Virtual best practices during quarantine

Some discussions just don't fit into a well defined box. Use this forum to discuss general topics and issues revolving around the Church and the technology offerings we use and share.
User avatar
wrigjef
Senior Member
Posts: 573
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 8:38 am
Location: Chesapeake, Virginia

Virtual best practices during quarantine

Postby wrigjef » Thu Jun 11, 2020 6:26 pm

Our Bishopric is interested in doing some benchmarking and getting input regarding virtual meetings and youth activities. What are some best practices related to running a virtual ward sacrament meeting (without the sacrament) using a tool such as zoom. What are other units doing to keep the primary active?

As this is a technical forum, even though these issues are addressed using technology, It would seem that perhaps we could use a separate forum for this type of exchange. However if this is the right place, I’d be interested in hearing what people are doing.

russellhltn
Community Administrator
Posts: 29077
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:53 pm
Location: U.S.

Re: Virtual best practices during quarantine

Postby russellhltn » Thu Jun 11, 2020 6:37 pm

wrigjef wrote:It would seem that perhaps we could use a separate forum for this type of exchange.

It will depend on the number of messages. We try to open new sections as traffic warrants.

While I've read of some wards doing activity; in my own stake, if there's anything happening, I haven't heard about it. I know the Institute has been holding on-line night classes.
Have you searched the Help Center? Try doing a Google search and adding "site:churchofjesuschrist.org/help" to the search criteria.

So we can better help you, please edit your Profile to include your general location.

davesudweeks
Senior Member
Posts: 1855
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 8:16 pm
Location: Oklahoma, USA

Re: Virtual best practices during quarantine

Postby davesudweeks » Thu Jun 11, 2020 7:15 pm

Not related to running virtual Sunday meetings, but to the question of keeping the primary active:

The ward primary presidents in our stake have been very creative at keeping the children engaged to the best of their ability. Our ward has a private Facebook page and we have done primary talent shows, family history activities, etc. through posting pics and videos on FB. The current activity is a "flat bishop" that is being passed around the children's homes to post a pic of what activity they did with the "bishop." "He" has gone to the zoo, participated in a home science project, and played with lego dinosaurs so far. Our primary president posts the weekly Come Follow Me study guide from the church website. Our Activity Days girls had a virtual bake-off where they baked with their mothers and then posted pics of the result for everyone to share.

My wife is stake primary president so if anyone is interested in what she is seeing with the wards in our stake, send me a PM with your contact information and I'll ask her to reach out to you (she is not on this forum). She checks in regularly with the ward and branch primary presidents in our stake.

User avatar
wrigjef
Senior Member
Posts: 573
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 8:38 am
Location: Chesapeake, Virginia

Re: Virtual best practices during quarantine

Postby wrigjef » Thu Jun 11, 2020 7:33 pm

I’m going to pass some of that along. Our ward is having its first ward meeting via zoom Sunday but my brothers ward has been having them from the start of this thing. His Stake bought a couple of large capacity zoom accounts, they have now expanded to 4. He conducts from his study at home and they have talks and everything but the sacrament. Music gets tricky sometimes but they have a lot of special, family, musical numbers and sometimes just play words and music from the music app and put the words on the screen so families can sing along in their homes. That ward also runs Wednesday night fireside with Q&A group discussions after the speaker. In addition to being a Bishop, my brother is also a best selling author so he can get some pretty big names to be speakers.

Our ward is planning to have a 5 min pause so the sacrament can be administered in homes. We don’t know how the meeting is going to work for us so the Bishop wanted me to reach out and see what other units are doing.

lajackson
Community Moderators
Posts: 9633
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 9:27 pm
Location: US

Re: Virtual best practices during quarantine

Postby lajackson » Thu Jun 11, 2020 7:48 pm

wrigjef wrote:What are some best practices related to running a virtual ward sacrament meeting (without the sacrament) using a tool such as zoom.

I know of two area presidents who have said this is not supposed to be happening. We are not supposed to be attempting to replicate any of the regular large Sunday meetings.

Other than that, one primary teacher is taking materials around to her ward Primary class each week and leaving them on the doorstep. One Young Women president is Zooming (I guess that is a word now) with her Young Women on a regular basis, mostly to visit and see how they are doing, not trying to replicate a Sunday YW meeting.

Our elders quorum is sending out a weekly email. The presidency is still selecting a general conference talk for each 2nd and 4th Sunday and our quorum instructor is providing a summary of the talk and a set of questions to think about. The email before the 1st and 3rd Sundays includes a reminder of where we should be in the Sunday School Come Follow Me curriculum.

