MH Webcast to address COVID-19 restrictions?

Discussions around receiving, originating, and holding Church broadcasts and conferences in meetinghouses including schedules, setup, equipment, and support.
shanebankhead
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MH Webcast to address COVID-19 restrictions?

Postby shanebankhead » Sun Mar 15, 2020 8:33 pm

I'm trying to find out if it would be appropriate to use the MH Webcast system to help avoid large church meetings as directed. My stake presidency is asking me about options for cases where meetings may be necessary. The primary concern is funerals, since these cannot be cancelled or postponed, and most of the attendees would be high-risk individuals. But this also may extend to other meetings where they may want to conduct a meeting remotely.

Has there been any direction on this? I know from previous inquiries that the webcast system is primarily for large conferences, and smaller-scale use is generally discouraged. But I think given the situation, that they may be able to allow some leeway in the policy. The only hint about this is from the First Presidency letter: "Where possible, leaders should conduct any essential leadership meetings via technology." So can I assume this includes more general use of MH webcast? I just want to make sure we don't get shut down for improper use. Let me know if you have any comments or advice.

russellhltn
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Re: MH Webcast to address COVID-19 restrictions?

Postby russellhltn » Sun Mar 15, 2020 10:28 pm

The General Handbook is pretty straightforward:
35.4.15
Taking photographs or making video recordings in chapels is not permitted. Meetings and other events that are held in the chapel may not be broadcast over the internet or by any other means (see 29.3.1 and 29.6.4 for exceptions).

The exceptions are stake conference and allowing a missionary to see a family funeral.

I'll note that the church Webcast portal doesn't have any settings for a webcast on bishop's authority - only stake president or higher.

0.4
Questions about information in this handbook or about issues that are not addressed should be directed to the immediate presiding authority.


I don't believe the stake president has the authority to override the Handbook. I suggest he discusses it with the area authority.

I have little doubt that as the weeks pass that instructions will be forthcoming. Perhaps at General Conference.
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shanebankhead
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Re: MH Webcast to address COVID-19 restrictions?

Postby shanebankhead » Sun Mar 15, 2020 11:45 pm

Absolutely, I understand that is the general policy. My point was that given the extreme and unprecedented situation, that some temporary exception is probably in order. The way I read it, the letter from the first presidency would suggest this is the case, but no detail is given (yet, as far as I know, which is why I asked...). I'm looking forward to more direction soon.

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Re: MH Webcast to address COVID-19 restrictions?

Postby russellhltn » Mon Mar 16, 2020 12:23 am

shanebankhead wrote:My point was that given the extreme and unprecedented situation, that some temporary exception is probably in order.

Probably. But there's no decision-makers here, nor anyone with the authority to make new policy.

shanebankhead wrote:The way I read it, the letter from the first presidency would suggest this is the case,

I only see mention of "essential leadership meetings" and "Further direction related to other matters will be provided.' We'll have to wait for the latter.

No doubt, when that happens, someone will make note of it somewhere here in this forum.
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miken2av
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Re: MH Webcast to address COVID-19 restrictions?

Postby miken2av » Wed Mar 25, 2020 2:22 pm

I came here looking for thoughts and ideas on this very question. I think the points from the handbook are well taken and until someone says otherwise that is what we should follow. It is tempting with all the technology we have available to want to answer all the issues we face with technology. However, the Come Follow Me program is what we have been given to study and learn at home. We also have years of conference talks we can look back on and review. I think for people who live alone and can use technology it should be encouraged to find a study partner. That could be done easily with one are more people on hangouts, zoom, and many other platforms. People who aren't good with technology we could reach out to over the phone. You could read or pray together that way as well.

Communications from Stake and Ward leaders can be done via Facebook and email. Care should be taken to make sure to inform those who may not have access to or be able to use technology. The inspired Ministering program should be used to keep in touch with everyone and make sure needs both physical and spiritual are met.

Me, I am a technology junkie and like solving problems with tech. It is my job at work. So, it is hard for me to not want to go rogue or suggest to my Bishop or Stake President things we could do on various platforms. Thanks RUSSELLHLTN for helping keep me on track. :D :D :D

Stay Healthy :D

russellhltn
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Re: MH Webcast to address COVID-19 restrictions?

Postby russellhltn » Wed Mar 25, 2020 3:00 pm

Thanks.

I noticed some unexpected nuggets in the Official Communication Library: Notice, 16 March 2020: Temporary Changes to Missionary Service

Regarding baptisms: For now, we can use technology to show the event to family members and loved ones.

In another paragraph, (talking about counting sacrament attendance for baptisms) it seems to indicate that sacrament could be carried via technology, but gives no details. It might be referring to the series the church did awhile back where they broadcasted a staged service. But I've seen at least one post here that indicates the area authority had authorized them to do it.

Now, I don't think there's any prohibition against leaders communicating to their members. I would take steps to make sure the talk is limited in audience and how long it would be available as they only have the keys for their ward/stake - not the keys to speak to the world. If precautions are taken, I think there would be some flexibility in creative solutions during these unusual times. (But it would be safest to run it past the area authority first.)
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Re: MH Webcast to address COVID-19 restrictions?

Postby Mikerowaved » Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:57 pm

russellhltn wrote:If precautions are taken, I think there would be some flexibility in creative solutions during these unusual times.

I offered to my stake president the availability to come to my home and have his message webcast to the stake, while adhering to the practice of social distancing. I also let him know this offer extended to any bishops in the stake wishing to address their ward with a spiritual thought, inspirational video, or anything to bolster their Sabbath Day.
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