Virtual Worship

Participate in Worship Online
Streaming Platforms
Liturgy and Music
Sermons from the Bishop's Online Chapel 
Additional Resources


Participate in Worship Online

Click to access the current list of online worship opportunities throughout the Diocese of Virginia. 

Share information about your worship services here

Streaming Platforms

If you’re looking to interact with folks in your congregation consider the facility of each platform. Facebook and Zoom are available through internet browsers and as apps so they can be used on computers, tablets and mobile phones. Check out these tips and tricks for live streaming cheaply and effectively. Need more help? The office of Lifelong Learning at Virginia Theological Seminary has regularly-scheduled open office hours on Thursdays from 1:15-2:45 p.m. Additional office hours have been added for Tuesdays from 6:30-7:30 p.m. and Fridays from 12-1 p.m.

Facebook Live

You can stream conversation or a meeting using Facebook Live on your personal or church Facebook page. You can "go live" at any time or you can schedule a time to go live so that you alert your followers. Interaction with participants can only be through their comments. Facebook Live events are kept in your Facebook feed afterwards. This guide has step-by-step instructions with pictures to guide you through the process. These additional tips are also available. 

  • Invite parishioners to host a watch party: Facebook has a feature where people can host a “watch party” and virtually attend/watch an event together. Encouraging parishioners to host their own watch parties can expand your church’s reach beyond just those who like your church – all the friends of those who host a watch party will get the chance to join in worship. People are often amazed at who joins in a watch party – it’s a virtual way of inviting your neighbors to church!
  • Invite people to like your Facebook page: There are two main ways to invite people to like your church's Facebook Page: you can invite a friend or invite someone who has reacted to one of your page's post. When you see someone new has "liked" one of your church's posts, you can invite them to like your page and stay connected to your church's virtual community. 
  • Facebook resources for faith communities: Facebook has gathered resources that are specifically helpful for bringing together faith communities during this time of physical distancing. The list includes pointers on staying in touch with your community, building community through Facebook Groups, and using Facebook fundraisers to raise support for your church. 

Zoom

Zoom is a conferencing platform. The basic version is free and hosts up to 100 participants for up to 40 minutes at a time. If you choose, you can interact with participants using Zoom through video, voice and chat. You can also record your Zoom call and send the recording out to others at a later time. Zoom has free trainings to learn how to use and optimize its platform.

  • Remember to model safeguarding practices: This checklist includes 11 tips for safe ZOOM gatherings. Also from VTS eFormation, check out this 4 minute video: Safe Church and Online Spaces: a few guidelines!  
  • Going Virtual with God: In addition to pointers about working with Zoom, this video and slide deck from Mark Seip at St. Andrew’s, Arlington, also gives great tips about : picking a location, getting good film quality, getting the word out to parishioners, online service bulletins and more.
  • Connecting Zoom to Facebook Live: If your church is hosting worship on Zoom, you can connect that Zoom service to Facebook Live, making worship more accessible to those who want to worship with you. The Rev. Stacy Williams-Duncan, Rector of Little Fork, Rixeyville, walks you through this process in this video tutorial
  • Curated Zoom resource page: This document gives links to information on zoom basics, types of accounts, equipment considerations and much more. 
  • How to use a virtual background: Step-by-step instructions on how to set a photo of your church as your virtual background, from the Rev. Canon Mary Thorpe.

How to Count Online Services for Parochial Reports 

Message from Canon Michael Barlowe, Executive Officer of the Episcopal Church General Convention 

Liturgy and Music

Sermons from the Bishop's Online Chapel 

The Bishop's Online Chapel provides weekly sermons specific to each Sunday that clergy can use to incorporate into their online services. They are available as video, audio-only and text. To access the sermons in a variety of formats, click here.  

Here is the schedule of preachers: 

7/5/2020 5th Sunday after Pentecost Bishop Susan Goff, Bishop Suffragan and Ecclesiastical Authority
7/12/2020 6th Sunday after Pentecost United Thank Offering Monthly Sermon Series: The Rev. Canon Heather L. Melton, Episcopal Church Staff Officer for the United Thank Offering (Text only)
7/19/2020 7th Sunday after Pentecost The Rt. Rev. Porter Taylor, Assisting Bishop
7/26/2020 8th Sunday after Pentecost The Rev. Becky McDaniel, Chaplain, St. Catherine's School, Richmond
8/2/2020 9th Sunday after Pentecost Mr. Ed Keithly, Vocational Development Minister
8/9/2020 10th Sunday after Pentecost The Rev. Whitney Edwards, Upper School Chaplain, St. Christopher's School, Richmond
8/16/2020 11th Sunday after Pentecost The Rev. Dr. Mary Brennan Thorpe, Canon to the Ordinary
8/23/2020 12th Sunday after Pentecost TBD
8/30/2020 13th Sunday after Pentecost Bishop Susan Goff, Bishop Suffragan and Ecclesiastical Authority
Bilingual sermon
9/6/2020 14th Sunday after Pentecost TBD
     

Additional Resources