A number of Church of the Brethren congregations already offer live streaming of worship services. Now those congregations are in a position to be able to offer worship and fellowship online in the event in-person worship services are canceled because of the coronavirus.
The denomination’s one fully online congregation is the Living Stream church. The pastoral team of the congregation has offered strategies for other churches to continue in fellowship while quarantined or isolated. One way is to find another Church of the Brethren with which to worship over the Internet. Another option is to set up a way that your congregation can still share services over the Internet directly with your own members.
“The most significant advantage to this option is that your local faith community would still be able to be in touch with each other,” said the Living Stream pastoral team. “Options could include Facebook Live, YouTube Live, or–perhaps best of all for smaller congregations–a Zoom video conference meeting. Some of these options might take a little time to set up (for instance, a YouTube Live channel must first pass a verification process), so preparing a contingency plan ahead of time is recommended.”
The Living Stream pastoral team and “tech deacons” are offering to help other congregations that may have questions or need assistance to put their own online worship in place. Contact assistance@LivingStreamCOB.org . The Living Stream church worships online at 5 p.m. (Pacific time) every Sunday evening; go to www.LivingStreamCOB.org .
Other congregations that offer online worship experiences include, among others, Beacon Heights Church of the Brethren in Fort Wayne, Ind., and Elizabethtown (Pa.) Church of the Brethren. Elizabethtown is extending an invitation for other congregations to join them in worship at 10:30 a.m. [Eastern time] on Sunday mornings, go to www.etowncob.org and click the yellow Live Stream button to watch.
The Church of the Brethren communications staff are collecting a list of congregations offering online worship experiences for posting on the denominational website. Please send your congregation name, city, state, and the link for online worship to firstname.lastname@example.org . A list of online worship opportunities will be added to “Find a Church” at www.brethren.org/church .
A note about ethical use of music resources:
While many congregations have purchased hymnals and the music for worship, owning these materials does not include the permissions to stream the performance of that music to a wider audience. Even printing the words in a handout or posting them on a screen requires permission.
This is important as our congregation ethics polity asks that congregations seek permissions when using resources and music.
Thankfully, this is an easy issue to resolve. There are two main providers for permissions to use music in worship: OneLicense and CCLI provide permissions to reprint and other streaming licensing. Both service providers have two different licensing products–one just for reprinting permissions and another that includes streaming rights.
Both these services, and any effort to reach composers, authors, or publishers for resources not covered by OneLicense or CCLI, assure that the work is compensated.
From now through April 15, OneLicense is offering a gratic license to churches to help cope with COVID-19 challenges. Go to https://news.onelicense.net/2020/03/13/one-license-offers-gratis-licenses-to-help-cope-with-covid-19-challenges-valid-through-april-15.
— Josh Brockway, Discipleship Ministries
Free webinars scheduled next week to help churches through this crisis:
Tuesday, March 17, 2 p.m. (Eastern time)
From “Protect My Church” the webinar is titled “Is Your Church Prepared for Coronavirus?”
Go to https://zoom.us/webinar/register/6015838468184/WN_zoPqCHIETzazztiZe-4sQw
Wednesday, March 18, 1:30 p.m. (Eastern time)
From “Fresh Expressions” and “Missio Alliance” the webinar is titled “How Your Church Can Be Faithful During Coronavirus”
The webinar brings together a scientist, health expert, and church leader to help congregations navigate the COVID-19 issue.
Go to https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_vD-XF8JfTJ-rzjB1mQaTBA?goal=0_eb9d1fd14e-c9dd1051ad-1205894029&mc_cid=c9dd1051ad&mc_eid=7f3728515d
— Stan Dueck, Discipleship Ministries