Patrick Phelps and the Junco—Video Clip


If you’ve been watching our livestreamed Sabbath morning worship services, you have Patrick Phelps to thank. Long before the pandemic banished us from our sanctuary, Patrick spent many, many hours researching the type of camera and computer and software we needed—and he’s spent scores of additional hours tweaking the color and doing other enhancements which make those YouTube broadcasts almost like being there in person. I, and everyone else who watches, deeply appreciates this.

Sabbath morning, May 9, 2020, Patrick got to the church at 7:30 a.m., long before the rest of the AV team and I would arrive. He wanted to make sure that all the worship service elements—which included several audio and video clips—would be lined up in the proper order to start the YouTubing at 11:00.

The day before had been a hot one, so he not only turned on the sanctuary ceiling fans, but also opened one of the outside doors to let in some cool air. Then he got to work behind his keyboard and monitors.

Suddenly he noticed a fluttering in a corner near the open door. A junco had flown into the room, and was trying to find its way out again. Patrick walked over and somehow gently captured the little bird in his hand, talked softly to it for a few seconds and then walked outside and released it—and captured the release with his cell phone camera.

It reminds me of Psalm 84: “How lovely is Your tabernacle, O Lord of hosts! . . . Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself . . . Even your altars, O Lord of hosts.” (Verses 1 – 3)

He put this 9-second video clip on his Instagram account, so maybe you saw it there. But here it is! (When you click the link below, if you don’t see it immediately, it’s probably downloaded to your Downloads and you can play it there. It’s very short.)

Patrick releases the junco