My first years of ministry my tool box for writing sermons was pencil, pen and paper — and typewriter. This was the 70’s! A black IBM ‘Selectric’ was my favorite. I must have kept that typewriter in my writing ‘tool box’ into the 80’s.
I don’t remember exactly when, but my first computer was a so-called portable Radio Shack Tandy TRS-80 — a big and heavy machine with a white carrying case that looked like a sewing machine case on steroids.
I loved using both the typewriter and computer. After ten years of ministry I moved to the Warren Ave Presbyterian Church in Saginaw MI where computers were introduced into the regular work of maintaining church finances.
Around 1985 I parted permanently from the use of a typewriter, though it took the office over a dozen more years. We always kept a big blue ‘IBM Selectric’ around the office that came in handy in filling out wedding, baptism and a host of other important forms. Personally, I always had an IBM PC or a laptop. I never used a Mac!
This may sound funny, but I took my first computer class at Ghost Ranch—YES, this rustic, rural church owned camp located in the beautiful mountains near Abiquiu, New Mexico. Ghost Ranch is known as a sacred place where we can usually get away from our computers and high=tech tools. I believe this class I took was limited to eight or ten of us….computers provided. I remember all the extension cords and computer wires that connected us to one or two power outlets and one hard-wired printer.
The church has always been quite progressive in helping us clergy-types use these important tools that would make sermon writing/editing a major time-saving tool. No longer would I need to re-type sermons three or four times to come up with something that could give me a manuscript guide in proclaiming the gospel!
These are my earliest thoughts in the use of a computer. What are your memories? And by the way–
Now retired, I am writing this blog on my smart-phone. 🙂