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On air with Mr Big Bear in Temora

On air with Mr Big Bear in Temora

On air with Mr Big Bear in Temora

24 May 2022

Temora Corps’ Aux-Lieutenant Caleb Smith preaches to Mr Big Bear to give himself a focus point when he goes on air at the local community radio station.

By Cliff Worthing

Preaching to a teddy bear is hard work but better than preaching to a blank wall, according to Auxiliary-Lieutenant Caleb Smith from Temora Corps in country NSW.

“I didn’t realise how much I relied on the audience for my preaching, so Mr Big Bear helps my focus during sermon recordings,” Caleb laughs.

Last year during COVID-19 restrictions, people couldn’t attend live church services, so the local community radio station, TEM-FM 102.5, asked several Temora churches to record their sermons to be played on Sundays.

Caleb tries to add humour to his recorded sermons to have fun with familiar Bible stories. As people often struggled to connect during the lockdowns, he observes that laughing was important during the tough times.

“It is easy to get stale with well-known scriptures, so having a different frame of reference is important,” he explains.

As well as preaching to Mr Big Bear in the corps setting, Caleb has recorded while walking down a gravel road and in a forest to add meaning to his message.

Mr Big Bear isn’t the only one hearing his sermons. Caleb says he gets stopped in the street by some of his listeners, who include an eight-year-old boy, an avowed atheist and a great-grandmother from the local Lutheran congregation.

Though restrictions have now eased, Caleb is still broadcasting. Caleb says he records when he can and sometimes asks young people he knows to help retell Bible stories in a radio-skit format, such as being the ‘voice’ of various Bible characters.

He uses a free audio editing program, a good-quality microphone and records onto his laptop.

“It’s not hard to do, and you don’t need any great technical ability to do this,” he says. “But there’s a lot to be gained by giving it a shot.”

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