The Rev. Callie Swanlund has always dreamed about new ways of doing and being Church, ones which honor our rich Episcopal tradition while inviting people of all ages, faith roots, and life experiences to come to the table. Back in 2008, Callie sat in a seminary classroom in Berkeley, California. She was taking a course called New Media in Worship & Preaching with the Rev. Dr. Micah Jackson. Micah challenged the students—soon-to-be-priests and Christian educators and youth ministers—to create projects that incorporated new forms of media into worship, as the church had been using media in the form of icons for centuries. Callie wanted to use the model of an instructed eucharist—in which the history of the eucharistic rite and the symbolism of the service are explained in narrative form—and make a more seamless liturgy that was stimulating and enlightening. Taking inspiration from VH1's Pop-Up Video series, the How2charist was born.
While the early PowerPoint version was edifying and enjoyable, many friends, colleagues, and parishioners asked whether this was something that could be made available more broadly. Callie dreamed of partnering with someone who could bring the technical background to make this a reality. The opportunity arose when she began working with the talented Jeremy Tackett. As Callie excitedly explained her vision of sharing a live How2charist with their parish, Jeremy immediately jumped on board and started naming off the numerous pieces of equipment and tech assistants he'd need. Both saw each other's excitement and knew this project needed to be something easily accessible by individuals, churches, seminaries, schools, dioceses, and more. They knew it needed to preserve the beauty of the Book of Common Prayer liturgy, be informative and prayerful, and be of a quality that would make it a shareable resource for the whole Church.
We initially launched a kickstarter for this project in December 2015, and were so heartened by the outpouring of love and enthusiasm. But we also quickly realized that to honor our backers and this project, we needed to widen its scope. That put the project on pause and sent Callie back to the drawing board, dreaming of the best ways to bring this resource to the world. Through many conversations and much prayer, she decided to keep the communal support (via kickstarter) and make the project even bigger. Callie also pledged to document the process this time so that other small individuals with big dreams could learn from it!
In order to film a full Eucharist using multiple camera angles, overlay animated informative text, and end with a quality product, we need money to hire a film production team and animator, pay for licensing, and more. We estimate these costs to be around $17,000, but will use additional funds to add extra touches, thank our volunteers, and create a pool for similar future projects.
This is where we need YOU! We need you to share this project with five friends on social media, and we need you to contribute financially at whatever level you're able. All reward levels are described below. If you'd like to give money without receiving a reward, that's okay too!
Distribution: We have decided that everyone who wants to should have access to this resource, and thus we will be releasing the How2charist in easily viewable segments (i.e. Liturgy of the Word, Liturgy of the Table). However, those who back this project at the $25+ level will receive access to a download of the entire Eucharist (prelude to postlude!), and will receive access before the public release.
Timeline: We plan to shoot the How2charist in August and release around All Saints' Day (November 2018).
- $10-24 is a way to show us your support and ensure that you get updates on our progress. You'll be notified when the How2charist is publicly available and will be able to view main segments of the film (i.e. Liturgy of the Word, Liturgy of the Table) and share on social media.
- $25+ gets you a download link to the completed film one week before public release. You'll also receive an accompanying full-color discussion guide (reproducible, delivered electronically in PDF format) for use with small groups, confirmation classes, etc.
- $50+ lands you a limited edition How2charist t-shirt in your choice of liturgical colors (plus the early access download and discussion guide).
- $100+ (option A) allows you to ask a question about the Holy Eucharist Rite II liturgy that will be addressed in the How2charist (plus the early access download, discussion guide, and one t-shirt). LIMIT: 5 backers at this level
$100+ (option B) gets you three tee shirts so you can dress your whole family/staff (plus the early access download and discussion guide).
$150+ scores you a set of the beautiful Holy Eucharist Illuminated Teaching Cards - physical cards and digital download: a $37.99 value! - thanks to our partnership with Kyle Oliver of Creative Prayer (plus the early access download and discussion guide).
- $200+ means you get a social media-optimized video customized with your parish/institutional info and logo - a shortened clip of the How2charist perfect for your website or social media channels! - (plus the early access download and discussion guide and t-shirt).
- $250+ gives you 60 minutes of video conferencing time (i.e. Zoom) with Callie to talk about the Eucharist with your class or small group (plus the early access download, discussion guide, and two t-shirts). LIMIT: 10 backers at this level
- $500+ adds you as a project partner and gets the name of your diocese, organization or church in the film credits (plus the early access download, discussion guide, two t-shirts, and video conference).
- $500,000+ The vast expanse of interstellar space : for $500,000 we could film the How2charist in 3D! But we'd really rather you find a local worship community.
The Rev. Callie Swanlund (@callieswanlund) enjoys the rich and full life that comes with being an Episcopal priest and a mama to an exuberant second grader and an adventurous preschooler. She love answering children’s deep theological questions (“What happens when we die?” and “Exactly how big is God?”), walking with people on their faith journeys, and preaching the Good News of Jesus' love and radical welcome in our midst. During her Sabbath time, Callie loves moving her body through lifting and yoga, making homemade açaí bowls and herbal tea, dreaming big dreams of changing the Church and the world, and replenishing her spirit by connecting with her children and attempting to look at the world through their eyes.
What is Kickstarter and how do I use it? (Hi, Grandma!)
Once you select your reward level from the boxes on the right, you'll have the option to continue with the suggested donation for that level or to enter a higher amount. You must add credit card information to your pledge, though your credit card will not be charged until after the Kickstarter campaign ends on July 23, and only if the campaign is fully funded ($17,000+ raised). For levels that include the digital download, this will be sent to the email address you provide. For levels that include a t-shirt or Holy Eucharist Illuminated cards, you will receive an email survey after the Kickstarter has ended asking for relevant details (your size, color choice, and preferred shipping address).
To find thorough instructions on backing, go here: https://www.kickstarter.com/help/faq/backer+questions.
Please contact me with additional questions!
Many thanks and blessings,
Risks and challenges
The biggest challenge is that if our project doesn't meet the minimum $17,000 funding goal, we will be unable to film the How2charist as originally planned. The support you give by sharing this project with your friends is as meaningful to us as a financial contribution.
Timing of filming is subject to film crew/location availability. However, we fully anticipate filming in August. After filming is complete, post production could present unforeseen challenges. This could push back our release date.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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