Zoom is an affordable paid service that has both streaming and meeting capabilities. It is used by the UUA, its affiliates and many member congregations. At minimum, you will need a laptop computer, a webcam, Wi-Fi, and a Zoom account.
Participants will need the Zoom link and to download the free Zoom software to access the livestream.
- Free to participants
- Many extra features:
- Share screen
- Share video (including sound)
- Chat function
- Breakout rooms
- Excellent tech support
- The recording can be available for later viewing
- You can only use materials for which you have the copyright.
- Livestream to YouTube or Facebook
- Closed Caption Services
Setting Up Zoom
Zoom has an excellent support section that will guide you.
Zoom also has new beginner tutorials, demos, and training sessions.
Download the meeting client from Zoom's website (this page has different versions for different platforms).
Keep Out Trolls!
You want people to be able to find the link to your Sunday Service. Unfortunately, bad actors have been "Zoom Bombing" church services with profanity, nudity and pornography. Be sure to adjust your settings so this doesn't happen to you! Here are additional instructions.
Many congregations are using the breakout room function to "greet a neighbor" at the beginning and for fellowship after the service.
- Sign in to the Zoom web portal as an administrator with the privilege to edit account settings.
- Click Account Management > Account Settings.
- Scroll down to the Breakout Room option on the Meeting tab and verify that the setting is enabled.
- If the setting is disabled, click the toggle to enable it. If a verification dialog displays, choose Turn On to verify the change.
- (Optional) Click the checkbox to allow meeting hosts to pre-assign participants to breakout rooms.
- (Optional) If you want to make this setting mandatory for all users in your account, click the lock icon, and then click Lock to confirm the setting.
- Foothills Unitarian in Fort Collins Colorado offers helpful instructions for participants.
- Northland UU Church in Kirkland, Washington created an online worship service in response to the local outbreak of COVID-19 and posted the details of what they did on a March 2020 blog post.
- Peter Bowden's Webinar Online Zoom Worship? Zoom Meeting versus Webinar (12:37)
- Enriching Online Worship
- Pastor Sarah's Tips on Church Zoom Etiquette (Facebook video)
- Webinar Videos for Leaders:
- How to Do Small Group Online Gatherings - MidAmerica Region - Phil Lund and Sharon Dittmar
- Virtual Gatherings for Small Congregations - MidAmerica Region
- Digital Giving - MidAmerica Region - Sharon Dittmar
- Host A Virtual Game Night - MidAmerica Region - Phil Lund
- How to Do Congregational Meetings on Zoom - Lisa Presley
- Virtual Circle Process - Nancy Combs-Morgan and Phil Lund
- For hardware setup details, see Streaming Sunday Services - Technical Tips.