Service Learning Project

Introduction

Service learning is defined as the strategy which is involved in the teaching and learning of important community service (Kaye, 2004). Kaye states that the parties involved always get a learning experience. This study also teaches civic responsibility which helps in strengthening the community. Moreover, it is a communal responsibility bestowed by God to human beings as He made people different in class and wealth for a purpose. When people need each other, they have the potential to coordinate and cooperate in a well-knit community that embraces brotherly affection (Raunch & Mason (b), 2008). Given this, it is clear that all people are equal in one way or another before God. The meaning of existence is to complement one another as God so wishes (Raunch & Mason (b), 2008). These doctrines set forth by God were part of my reason for undertaking the project given the capabilities that have been accorded to me by God the Almighty. This activity also reiterated the role of societal cohesion as opposed to the government rule (Raunch & Mason (a), 2008). The government only participates in this process since people do not exhibit the moral order and the decorum of coordinating and cooperating responsibly. Religion presents an opportunity to interact in a way that helps to improve people’s lives. The role of religion has changed to incorporate societal responsibility that ensures order. This paper is a ten entry report of the service learning project that I undertook in our church, True Light Christian Assembly on the opening of media services.

Entry One – Selection of the Service Learning Project

True Light Ministries opened a media service, and I was assigned the responsibility of maintaining the Church’s website during the service learning project. My duties included updating the content of the webpage and arranging video streaming during the worship services. I was required to take photos during each important ceremony, edit the videos recorded during an event, and post the news on the site.

I am a website designer, which means that during the project I could utilize my technical skills of website creation and management. According to Raunch & Mason (b), (2008), being involved in a service learning project which will allow one to utilize their technical skills. The authors further state that it will not only benefit the community, but also help in enhancing knowledge of the subject, as it happened in my case.

Video shooting and editing have been my hobby for a long time, and I look forward to running a studio and a company in the future,  which proves that I have experience and a great interest in the field.

Therefore, while working in the service learning project I basically will work with ease since I have vast knowledge on the job I am to partake. I will be able to fix some time out of my normal schedule to help in the managing of the website since I thought of only requiring ten hours of the week out of the Sundays for this particular job. During the service learning period, my skills will likely be increased on the job. I have been thinking of the whole community and how they are also in great need of the word of God. The idea is to include the old and physically challenged who are not capable of reaching the church during Sundays. This project will be directed to helping such group of people a great deal. Raunch & Mason (d), (2008) state that it is a good practice to help the community in what one can manage. I felt it wise that the project is utmost important since it will afford me double satisfaction. In this case I learnt the value of liberty. These include serving the Lord by improving channels of taking his message afar as well as helping the community at large while at the same time improving on my skills of work. It is clear that a larger group of people will manage to get the word through the online platform compared to those who did earlier.

Entry two – Service Learning Project Objective

The service learning project I undertook was based in the church, which in this case is a religious institution. What I was basically to do was based on the management of the Church’s website which included updating it on a weekly basis with the Church’s news. Video live streaming for the congregation, video and photos uploads added onto my list of assignments. In that regard, I held an important position in the church.

It is clear from objective twelve that the vital role of the citizen is developing and maintaining a civilized society. Such duties are to be done through things such as volunteering and civic engagement. Besides, such services to the society are seen as a complement and substitute to the roles that the government plays in ensuring people’s wellbeing (Nazarova & Linda, 2007).

The website management was not just an activity of helping the Church alone. It was rather directed to the betterment of the community as a whole as those to be helped in this matter, were the community members, though they were the Church members as well. This means that the content updated in the website and the YouTube were not just for the Church but to be used by the whole community. Therefore, the act of volunteering in the Church activity brings the aspect of civic engagement in this manner. This is in respect of the project based on updating of the website used by the community members.

The preferred objective for my use in this matter is objective seven. This objective is based in the fostering of societies inclusion with respect to all the types of diversities. It is very clear that the project I was partaking respected this aspect as in matters of online issues; there is no single choice on the preferred diversity. Rather, everyone is free to view the contents updated irrespective of the religion or race. Therefore, it shows that the project was in line with the set objective.

When relating to Dolgoff et al. (2009), the text gives an approval of the society having it as acceptable to engage in the service learning projects which are always free and open to the society. This is in the sense that everyone is allowed to benefit from  the  project passively or actively. It is a way of fostering inclusion of the whole society, thus, bringing the desired relationship with respect to the objective.

Entry three-five – Normal Services

This is the entry that I was now involved in the normal routines of what really brought me into the volunteering service. The main aim that I focused on  as stated earlier was to get involved in the video streaming of the normal services which went on daily in our church. In this entry, I had to brainstorm all the problems I could have faced during any other entries since it was essential to be prepared quite early just in case of anything. The initial preparation according to Emerson would definitely help in building confidence and finding the necessary resources in creating self-reliance.

I basically had to go down on my knees and propose to emphasize to  the Pastor  the significance of materials that I needed. The pastor seemed morally upright and a true anointed man of God. We booked an appointment on the first day which was on a Monday. The arrangement was made after a critical review of the Sunday church service. On this day, I joined the service not just as any other member of the congregation, but as a technician who dealt with video streaming and other related activities.

The pastor, at first, seemed to be one quiet man who was difficult to understand, but as we continued with the talk, I came to learn how to get along with him. However, I can admit that it was not an easy task at all. We chatted a lot on the first meeting and there was much he wanted to understand before agreeing to give out the money. I learnt that the problem was not lack of money, but he was first to be sure on whatever he was funding, that is according to what he claimed. Basically, I supposed, he was not that knowledgeable in the field of video shooting, editing and related activities. After realizing this, I had to apply the use of common sense according to Paine. This helped me to be tolerant to the Pastor, the value studied in our first week of the course. It was a daunting task convincing the pastor on the various resources I needed for the project.

The third day of the first week was when we agreed to go for the purchase of the machines. It was good that the Church had microphones initially and some old cameras. But I basically insisted on getting something new with the stands, a camera which was of a movie shooting standard. The reason behind this was because I wanted my work to be ‘clean’ a common term for the camera men. We also got a router for easy internet access in the church area as the project initially, despite the fact that it was aimed at the media services of the church, some aspect of technology improvement were tied to it. Therefore, this was a good start as also the video streaming to YouTube and the church’s website were things to be done by use of the internet.

The first week was over successfully as all the materials I needed for the work were in place. The second week started with lots of work, it was on a Sunday when we had to start the activities. I had proposed to the pastor to get me two or three boys that would help me in the activities. This was because the work could not just be accomplished by one person. Although the pastor may have agreed to help me out with all that was required for the project when another problem came up. I needed around two people to help out but no one would be willing to do it for free since all of them expected to be paid for the services as opposed to serving as volunteers. Suffice is to say that he is a mean person and though unplanned budget is a tall order for many people, his case was extreme.

The pastor thought of Jeff, a very humble boy who used to help in the running of the Church electronics. Sometimes, when the pianist was not around, he could help in the piano as he had learnt of some tricks on that. Jeff was sincerely a lucky shot for both of us. He had just completed his form four and was kind of free at the moment as he had no commitment apart from studying computer in the local cyber café.

The reason for my preference for Jeff was that he was a fast learner. This meant that there was little doubt after giving him instructions, especially the simple ones since I was sure of his obedience and positive attitude in doing things. I had met him on Saturday and just gave an explanation of what he was to do. Luckily enough, he proved to do even better than I had expected of a first time learner.I noted the value of in him.The skills he applied in handling the camera were amazing. I saw potential in him in becoming my apprentice after proper training.

That Sunday, Jeff really came to Church very early. This was earlier than his normal time despite the fact that he is never a late comer. It seemed that Jeff had become more interested in the video shooting exercise as opposed to offering his services to the church. Therefore, when he arrived, he helped the pianist in putting together his stuff and then came to me. We had positioned the laptop which could be used for the streaming in a corner on the front. The camera’s stand was quite close since the USB cable was required to connect to it.

I did the arrangement carefully while Jeff was watching and helping wherever he could. The main activity that he could undertake was to make the appropriate turns of the camera while I was on the laptop and take some other photos with the other camera as I had instructed. I could at times help with the video shooting as he went on with photos just to make sure that the video was coming out as I expected. I used the Open Broadcast Software to stream the videos live in YouTube.

