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Profiles in Faith: Jim Oliver

What does faith mean to you in one sentence?

In my view, God consists of every person who has ever lived, plus all other animals, plants, inorganic material, and concepts within the universe--including the unknown.

In a sentence, the religion of Christianity teaches us to be forgiving always and to love every person unconditionally, just as Jesus did.

Because this challenging task is so easy to forget or ignore, we need to be reminded often. Therefore, the church reminds us every time we attend Mass. Meanwhile, as our own mistakes are forgiven by a priest and/or fellow parishioners, we learn to be more forgiving of others. In any case, I believe that Jesus is equally pleased with each person who lives his or her life in this manner, even if that person believes in a different religion or is not religious at all.

If you were going to tattoo it on your arm, which Bible verse would it be?

Although I do not believe in being tattooed myself, and I do not have a bible verse in mind, Men of Faith's purpose statement, Be Christ to Someone Every Day, is a very good one. Changing it to read Be Christ to Everyone Every Day might even be better.

What is your favorite thing about being part of Men of Faith?

The best thing about the members and leadership of Men of Faith is they are very supportive of one another. I am particularly impressed by everyone's enthusiastic participation during the meetings.

What is one thing you would like to see added in the future?

Parish-wide, and on the technical side of things, there are two issues that I would like to see addressed before I die:

A. The speech intelligibility and overall sound in the church and hall could be improved immensely by properly treating the acoustics in those rooms. This would be accomplished by installing panels known as broadband acoustic absorbers. These three-inch deep cloth-covered fiberglass panels are available in several colors and sizes that range from 1'x1' to 4'x8'. The problem, particularly in the church, is installing them in a pattern that would be visually appealing. This is difficult because the panels need to fit in with the already intense visual rhythm we see on the east and west walls, which contain five groups of three tall and narrow windows, along with the stations of the cross. If anyone has suggestions for a solution, please let me know.

B. Our remote-controlled cameras need to allow members of our Technical Ministry to manually adjust their exposure and colors while also allowing us to move the cameras smoothly. However, we are certainly grateful to former parishioner Vonn Hockenberger, who sourced our inexpensive cameras and donated them over seven years ago. Because of Vonn, the parish only needed to purchase one additional remote camera, while the manually operated camera on the tripod is my own personal property. Nevertheless, it is sad that the auto-exposure function of the remotely operated cameras, even with AE compensation set to provide a brighter image, nearly always underexposes Fr. Kwame's face while overexposing the faces of others. Meanwhile, the awkward panning and tilting of our current cameras when using the joystick controller is very similar to driving a bumper car on the midway at the county fair. Therefore, we are not able to smoothly follow Fr. Kwame while he moves about during his homilies.

Ideally, we would replace our budget-friendly and aging cameras with professional models that are far more controllable. This would include removing my personal video camera and tripod, which currently blocks the view of the statue of Mary, and replacing it with an installed and unobtrusive remotely operated camera. Unfortunately, the cost of this project would be so high that it is unlikely to ever occur.

What is one thing you would like to see eliminated in the future?

I suggest that we refer to our ministry as Men of Faith and eliminate the abbreviation, "MoF."

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