Members of the ward are making a specific effort to telephone other members occasionally to see how they are doing. A lot of texting and emailing is also going on. Whenever I happen to think about a member and wonder how they are doing, I make it a point to contact them and find out. Before, I would have waited until Sunday and checked with them at Church.

If I lived in an area where members were concentrated, I would probably walk around the block regularly and wave at everyone.

The single adults in our region are holding firesides, game nights, and other activities on a regular basis via Zoom. I have attended more of them than I ever would because I usually have to drive 2-1/2 hours each way to get to them.

For large groups, Zoom seems to be the favored method. There is a way to do some things on Facebook (one instructor is teaching an Institute class that way) but FB is a non-starter for me. I have not used Google Meet but I hear it is every bit as good as Zoom and if you are cheap with a free Zoom account, Google does not limit you to 40 minutes at a time. I am finding that many have regular Zoom accounts through work and other organizations that are willing to share without the time limit.

Our leaders are using Zoom for presidency and bishopric meetings and ward councils.

Those are the things that come immediately to mind.

russellhltn
Community Administrator
Posts: 29077
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:53 pm
Location: U.S.

Re: Virtual best practices during quarantine

Postby russellhltn » Thu Jun 11, 2020 8:13 pm

lajackson wrote:I know of two area presidents who have said this is not supposed to be happening. We are not supposed to be attempting to replicate any of the regular large Sunday meetings.

And they are the presiding authority in their area.

However, the Letter dated March 16, 2020 titled "Temporary Changes to Missionary Service" has some interesting mentions on the second page that opens the door to interpretation of the March 12th "no meetings" letter.


As I understand it, Zoom still has the 40 minute warning, but the meetings themselves are not limited. Just ignore the warning (for now).
Have you searched the Help Center? Try doing a Google search and adding "site:churchofjesuschrist.org/help" to the search criteria.

So we can better help you, please edit your Profile to include your general location.

User avatar
wrigjef
Senior Member
Posts: 573
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 8:38 am
Location: Chesapeake, Virginia

Re: Virtual best practices during quarantine

Postby wrigjef » Thu Jun 11, 2020 8:42 pm

Our area authority has essentially opened up the options with the caution that what works for one unit is not necessarily what another unit needs and to not compare. For a long time our Bishop was very set on allowing members to focus on the “home centered” direction, but lately he is venturing into “church supported”.

lajackson
Community Moderators
Posts: 9633
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 9:27 pm
Location: US

Re: Virtual best practices during quarantine

Postby lajackson » Fri Jun 12, 2020 7:51 am

russellhltn wrote:As I understand it, Zoom still has the 40 minute warning, but the meetings themselves are not limited. Just ignore the warning (for now).

The first time, yes. The second time you try it, when the 40 minutes arrive, zap. Your meeting ends. At least that is what happens to me.

I decided if I really need longer I will switch to Google Meet.

User avatar
sbradshaw
Senior Member
Posts: 5009
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 8:42 pm
Location: Utah
Contact:

Re: Virtual best practices during quarantine

Postby sbradshaw » Fri Jun 12, 2020 8:39 am

wrigjef wrote:For a long time our Bishop was very set on allowing members to focus on the “home centered” direction, but lately he is venturing into “church supported”.

wrigjef wrote:Our ward is planning to have a 5 min pause so the sacrament can be administered in homes.

I think meeting as a ward is OK if your area presidency is supportive, but this level of structure for a remote sacrament meeting feels like it may be crossing the line from church-supported to church-centered. I wouldn't recommend having a remote sacrament meeting with a slot for the sacrament. If your ward has a sacrament meeting, I'd recommend encouraging members to partake of the sacrament as a family before or after the ward meeting (and I probably wouldn't call the ward meeting a sacrament meeting).

My ward holds shortened Sunday school and elders quorum / Relief Society meetings on Sundays via Zoom, and occasional activities via Zoom during the week.
Samuel Bradshaw • If you desire to serve God, you are called to the work.

User avatar
wrigjef
Senior Member
Posts: 573
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 8:38 am
Location: Chesapeake, Virginia

Re: Virtual best practices during quarantine

Postby wrigjef » Fri Jun 12, 2020 8:59 am

lajackson wrote:
russellhltn wrote:As I understand it, Zoom still has the 40 minute warning, but the meetings themselves are not limited. Just ignore the warning (for now).

The first time, yes. The second time you try it, when the 40 minutes arrive, zap. Your meeting ends. At least that is what happens to me.

I decided if I really need longer I will switch to Google Meet.


The 40 minute limit is for free accounts. Our stake has purchased two 300 user accounts and my brothers stake has purchased four 300 user accounts. Units use them on a rotating basis.


Return to “General Discussions”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests