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Thread: Modesty panel in front of choir - Do you have one?don't use one?creative substitutes?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Hayden, Alabama
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    Default Modesty panel in front of choir - Do you have one?don't use one?creative substitutes?

    Hey folks,
    I'm in a transitioning church in the southeast. Our worship is contemporary with a band and praise team members. However, we still use a choir on Sunday mornings along with everything else. I'm in a building that is more traditional in structure. My pastor wants to create a modern atmosphere as much as possible. Recently, due to a wedding, the modesty panel that separates the choir loft from the stage was removed. For the sake of testing the waters we left it out for two weeks. We had comments from people in the congregation that they liked the "Open feeling" it gave the stage. However, I have a couple of ladies in my choir who are concerned about the modesty factor with the panel gone. I would dismiss it if it were just someone gripping because of change, but these are women I respect and are voicing their concerns in the right way. I hope you don't think this is a stupid item for conversation, but I really could use some feedback. Have any of you ever dealt with this issue. Do you use a choir, and if so how are they seated in front of the congregation? Do you have a modesty panel? What does it look like? I look forward to your thoughts.
    Thanks,
    Richard

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Renton, WA
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    15

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    Do They sit at anytime? If yes what is the usual attire? If dresses then there could be an issue at least of comfort during the rest of the service.
    What about using something else? maybe put some greenery or something to create a low barrier but keep the current vibe on the platform.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Hayden, Alabama
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    Yes, I usually seat them after we come in, especially if announcements are still going on. Then, they are usually remaining in the choir loft seated during the message. I thought of using something creative, but what? I'm afraid if I try to use plants it would be too much. We're talking about covering an area about 15-20 feet wide. To create a low barrier with plants might look like we're singing in a jungle. Have you seen it done that way? Have you seen anything other than a panel/bannister?
    I could let them go down into the congregation after we sing. It wouldn't be an issue during the summer, but in about a month we will have Sundays where there wouldn't be room for them to go down.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    North Port, FL
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    UH...

    (1) have someone teach the ladies how to sit properly with the 1950s "modesty panel" all gone!! (congrats)

    (2) If there is a "problem" that continues. seat the men in the front row.

    (3) if you're keeping the ladies in the front row, change the angle of the seats (assuming they, too, are movable)

    (4) Review the video of the service to see if there really is a problem. If so, review the video with the choir (or have someone review with the ladies) so they can understand the problem. They may "correct" the problem themselves.

    Congrats on opening up the platform! You'll find much more flexibility!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Wellington, New Zealand
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    Have them not sit down! Our church is throughly contemp, so it might not work for you, but basically, the band start the service by leading worship, then we remain on stage, playing sensitively throughout the offering, notices, etc, then we all walk off as the preacher comes up to share the Word. The keyboard player usually stays on stage for another 5 minutes playing softly if needed.

    So we walk on, lead worship, then walk off. No one sits down, and if they do, I'll give them a rocket.
    Please check out my Christmas Blog at www.12daysofjesus.blogspot.co.nz

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    I like the idea of changing the angle of the chairs! Also, teaching them to NOT cross their legs when sitting, but to cross their ankles on the floor, slightly to the side.
    The other issue would be if they are wearing dresses and elevated on a higher stage...could pose some modesty issues, yes.
    I play the piano so I try to wear skirts that don't hike up when I sit I'm constantly keeping my legs together while I play.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    East Texas
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    426

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    Quote Originally Posted by TrinityPresMusic View Post
    UH...

    (1) have someone teach the ladies how to sit properly with the 1950s "modesty panel" all gone!! (congrats)

    (2) If there is a "problem" that continues. seat the men in the front row.

    (3) if you're keeping the ladies in the front row, change the angle of the seats (assuming they, too, are movable)

    (4) Review the video of the service to see if there really is a problem. If so, review the video with the choir (or have someone review with the ladies) so they can understand the problem. They may "correct" the problem themselves.

    Congrats on opening up the platform! You'll find much more flexibility!
    I love your ideas! Great answer. Especially number 4.

  8. #8
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    Dec 2007
    Location
    East Texas
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    Quote Originally Posted by stephaniesherie View Post
    I like the idea of changing the angle of the chairs! Also, teaching them to NOT cross their legs when sitting, but to cross their ankles on the floor, slightly to the side.
    The other issue would be if they are wearing dresses and elevated on a higher stage...could pose some modesty issues, yes.
    I play the piano so I try to wear skirts that don't hike up when I sit I'm constantly keeping my legs together while I play.
    At our previous church I played the piano, a baby grand on a pretty high platform, and there was one man (who happened to be the head elder) who complained often that he wanted a modesty curtain installed under the piano. I was MORTIFIED. Ironically I always wore trousers. So... I'm not sure what his issue was. As soon as we could, my husband and I made a black curtain and attached it to the bottom of the piano behind the pedals.

  9. #9

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    Hi folks, "new guy". (posted in the Welcome area already).

    First off, Richard, this isn't a stupid topic, it's relevant to your ministry. It's also good that you are listening to genuine concerns.

    The crux of the situation is to try to find a way that 'modernizes' your platform a bit and protects the modesty of your choir.

    As far as a "modesty panel", the only choir situation I was in had the choir was on risers and left the platform before service started. But, for your situation, I like a couple of the ideas already mentioned, like other seat arrangement techniques. I always seem to see concert bands and orchestras use a semi-circle arrangement- that might be worth a shot. As far as the 'men in front', the down side is a 6'2" guy in front of a 5'2' lady, even with a riser, it makes it hard to see the director or pay attention to the sermon.

    For some of the attire-related ideas, would it go farther to have your wife or another respected lady in the church have a brief 'shop talk' discussion on how to use the previously mentioned 'strategic sitting' techniques and a common-sense refresher about choosing your skirt/dress and hosiery wisely?

    As far as the video, maybe have a few of the ladies in the church check the situation from the front row as opposed to a video. I'd approach video cautiously- if there is a problem, the choir might not take too kindly to a camera poking around at compromising angles. There is also a risk the video could wind up in the hands of those who don't need to see it.

    I don't know if you have a dress code (the choir that sang with the team I was on in had a basic one) that is hindering wardrobe choice, but if ladies are required to wear dresses, maybe give the ones in the first few rows the option of trousers/slacks?

    Skyescraper- our keyboard has a skirt around it. It works for modesty and also hides the pedals and cables- makes the stage look a little cleaner.

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