The day went on well until the end of the service. Thereafter, I had to take the pictures and pot on the Church’s website. Jeff also gave out an idea that pastor and I had not even thought of. The pictures had been asked for from him by many people, therefore, he proposed to us to contact those who needed their copy at a price and that would generate some income to the church. I promised to forward that proposal to the pastor, as I thought he would fully welcome the idea during our Monday meeting

I had realized Jeff’s fault in the photos he had taken and promised to help him learn more about photo shooting. Some of the pictures were tilted which was not a good quality. He had also used the wrong mode at times as he did not adjust the camera. It was not a difficult thing to change; therefore, I booked an appointment on Wednesday in which I could assist him with the problem. I also wanted to use the same day to help him learn on filling websites as I expected to get some information from the Church’s clerk desk on what they wanted to appear on the website I had initially created.

When we met that very Wednesday, I helped Jeff to learn on creating websites first as he had proposed he could do that for the youth in our church later. A project I promised him I could personally wish to be included. The day went on quite well and he learnt some few things on that as I promised to show him more lately, that is if he could be interested. It was rather an issue of liberty as Jeff had to make personal decision on whether to accept or refuse my help. That was an idea he highly welcomed. We started on the updating of the website with details I had been given. The Church board had made sure that the members were informed of the website, thus, were urged to get announcements and many more details from there. This was a good start as they are the ones who basically could promote the site and the respect for dissent was written all over the quality of the photos and videos. The week ended quite well and we parted with Jeff expecting to meet on Sunday during the service.

Entry six – Child Dedication Ceremony

During this day, a Sunday, we knew that we had a small ceremony so to say in our church. We had written it earlier in the website and hopefully knew that it had been read of though they had been informed about the Child Dedication Ceremony earlier in the church during the last week. We were glad as this was to be our first function, which we thought it a blessing preparing us for the big conference the following week and the wedding ceremony that could soon follow. In the spirit of Legal Equality and Equality of Opportunity all children are always welcome for blessing and all other religious rights in the church.

We started the day as we normally do, by fixing the camera ready for the shooting. This day, Jeff was quite swift as he knew well what he was expected to do and above all, had the idea. I had some trust in his work, and due to his swiftness, I was relaxed a bit. On this day, we completed the session on time, which was marred with increased demand for photo sessions from the parents and children in attendance. This was the day we could implement Jeff’s thought on the selling of the photos to earn the church some money.

The mass was as usual and we ran our errands normally. That is the video shooting, photo taking, and live streaming to YouTube. I remembered having asked the pastor to connect with a television station that could allow having us live, that is the Church during Sunday but he complained of a lack of enough resources This scenario reminded me of Carnegie’s view on wealth that talks of how to manage limited resources (Carnegie, 2008). His thought and the way he put it out was clear in this. Lack of wealth is a really let down to projects even tied to the betterment of the society. It means that we could not be watched live on television as there was no enough money to support this.

After the mass, the dedication ceremony began as parents brought their children forth to be put at the feet of Christ. Most of them had anticipated for this time and we had already got requests like from all of them on the photos we were to take during that time. The pastor convinced me to make a hard copy of the video for a bride who was to wed a week later. The videos would be sampled to assess the production, which would determine the possibility of awarding us with a tender.

The activities of this day reminded me of Martin Luther King’s legacy in which he envisioned an American Dream. The speech made by King mainly focused on the achievement of equal opportunities for all people in the society regardless of their age, gender, race, sex or societal class (Raunch & Mason (a), 2008). When I relate this to the church, I see the reason why it was imperative to conduct a dedication ceremony for the children to give them equal chances to get the divine guidance of almighty God in a similar manner to the way adults are taken through baptism and anointing. This day of the service learning project reminded me of the days of the civil rights movements and the desire to achieve equality for all. Children are also entitled to the mercy and glory of God offered by the church.

All I had in thought while starting the project was basically volunteering, but it had come to a point of even earning some job for money during the project. This really fascinated me as the pastor had promised to give me the money from the wedding video shooting, just for appreciation if all things went well. We took the photos of the kids and their parents, and I was also very keen with the video as it was to earn me some money afterwards. We were done with the day well and promised the pictures to be with their owners by the course of the week.

