Last March, when we were thrust into a pandemic-driven online worship service, we quickly cobbled together a technical approach to make that happen by streaming our worship leaders from the Sanctuary to our Facebook page. Shortly thereafter, when even that proved too risky, we introduced Zoom into the mix to allow worship leaders to stay home and conduct worship. We have pretty much operated in that mode for a year now with worshipers participating in our online services via both Zoom and Facebook.
Now that we have our eyes set on returning to the Sanctuary with limited, reserved, socially-distanced seating we are also re-designing our online streaming approach to simplify the technical solution and improve the worshiping experience.
Beginning May 16 we will no longer use Zoom as part of our solution, and we will also migrate our streaming from Facebook to YouTube. The removal of Zoom from the mix greatly simplifies the actual streaming operation and allows us to avoid some of the audio issues we’ve encountered as we have started live-streaming our outdoor services. YouTube, of course, is inherently a more capable online video platform, since that has been its primary purpose from the beginning. We already store/host our pre-recorded services on YouTube and have a growing library of online video content. Also, in the past few years many ‘smart’ devices enable the viewing of YouTube content on capable TVs, enhancing the viewing experience for many households and families.
As it was with Facebook and Zoom, you don’t have to have a YouTube account to watch our services on YouTube. But also, like Facebook/Zoom, you will need a YouTube/Google account to utilize the online chat feature.
We will keep using Zoom for online meetings and will keep using Facebook as our primary social media platform, including postings about weekly worship services which will link you over to YouTube as appropriate. Also, the Sunday email blasts will include the appropriate links for viewing the online service that day.
We recognize that change can be difficult or frustrating, but we firmly believe this solution will serve all of us better over the long term. If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to let us know.