Live-streaming services draws in stay-at-homes

UUA Growth Strategist Tandi Rogers couldn’t make it to church one recent Sunday because of a sick child, so she looked around for the next best alternative. She found around a dozen congregations that were live-streaming their services in a time frame that worked for her.

She notes, “I hope more congregations will consider using this technology as a way to lower their walls and to connect to members who are unable to attend for a variety of reasons.” Read her full post on the Growing Unitarian Universalism blog.

The UUA’s website has resources for congregations considering live-streaming. To livestream a service you need a video camera, microphone (sound quality is more important than video quality), and the ability to upload to a free service like Ustream or Livestream.

Rogers notes that some congregations post their Order of Service. Some pan out to show the congregation and choir in addition to focusing on the speakers, and some allow online participants to engage in a real-time chat about the service.

Watch General Assembly 2012 live at home

Around fifteen events of General Assembly 2012, to be held in Phoenix in June 20-24, will be live-streamed—made available for viewing by Unitarian Universalists at home as each event happens. These will include opening and closing ceremonies, worship and business sessions, the Ware Lecture by Maria Hinojosa, and a forum for candidates for UUA moderator. A moderator will be elected at GA 2013.

Congregations across the country are invited to gather to watch GA coverage as it happens, including worship. Last year several congregations watched—and participated in—the GA Sunday worship in place of locally organized worship.

A list of events to be live-streamed is on UUA.org. Instructions and technical notes on how to receive these live-streams are also there. Read that information before determining if you can use a GA worship in place of a locally-organized worship.

Margy Levine Young, Web Team Manager for the UUA’s Information Technology Services, encourages congregations to test their systems in advance if they want to watch GA events live. She suggests using a video from GA 2011, available on UUA.org as a test. Congregations should also have a backup plan, she notes, in case the technology on either end fails. If you have questions before GA, write to web@uua.org.

If it’s not convenient for you to watch events live, you can go to UUA.org after an event and watch it anytime. The full video of a GA event will be posted online anywhere from 15 minutes to two hours after an event.

Young said the programming will also be useful to individual UUs and leadership groups. “We hope that groups of leaders who cannot attend GA will find it useful to gather during the assembly to watch some of this programming so they can learn along with the rest of us.”