Entry seven-eight Conference and Baptism

This was the busiest week so to say in the whole of our project. We had to get to town and get the pictures to give to the parents we had promised during that Monday as well as see the Pastor. This was for the progress of the project and see where could change in case of any defaults. After rushing to the studio, we came back with the photos we were to get and took them to the office as instructed. Therefore, the owners could get them from there as they finished the paying.

We had a lengthy talk with the pastor and agreed on getting another person that is a profession to help during the conference. The reason for this was simply because the conference was a two day full-time activity thus we could not manage the streaming and shoot as well as taking the photos being only two of us. This was not a decision easily reached as the pastor had his own reasons not to be the way we wanted. We were lucky that at least he had to practice the respect of dissent, what we had learnt the first week in class. This I could not have done, for pastor specifically with his thought of not adding us a profession as we could not manage the work alone.

We came to a consensus with the pastor and later agreed to get a helper during the conference. I referred him to a friend of mine whom I knew he could get on well with during the work. Having done most of our works with him, I knew his work and extent of capability. The helper’s response was not at all bad and he accepted the thought of working with us during the Conference at some pay which he did not decline. He actually accepted what he was given, which I will not mention at all due to our working terms and conditions.

The crusade started on a Friday and the Church’s compound was realy filled with people from different places. We had identified various positions for two video cameras which we could operate the three of us and also had additional two cameras for photo shooting. The laptop and streaming were my main work but I could help with another camera as Jeff only operated a video camera. My friend had the other video camera with an additional camera for the shooting of the photos. We had to go through a stressful week but had nothing else to do. It was common knowledge that we could manage this as we had done some other harder jobs than this particular one. During the day, we could take the photos and in the evening, rush to the studio to bring them to the owners. This was quite easy as Jeff knew the studio I used thus he was the one who went for the washing of the photos. He brought them and the following day, we distributed them to the owners while taking others. The money from the photos was not that b ad, and that was what was really used to pay my friend who had helped us. The streaming was not that a hard task as after the connections with the OBS, things just ran smoothly. I also updated the website during the evening while Jeff had gone to bring the photos. During this time, my friend left as his job was already done, that is what he was supposed to do.

The updates that I was doing were mostly tied in the conference that was going on. This was what I had been asked to write on the website by the pastor and the church’s board. I did this during the evening and it was not that hard a task since I was used to working with updating of websites. I also had to post the pictures that we had taken during the day just to make the place quite inviting, mostly for the youths.

I also updated the discussion forum I had created earlier which was just to make a follow up of the people who used to visit the site. This helped us to have a close view on those who used to visit the website from the forum on the website and also had a place where people were asked to comment on what they had read. The number of those who used to visit the website was inviting and this showed that we were not doing any job by the updates we made.

The discussion which I used to update the website was basically based on the topic we had been taught during the day in the conference. In the Pursuit of Truth,People gave their thoughts on this and also some prayer request which the pastor gave to the invited guest during the day. Saturday was the last day for preparation as Sunday was the day for the baptism which could take place in a close river to the church’s compound. The activities of the day were as usual and that day Jeff had to leave quite early for the pictures since that they could be taken the very way and not the day after. The day ended well and people who were to be baptized also made a request on photos they would like to get from us.

The Sunday service like the previous ones started off on a high note. Everything was put in place although this time people congregated on the church compound rather than inside. The two cameras were placed as we always did in the past week and we were all in for work. After the normal service, we left for the river with only three cameras and there was no live streaming of the activities in the river. We took videos which I could edit later with photos of all those who were baptized as they had wished of. This was the last day of using my friend and it was a great pleasure having him around.

Entry nine – Wedding Ceremony

This was my last week during the service learning project. I had really had fun and learnt a lot during the whole of this time and was yet to learn more and also teach during this week. We were with the pastor on Monday when he announced the long awaited information. This was what we really had expected and it was according to our expectations. The groom had landed on us as the ones who could take the video hooting for his wedding.

The wedding was to be my last activity in the service learning project as it came on Saturday, the end of the week. The normal activities of the week were done successfully. This was because I had also taught Jeff on the updating of the Church’s website which he really helped me on. As I had stated earlier, he was a first learner and therefore he did the activities as though he had known this earlier.

