Challenged by the Cultural Mandate, two City Harvest members designed Sermonotes, an app for taking notes during service.
By The City News Team
This weekend, members of City Harvest Church can take notes on their iPads and iPhones with a new app tailored specially for CHC. Best of all, in celebration of the church’s 23rd anniversary, the inventors are offering free downloads of Sermonotes, only on Aug. 11 and 12.
The app lets churchgoers key in notes while easily accessing Bible verses and adding them to their notes. One simply has to type in the book and chapter, eg. Matthew 6, and the book will appear on the side or bottom of the screen. Verses can be added simply by highlighting them and tapping on the orange “+” icon. What’s more, one can even email the note and Tweet a quotable quote on the spot, all without exiting the app at any point.
Sermonotes is the brainchild of two CHC members, George Kuruvilla and Aeby Samuel, both 29. The two hail from the same region in India, Kuruvilla from Kerala and Samuel from Pune, but only met “accidentally” at Singapore Expo a number of years when they were on their way to service at CHC.
“Aeby joined our cell group, W322, and we became brothers in Christ,” says Kuruvilla, who has been in CHC for seven years and serves in the drama ministry. “Aeby is the techie and I am the artistic type, and we always wanted to work on something together.”
Sermonotes was born out of a need that the two identified. Samuel says, “During service, you’ve got a Notepad app and a Bible app and you’re switching between pages, double clicking, swiping … We thought, why not build an app that was a notepad with an integrated Bible?”
“We counted: it currently takes seven clicks to get a verse and put it in your notes,” adds Kuruvilla. “With Sermonotes, we’ve reduced it to two clicks.”
He points out that the app is built to cater to the habits of CHC members. “We go to a lot of verses during sermon time at CHC. Also, our people like to Tweet things they hear during service.”
The two started discussing the idea in January this year, and launched the app quietly in June. Though they designed Sermonotes with CHC in mind, by July the app had been downloaded 500 times by users from the US, UK and Singapore. “It received the most ‘customer favorite app’ ratings in the last month, all without marketing,” says a happy Kuruvilla.
They are now busy working on improvements to the product, which will include more versions of the Bible (currently, Sermonotes offers KJV and ASV). They are also working on an Android version.
Sermonotes, which normally costs S$1.99 per download, can be downloaded for free this weekend from the iTunes Store.
“We wanted it to be a blessing to the church, because Pastor Kong and Sun and the church have blessed us immeasurably,” says Samuel. The two credit the Cultural Mandate for being the genesis of Sermonotes, a product by Reinven Technologies.
“Pastor Kong’s sermon on being a problem solver and a history maker still rings in our minds. We strive to think different in all we do.”