Agnes Moushon | Photo by Donna Willey
It’s rare, nowadays, to hear of a TV program continuing for 33 episodes — forget about 33 years! But that’s exactly what The Orion Connection can boast. The one-hour program has aired on local cable stations in the Peoria, Illinois, area every week since 1986, and its director/producer/editor and occasional announcer insists she’ll continue as long as stations will air it.
Agnes Moushon, now 93, says it all started when she was visiting Chicago one weekend. She was mesmerized with a high-rise apartment building and one nagging thought: “How in the world will we introduce Jesus to all those people?!” Agnes brought the burden to her pastor at the time, and he simply replied, “We’ll do it through TV.”
Soon Agnes, her pastor and a few other helpers from church (including one of her sons) went to 3ABN to get some ideas and expertise from the then newly established production studios in West Frankfort, Illinois. She remembers a “sound and lighting guy” graciously coming back with them and laying the groundwork to get things set up at their church. Her son eventually took on most of the production, until he moved from the area in the early 2000s. By 2004, Agnes was at the helm and continues to run the show today which is no small feat.
She admits it takes her two to hours a week to finish editing everything together. That doesn’t include shooting the Sabbath service (where she oversees nine broadcast quality cameras) and recording an additional special music or interview most weeks. Agnes claims she didn’t know anything about videotaping until her son showed her some things, now more than three decades ago. Today, she sounds like a pro.
“The first thing I do is check to make sure the audio and pictures are good. Then, I just have to change some cables (in the editing suite), put it on a DVD, then have another computer print a formal label for the cable station.” She makes about 10 copies in four minutes, then promptly drops one off at the local station. And she’s done this every week for at least the last 16 years.
So, what are the results? Agnes says she continues to run into people who have seen the program, and yes, several have come into the Adventist Church because of it. But, if you think she’s resting on her laurels, think again. “I feel like we’re not doing enough for outreach,” she says somberly. “We’re on the verge of Sodom and Gomorrah again and we need to let people know we’re very, very close to the end of time.” This thought daily drives her and helps drill down to the underlying theme she hopes is threaded throughout each episode.
“I don’t know that [the viewers] need to do what I or any preacher says, but if they can just get into their Bibles and understand there’s a way they can be saved . . .” That, says Agnes, is her ultimate goal and what God has pressed upon her missionary heart.
Cheri Daniels Lewis, freelance writer in the Quad Cities Area of Illinois