The week went on successfully till Friday during the pre-wedding. We went to the Church that evening when the pre-wedding was to take place. The connection was made as usual except for the video-streaming which was not what was needed from us by the bride and groom. We took the video for the activities that took place in the Church during that night plus various photos. This also helped us to identify some other better positions of taking the photos as we saw how the arrangement of the wedding was through the pre-wedding.

The final day of my service learning had reached, that is during the wedding day. I suppose it had really gone well with me in the Church and had also learnt a lot of new experiences which were as well enjoyable. We got to church early as expected and done the connections o everything as needed. Some parts of the ceremony were what could be streamed online but not everything. The video shoot was done as instructed and we only worked under instructions. On this day, I had the video camera while Jeff got the one to take photos since the video was the main thing to be taken in the ceremony.

Things went on perfectly well during the wedding ceremony. The weddings ceremony reminded me of the duty that the wife holds for the husbands. Young wives may be incognizant of what it takes to make a successful marriage. While may think that being beautiful for the husband is the best way to gain affection, the best way is to provide care. It includes tending to the husband whenever he comes from work or is tired. In so doing, the wife is capable of attracting the love and affection of the husband who is likely to perceive her as a worthy companion (Raunch & Mason (c), 2008). The wife should prepare a good meal for the husband and tend to all his needs without objecting or complaining. In so doing, the wife gains the trust and loyalty of the husband who will forever strive to remain faithful and loyal.

The wedding show went as planned. We took pictures of the processions and the video of all things. It was a really great day more than even what we anticipated. The pictures from Jeff this day were very good as he had learnt of the tricks I used to teach him all along. The video, I also believed could be the best as I was the one taking it. The day came to an end well and the editing of the video was now out of the project. This is because I had been promised the money from the video which I promised to share with Jeff. Therefore, we could help each other with the editing as he learnt more about it. It was a great experience to be in the service learning project of the Church as I had learnt much from the pastor and Jeff my partner all through.

Entry ten – Conclusions

The whole of this project had been based on the opening of the media services in our church, True Light Christian Assembly. My sole work in the project was basically to maintain the Church’s website, which I had created at the start of the project. Other responsibilities assigned to me in the project included the updating of the church website weekly with the video shoots and the live streams of the worship service. I also took photos and sold them to church members.

My seven weeks of working on the project were very successful and most activities occurred which helped in the earning of more experience for us during the work. The church hosted many things such as wedding ceremony which was the last of all of the activities. These activities were mostly based on the shooting of videos and the taking of photos. The photos were the ones I used to upload on a daily basis to the Church’s website. The Sunday service was the activity I used to do live streaming to YouTube fully.

Raunch & Mason (d), 2008), emphasizes that the purpose of a service learning should be to help the community at large. The initiating of the media service in the church was basically directed to the helping of the whole community. This is because most of the things that were updated on the site were used by the Church members who were also the community members. In fact the service learning should be directed to the serving of the whole community. This is basically what our project did as it served the community with the Church information in the website in addition to the videos which were available that we had streamed online.

It is worth noting that a service learning project was purposed to helping one in learning, this is in the sense of gaining more experience in a particular field (Raunch & Mason (c), 2008). During the seven weeks of the service learning, I had learnt more on the video streaming and had also got much of experience on video editing. This really helped me as I knew that after the project, I will manage to work more on video editing.

The people’s feedback on the project was very positive and this was something that we all enjoyed. This was through the feedbacks we had on the platform I had created on the website. This meant that people viewed and were on the track of what we were doing. They were further encouraged by the pastor to be regular visitors of the church’s website. This really helped to ensure that our efforts were not going for free.

This service learning project at the church brought forth many considerations. These considerations mainly related to humanity in general and the need to satisfy God’s plan for a caring society. There is a temporary variation in the distribution of wealth as planned by God. The unequal distribution was meant to bridge the gap between the rich and poor through reconciliation that may be brought about by interactions such as church charity or any other community service activity. Given the current state of division between people of different class, there is need for civilization to evolve further. If civilization evolves, the rich many find it worthy to distribute their wealth to the poor. On the other hand, the poor will feel that the property of the rich is theirs by extension; hence, they would not need to exhibit any kind of animosity towards the rich (Raunch & Mason (d), 2008). The overall outcome is that both the poor and rich live in a way that complements one another. If other people would carry out an activity such as the one I carried out, then the world would be a better place.

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