Tips for Online Worship

Here are some tips and creative ideas for worshipping at a distance:

  • Worship in place at a specified time. Just knowing others are worshipping at the same time has some satisfaction. If the meeting has an email list, Friends can share their reflections afterwards.
  • For those who don't have a computer or choose not to Zoom, a one-on-one phone call with some silent worship can help maintain a connection
  • Considering offering one “high-tech” and one “low-tech” worship option; for example to worship via Zoom or to observing the same hour of worship without Zooming in
  • Create prayer partners to phone each other weekly to reflect on your worship experience
  • If some Friends want to participate in online worship but no one at the meeting would like to lead it, consider visiting another Meeting. Numerous online meetings for worship are listed here.
  • Set up a recurring meeting so the link for all worship opportunities stays the same
  • If you are sharing your Zoom access information broadly, ensure that the settings are such that users need the hosts permission to share their screen (this prevents unwanted images from being shared with the group)
  • Ask someone in your Meeting who has experience with Zoom to be available 15 minutes before the beginning of worship to orient Friends to the basic features
  • Invite far-flung members and former attenders to “visit” you for virtual worship
  • Considering using the breakout rooms feature for small group conversation, fellowship, worship sharing, or offering First Day School.
  • After worship, give people a five minute break to get a cup of tea or snack and then allow for fellowship or afterthoughts
  • If your group is larger than about six, you probably want to ask everyone to mute their microphone when they are not speak
  • There is a slight time lag when using Zoom, making singing difficult. If everyone sings together it can be a mess – but a joyful one! Another option is to mute everyone except the song leaders mic and to have everyone sing along with the leader. If the song has hand motions, everyone can do them.
  • If you can do it safely, have one person Zoom-in from the meetinghouse so that the familiar space is the background.

Below are select resources for connecting and worshipping virtually:

Tips for using Zoom This document created by our office manager Sara Hubner, of Gonic (NH) Meeting, gives her best tips for new Zoom users.

["How To" use Zoom Tried and true resource from Western Friend (2017).]

Being the Church Online This website created by Fresh Pond (MA) Friend Kathleen Wooten offers a collection of resources for digital worship, fellowship, pastoral care, and decision-making.

Pandemic Practices & Strategies Beacon Hill (MA) Friend Lisa Graustein is sharing spiritual practices for staying grounded and connected through this pandemic as well as resources and organizing strategies for resilient communities.

Emily Provance online offerings Emily Provance is a Quaker traveling minister and blogger from New York City. She is offering ways you can connect with others virtually include daily family devotionals and virtual workshops and retreats.

from New England Yearly Meeting (3/21/2020)