Click to access the current list of online worship opportunities throughout the Diocese of Virginia.
Share information about your worship services here.
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.
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 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
- Triduum Liturgical Planning from VTS. A two-part webinar. VTS's Lisa Kimball and Jim Farwell give guidance and models for Holy Week and Easter through YouTube videos and a Google Drive packed full of useful materials for parishes of all sizes and resources. Watch Part One. Part Two.
- Liturgical guidance from the Rev. Dr. James W. Farwell.
- Prayer for Spiritual Communion (available in English and Spanish): During the Eucharist service at the National Cathedral on March 15, people worshipping from home prayed this prayer written by St. Alphonsus de Liguori.
- One License Gratis Licenses: One License is providing two different gratis license options for those reprinting or streaming music during this time of modified worship services. These licenses are valid through April 15.
- Public Domain Hymn List: All of the hymns on this site are believed to be in the public domain, carry the Creative Commons type 3 or type 4 copyright, or have a conditional copyright that allows for free reproduction and use.
- Sermons That Work is a ministry of the Episcopal Church’s Office of Communication which provides free sermons, Bible studies, bulletin inserts and other resources that speak to congregations across the Church.
- Freeconferencecall.com: Sign up for a free account and receive a number that is available 24/7.
- EZ Texting: Get information out quickly to a large group with this text-version of the classic phone tree.