It was a small, black, hard-backed notebook and it contained all my sermons. When I say ‘all’ I had only been preaching for a few months and there could only have been four or five sermons in there but the panic I felt the day I left it behind on a remote Welsh chapel’s pulpit still causes me nightmares. This was over twenty years ago and my preaching style has changed a lot since then. I very quickly dropped the idea of having all my sermons in one notebook, for example!
Last Sunday this development took its latest step when I preached for the first time from notes contained in my new handheld computer, the Google Nexus 7. It was listening to Vicky Beeching’s talk at Greenbelt that inspired me to take the plunge. The way she effortlessly seemed to scroll down her (I’m guessing) iPad as she shared her thoughts on spirituality and social media made me determined that I too would ditch the paper notes and go digital.
The process of transferring the typed notes from my laptop to the Nexus proved to be quite easy once I had settled on the size of the font. While the device has the capability to increase the size of text and pictures by a simple swipe on the screen I did not want to have to do this while preaching. So the size of the font in the original document was important and I decided that 22 point was best for me. I then converted the Word document into a PDF and transferred this to the Nexus. Simple! I then had the PDF documents on both my device and laptop – ensuring that all sermons in the future will not be in one place.
The change was hardly earth shattering and yet the actual preach did feel a little different and one or two in the congregation noticed that their preacher for the evening was breaking new ground. Had I been preaching in English I could have had a Bible version in that language on my device too but so far the Beibl Cymraeg Newydd (New Welsh Bible) is not available in this format.
So, thanks to Vicky Beeching’s talk, my development as a preacher took a new step. Who knows, maybe next time I’ll get my hair dyed in two tones as well!
Dyfed Wyn Roberts lives on the island of Anglesey in north Wales. He works part time, giving him space in his week to read, think and blog about church and faith, while his wife, Helen, runs the village post office for three mornings. He tweets under http://twitter.com/DyfedWyn and blogs at http://www.dyfedwynroberts.org.uk/
Editor’s Note: Story submitted 18th September.