Coronavirus Updates: Critical Information, Resources, Tools and Tips
ESSENTIAL MESSAGES FROM BISHOP BICKERTON
Bishop's Statement on Latest Developments (March 17, 2020)
Mandated Suspension of in-person Worship Services for Two weeks (March 13, 2020)
Response to Rising Coronavirus Concerns in New Rochelle and Among Members of the New York Annual Conference (March 11, 2020)
GENERAL INTEREST: CHURCH RESPONSE TO COVID-19
Churches Adapting to COVID-19 Restrictions by Linda Bloom, Assistant News Editor for United Methodist News Service
COVID 19: Impact of Agency Gatherings, Support Extended to Staff and Ministries is a press release issued by UMC Global Ministries on March 17, 2020
CONNECTING TO YOUR CONGREGATION VIA TECHOLOGY
- Taking Your Worship Online: A Guide for Beginners and Everyone Else from Resource UMC
- Use Technology to Extend Worship Beyond the Sanctuary: Part 1 from Resource UMC
- How to Stream Worship Beyond the Sanctuary: Part 2 from Resource UMC (A deeper dive than Part 1, includes equipment recommendations, costs, etc.)
- Web Ministry: Privacy and Permissions from Resource UMC
- A Beginners Guide to Live Streaming for Churches (Video) and Live Streaming Setup for Small Churches are helpful primers from Jake Gosselin, creator of churchfront.com, a comprehensive online resource for worship leaders globally. The video offering is apt to be most useful for churches with a bit of a budget, but overall, Gosselin is a great resource for essential information on tech for churches.
- Live Stream on YouTube--Learn How to Get Started
- How to Use Facebook Live to Stream Your Church Services. Written in 2016, but this is still solid advice on how to get started. The author has added additional information at the end of the piece in response to inquiries from Churches new to streaming because of COVID-19.
- Tips for conducting virtual worship from NYAC Communications
- Simsbury UMC will live stream worship in lieu of in-person services
- How a Seattle UMC Live Streamed During Covid-19 Lockdown: Rev. Jeremy Smith, Hacking Christianity blogger, offers tips on setting up a church live stream
- Weathering winter (or coronavirus) with virtual worship: Tips from UM Communications on live streaming worship
- Creating an Online Faith Community
- Grow Your Church Online with a web ministry
- Amplify Media offers free video resources for Deep Blue Kids, Abingdon Lenten studies, and Spring Bible studies
LIVE STREAM BASICS AND OPTIONS
There are a dizzying number of streaming options, with more becoming available too quickly to count. For purposes of getting started quickly, you can't beat Facebook Live or YouTube Live, so there's detailed information below.
Simulated Live Streaming: You upload a pre-recorded video to a hosting service like Youtube or Vimeo, copy/paste the share URL into your web site's video section, and the platform will play the video like it is live.
Live Streaming Direct to Social Media Platforms, like Facebook Live, is a great way to meet immediate, short needs largely because it is easy to set up and your videos can be shared, which broadens your reach and exposure. Best of all, it's really simple; you can even mount your phone to get it done. If you’re streaming using a desktop computer or laptop, click inside the status update box at the top of your newsfeed and choose the “live video” icon from the menu. A browser window pops up, activating your computer’s webcam. For mobile users, you can use the Facebook app. Simply tap the “live” icon beneath the status update box. Write a description for your video, set your audience (Public, Friends, etc.), choose a filter, and press “start live video.”
YouTube Live is another easy option. Using a desktop computer, simply click on the recorder icon in the upper right hand corner, followed by “Go Live.” Next, select “Webcam,” enter a title and description for your stream, and choose a privacy setting. You can also choose to schedule your live stream for a later date, and choose from more options under Advanced Settings. Click “save” when you’re done, and then “Go Live” to begin streaming. Streaming to YouTube via the “Events” dashboard is ideal if you prefer to announce a planned event before it goes live. You can access or schedule a live stream via the Live Control room.
When your church is ready to graduate to a higher quality approach, it will require a "decent" financial investment. To stream your service live to your website, you will need to have a streaming provider, an encoder, a camera operated by someone who records the service and is familiar with or willing to learn the process. Your provider's platform will issue an embed code that will need to be copied/pasted into the video section of your church website. Below are just a handful of streaming providers, but you are encouraged to reach out to other churches for recommendations as well.
- Living As One
- Vimeo Live Stream
- Media Fusion
Have questions about how to proceed? Feel free to email NYAC for assistance.
MUSIC, LICENSING AND COPYRIGHT
- Six Myths About Copyrights that Can Put Your Church at Risk, an assessment from Christian Copyright Solutions
- 22 Most Frequently Asked Questions of Church Musicians, a resource from Discipleship Ministries
- A Collection of Public Domain Hymns, a 2007 resource from Discipleship Ministries
- Hymns by Year of Composition or Copyright, a PDF from Discipleship Ministries
- One License offers gratis music licenses through April 15, 2020
- One License FAQs. Including this link largely because it includes answers to a number of generally applicable questions about music licensing
- Christian Copyright Solutions, offers live stream or on-demand licenses for more than 25 million Christian and secular songs. Annual fee for a church of 199 or less congregants is $284 plus a one-time set up fee.
- Online Worship and Music Resources for Live Streaming, an extensive list of resources from UMC Discipleship Ministries
PROVIDING PASTORAL CARE
- Sample response plan for churches from Hamden Plains UMC in Connecticut
- COVID-19: 100 Ideas for Ministers and Ministry Leaders
- Combating the stigma and discrimination associated with coronavirus
- Mental health and coping during COVID-19
- Talking with children about coronavirus disease 2019
- People at higher risk and special populations
- A Coronavirus Prayer
- Hymns in Times of Crisis
INFO FROM HEALTH ORGANIZATIONS
New York State Department of Health website including county by county statistics and hotline phone number
Connecticut coronavirus website including county by county statistics
From the Centers for Disease Control main coronavirus website:
CDC resources for community and faith-based leaders including a checklist and cleaning recommendations
CDC resources for K-12 schools and childcare programs including a checklist and cleaning recommendations
CDC Posters to print and post on how to prevent the spread, symptoms, and what to do if you are sick
CDC resources for homeless shelters including interim guidance and cleaning recommendations
World Health Organization (WHO) webpage with news updates, Q&As, and online training how to fight the disease
Worldometer webpage: Live statistics and news tracking the number of confirmed cases, recovered patients, and death toll by country.