Meeting face to face . . . online

When we first took services online, technological limitations made it unwise for everyone to turn on video, so we asked people to leave it off. However, as bandwidth has increased and our team has become expert in large-group Zoom, we no longer need to do so. We’re always looking for ways to create a sense of community online, so we have conferred and agreed that service attendees can once again be allowed–in fact, encouraged–to turn on their video.

Here’s some helpful information to make video work well for you and others:

Photo by visuals on Unsplash
  • Your video on/off switch is a video-camera icon, usually found in the lower left of your Zoom screen. It controls whether your image is shown to others; it has no effect on whether you see the service and other attendees.
  • Remember, if your video is on, people can see everything you’re doing. Please be respectful, and aware that certain things that are fine in person, like eating, don’t translate well to video. The crew may turn it off if they spot something inappropriate (naked housemates wandering past . . . ) And if you prefer, you can always keep your video off, or turn it off briefly when needed. The tech crew can request that you turn video on, but they cannot turn it on without your consent.
  • Also please be aware that if your video is on, then video of you may be live streamed to Facebook at times during the service.
  • For most of the service (except during the greeting and benediction) your audio will be muted by our tech crew–otherwise the background noises quickly become overwhelming.
  • To make the most of this opportunity to see the rest of the community, use the “View” selection (probably in the upper right of your Zoom screen) to choose Gallery View. If you find others’ videos distracting, choose Speaker View.
  • If you find that Zoom slows down or stutters, then we advise turning off your video. Write to and they can help you before the next service.
  • Pets add charm but are completely optional.
  • Another nice way to maintain a visual presence even when your video is off is to include a photo in your Zoom profile. You will need a Zoom account, downloadable for free from Once signed in, choose Profile from the left sidebar, then Edit from the far right. Clicking on the photo box allows you to upload a photo.

Many thanks to Edith Eddy for raising this subject, and to Heather Chen for helpful tips.

SEE YOU on Sunday!