There are some ways you can continue to be in community, virtually. Along with ways to hold meetings, keep in touch, and host bible studies, some resources for livestreaming worship are listed below. Not everyone will need or be able to institute online worship. If you do not have the resources or feel comfortable providing an online worship alternative, that's okay, too. Further down the page, find some ways to worship individually and in groups that are already in place.
If your parish would like to host online worship, there are two free products that will help you do that: Zoom and Facebook Live. For either option, you will need: reliable high-speed internet and a computer with a camera, a speaker and a microphone. If you find you need more assistance getting started, please reach out to Mark Spahr, Communications Consultant, at .
- How to Livestream your church service in 4 easy steps
- Letter from Canon Michael Barlowe, Executive Officer of General Convention about tracking online attendance
Many other paid streaming services and platforms are available if your church has been considering moving in this direction already, including Dacast, ChurchStreaming.tv, SundayStreams, Church Online Platform and vMix.
Please note when live streaming services, standard music licenses do not cover streaming. There are a few ways to get around this if your services include music:
- Choose public domain hymns
- Sign up for a FREE one month license from OneLicense through April 15
- Mute the feed during hymns (note this will only work with the Zoom mobile app – Facebook Live does not offer a muting option)
You can sign up for a free account here: https://zoom.us/signup. With the basic free account, you will be able to host a meeting with up to 100 participants and for up to 40 minutes. The benefit of Zoom is that you can see other participants in addition to the person leading the service, and other participants may lead certain parts of the service (readings, prayers, etc). Participants may join a Zoom meeting just using their web-based platform. A drawback is "Zoombombing", when someone crashes your virtual meeting and displays offensive content to the group. Be aware. Here are some preventions tips from ENS and a short document outlining prevention and what to do if it happens to your meeting.
You can host worship on Facebook Live from your parish Facebook page. Simply let people know in advance that you will be hosting worship at a certain time on your parish’s page. First make sure you are an admin on the page. Then, at the appointed time, click “Live.” The benefit of Facebook Live is that many of your congregants may already follow your page, and it may be easier for them to go to a familiar “place” than to use Zoom for the first time. A possible drawback is some people may not have or want Facebook accounts, and only the person filming the video participates.
Other free or low-cost ways to host online meetings
Alternative ways for smaller prayer groups and bible studies include: