Congregations Can Watch General Assembly Events Live
Video from fourteen major events at General Assembly (GA), the Unitarian Universalist Association’s (UUA) annual gathering of congregations June 23–27 in Minneapolis, will be streamed as they occur. Congregations are encouraged to gather and view these events online as they actually occur or watch video of the events later.
One of the events is the GA Sunday morning worship service, which will occur from 9 to 10:15 a.m. Central Daylight Time on June 27. This gives congregations the option of using this service as their regular Sunday service. East Coast congregations would have to meet at 10 a.m. EDT, while West Coast congregations would need to gather at 7 a.m. PDT. All of the events will also be available for later viewing a few hours after they occur.
Other events to be live-streamed include seven plenary (business) sessions, the Opening Worship on Wednesday, the Service of the Living Tradition on Thursday, three other worship services during the week, the Ware Lecture at 8 p.m. on Saturday, and the Closing Celebration at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday.
Congregations that would like to watch any of the 14 events are urged to go first to the General Assembly website on UUA.org where they will find a complete list of the live-streamed events as well as technical information about receiving them.
Margy Levine Young, systems analyst with the UUA’s Information Technology Services, reminds viewers that specific conditions must be met to assure a quality presentation in a congregational setting. That includes a computer that can display the video, a projector bright enough to look good in morning light, a sound system that can be connected to the computer, and an Internet connection in the worship space that is fast enough to receive the streaming video without buffering pauses.
She encourages congregations to test their systems in advance using either another GA live-streamed event or one from GA 2009, available on UUA.org. Congregations should also have a backup plan, she notes, in case the technology on their end fails to work. That could include a sing-along, or other type of service. No technical assistance will be available from the UUA during GA since most technicians will be working at the meeting. Several members of the UUA-sponsored Websters email list have agreed to help congregations with technical questions before and during GA. Join Websters to ask for help.
One congregation that viewed GA events live last year was the Jefferson Unitarian Church in Golden, CO, the church of now-UUA President the Rev. Peter Morales. Tom Vincent, who handled technical aspects of live-streaming there, says everything worked well using the church’s wireless network.