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In a Zoom video-conference training Thursday, March 19, the Eastern PA Conference offered church leaders plenty of how-to’s for transporting worship from one sanctuary into many homes… electronically.
The two-hour, experimental, highly interactive session engaged 300 lay and clergy participants, the maximum allowed for the conference’s Zoom business account. In fact, more would-be participants sent email messages reporting their inability to log in. Several pastors logged in from the Baltimore-Washington Conference, as word of the training event spread south of our conference borders.
Titled “Taking Church to the World,” the upbeat video-chat session shared great advice and creative ideas. It was also timely, as churches and all people are being urged to refrain from face-to-face interactions in groups of more than 10, due to the coronavirus pandemic sweeping across our nation. That stern advice includes worship, classes, meetings and other church gatherings.
Six presentations lasted about 20 minutes each and included on-screen demonstrations and plenty of questions and answers offered both vocally and in visible chat-space text. They focused on:
- Using live-streaming video and Zoom video-conferencing to provide worship and Bible study to online audiences;
- Online giving using Vanco, Paypal, Venmo and other options; and
- Creative use of technology to communicate with people throughout the week.
The Rev. Dawn Taylor-Storm, South District Superintendent, and the Rev. Kevin Babcock, newly assigned as Director of Support Services for Churches, arranged and hosted the live video instructional session. But the chosen presenters were the stars of the show, as they offered demonstrated expertise in using technology to advance the reach of a church’s message and ministry beyond its walls.
The presenters and their topics are:
- Kevin Farell: How to do Live-Streaming for Worship & More;
- Rev. Tom Ebersole & Rev. Johnson Dodla: Using ZOOM for Worship, Bible Study and Small Groups;
- Sheri Kentner: Setting up Online Giving—Vanco, Paypal, Venmo and More;
- Rev. Amy Banka: Reaching People through Creative Use of Technology;
- Rev. Lou Hornberger: Other Streaming Platforms and Tech Options
Watch the 2-hour Zoom session, and be sure read some of the chat comments. There’s helpful information there, too. Taylor-Storm is considering offering the live training again soon.
Meanwhile, the Rev. Lorelei Toombs, pastor of Willow Grove UMC, has researched, compiled and shared with us a partial list of churches that have been livestreaming worship services for awhile. Several of their pastors and members were in Thursday’s Zoom training session or even helped lead it.
“I know lots of folks are just trying to figure out what they can do for themselves and their communities,” Toombs told us. “But this stressful time is also a time to share resources and lean on each other. Sending you all prayers for patience and peace in this time.”
EASTERN PA UMC ONLINE WORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES: (revised 3/14/20):
Linwood Heights United Methodist Church @ 10:45am Sunday
Via facebook: Linwood Heights United Methodist Church
FB Link also available via: http://www.linwoodumchurch.com/
Pastor Ethel F. Guy
Address: 1627 Chichester Ave., Linwood, PA 19061
Tabor United Methodist Church @ 8am and 10:45am Sunday
Listen online at http://taborumc.org/ – link at bottom of homepage
To listen to previous Services, create an account at www.Mixlr.com
Pastor Bob Amundsen
Address: PO Box 38, 2209 Hendricks Station Road, Woxall, PA 18979
Evangelical United Methodist Church (New Holland) @ 10:00am Sunday
Facebook live-stream via: https://www.facebook.com/EUMCNH/
Pastor Rob Stippich
Address: 276 W Main Street, New Holland, Pennsylvania
West Chester United Methodist Church @ 8:45am Sunday
Live-stream at umcwc.org — services then archived in YouTube
Address: 129 South High Street, West Chester, PA 19382
Asbury United Methodist Church @ 10:00am Sunday|
Live-stream at https://live.asburylv.org/
Senior Pastor Rev. Eric Yeakel
Pastor of Discipleship Rev. Barbara Lee
Address: 1533 Springhouse Rd., Allentown, PA, 18104
Hope United Methodist Church (Douglasville) @ 10:00am Sunday
*Intend to do Facebook Live – However, expect server to be overwhelmed *
So additionally working with Twitch (game-streaming site)
Twitch.tv/HopeChurch — Expect an advertisement (usually a game at start of each stream)
Expect quality and reliability should be much better
Pastor Lou Hornberger
Address: 117 N Monocacy Creek Rd Douglassville PA 19518