013 1:35 PM

Mark Barnes:
This isn't fair.

You are right, Mark. I was too critical. My apologies to the OP.

My thanks to the various MVPs. Without them Logos would have died early. They were the only real help available.

Faithlife Corp. owes the MVPs free resources for life.

Posts 62
Rev. Wayne Paul Barrett | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 4 2013 2:19 PM

I have several responses to all this;

1) I am an early adopter, perhaps to my peril in some cases. While I suppose I know better, I still do it anyway; I used to read Keyboard magazine and the tech guys for Madonna and others would tell you to be wary of updates and have redundant systems, but I don't work for Madonna :)

2) I serve the church (as a solo pastor who is pretty tech proficient). I have tech people, but they have a hard time knowing how to fix what I can fix (if I didn't have to be up front leading worship). The church deserves the best we can give. 

3) It is not the end of the world when tech crashes. I told my church that the church survived without it for years, and so would we for a Sunday (we still have a bulletin, which serves as our "redundant system' :) )

4) That said, it is embarrassing, frustrating, etc. when it does. I use my limited time to put together the slides and it would be nice if they would just work. It is great when they work. But I had to not do several planned things (videos) because Proclaim crashed the last two weeks, and I could not further disrupt the service to take the time to run back to the computer and fix it when my tech people didn't know what to do.

5) I understand how hard it is to make sure that a new os doesn't crash stuff and that the "blame" for things being broken is shared between Logos and Apple, but I do know that Apple provides advanced copies of the OS to developers for a reason, too: Frankly, the changes to Mavericks were not a surprise, and developers were given time to fix their software. Some developers made hay while the sun shined, and others, well, I'm still waiting.

6) For me, the long and the short of it is that presentation software for church use needs to be as bulletproof as possible. Stability MUST be job one. I love, as I'm sure others do, many of the cool things that Proclaim can do. But I would give up a LOT of that "cool" factor for a more bulletproof solution. Emulate Apple's ethos: "it just works" :)

Posts 3501
LogosEmployee
Scott Alexander | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 5 2013 10:51 AM | Locked

We've shipped an update for Mavericks compatibility but there is still a known issue that we need your help to further diagnose. Additional information and future discussions regarding Mavericks compatibility should move to this thread http://community.logos.com/forums/t/77230.aspx

Posts 5
John | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 11 2013 6:45 PM

The beauty of the Proclaim system is that it is web-based. I do pre-planning on a Mac at home, but run the presentation during service from my PC laptop. The church has its own laptop that is always available too. I would recommend, for now, just taking an inexpensive PC laptop as a back-up for your services. You can easily switch to it in cases of catastrophic failure such as this. 

By the way, I've had no problems with my Mac which is running Mavericks, but I'm only prepping and rehearsing on my Mac. 

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