Thanks be to God for all the audio, lighting, and visual production professionals of the world! These are the folks who generally work behind the scenes to create the perfect atmosphere for conferences and concerts. They dedicate hours upon hours to set-up, tear-down and everything in between.

I worked closely with a tech crew over the past weekend, and it was an experience I will cherish for a long, long while.

The event that precipitated this production jubilee was the Synod Assembly. It's an annual event held at Mayo Civic Center, in Rochester. Some 600 folks gathered for worship, fellowship, and the official business of the synod.

This year my role focused on the technical production of the event. Brand new territory. To call me a complete and utter technical production novice would be putting it kindly. I knew from the moment I entered the venue that the days ahead were certain to be what I like to call a "great learning experience."

Over the course of the weekend, there were wonderful elements of worship and fellowship. The days were highlighted by engaging workshops, thoughtful speakers, and gifted musicians. An abundance of people worked behind the scenes to bring the event to fruition! It was great. I headed back home to Stewartville with a heart of gratitude.

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Of all the joyful moments, guess what inspired the precipitation of a few happy tears? Saying goodbye to the tech crew! I'd only known them for 36 hours. But it was a very impactful 36 hours.

The audio/visual crew was patient, encouraging, and efficient. Organized and kind. Also, they were all good at their jobs. Really good.

I feel permanently indebted. I want to go back and rewatch every concert, newscast, play, and film I've ever seen. Then I could appropriately thank or at least acknowledge all the people who worked behind the scenes! From now on, mark my words: I will sit in the theater until the credits have rolled to the end.

To everyone who has ever tested volumes, hauled equipment, or ventured up to the ceiling in a large crane to set up the lighting: thank you. To all those who have ever taken tickets, edited film, or constructed a stage: thank you.

Here's what I noticed, though. These folks aren't in it for the accolades. At the end of the assembly on Saturday, Edward, a video production professional, said, "It's about helping people have an experience, a positive experience that pulls them outside of themselves."

Amen, Ed.

I know my exposure is limited, but I'm quite certain these are some of the most humble people on earth. Amazingly gifted and completely humble. What a combination.

Seeing the way Tom, Edward, Skot, Paul, Wyatt, Ron, Chris, and Arnold went about their work gave me a serious case of happy heart. Deep and sincere happy heart. What a gift it is to meet new people and watch them shine.

T he Lady Pastor is a weekly column by Emily Carson. She is a Lutheran pastor serving at the Southeastern Minnesota Synod Office in Rochester. Visit her blog at: www.emilyannecarson.com.