Friends General Conference

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Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)

Instructions and Advices for Online Worship

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For the health and protection of our Meeting community and to support the public health of the wider community in the face of the Coronavirus pandemic, Bloomington Friends Meeting has suspended in-person worship.  We are experimenting with using online worship as an alternative, using the Zoom conferencing service. Many in our community are familiar with Zoom; some are not. For those who are not, instructions for how to set up and join a Zoom conference follow at the end.

Some have participated in meetings of various kinds on Zoom; few have participated in a meeting for worship on Zoom.  To help establish and sustain the quality of worship, we have prepared some advices below.  

For the call-in information, see the email sent out in advance of each meeting.  Zoom security changes now require a password for entry into all meetings. Or use email to request the call-in information.

Advices for Participating in Online Worship

  • Enter the meeting in silence as you would for an in-person meeting for worship. Do not introduce yourself when you enter.

  • Keep your device on mute unless you are speaking.  The “host” has the ability to mute and unmute any participant.  Background noise such as dogs barking or cell phones ringing can be very disruptive to the spirit of worship and make it hard to hear.

  • If you are led to speak

    • As always, allow some silence after any preceding message to allow it to settle in our hearts.

    • Unmute your device.  

    • Introduce yourself, simply saying “This is <your name.> (Some may participate by phone, so it especially helps them.)

    • Unfortunately, Zoom does not support multiple people speaking (or singing) at the same time. An annoying cacophony results from very short time lags and Zoom’s feature that tries to adjust volume to feature the primary speaker.

    • Mute your device when you are done.  (The host may do so if you forget.)

  • Continuing in worship, the person on the facing bench will also joys and concerns. Continue to follow the same advices for speaking.
  • If you need to get the attention of the host or clerk for any reason, use the chat feature and choose to whom to address your message.  If you are using only a phone to connect, consider texting the host first; unmute and speak to the group, if necessary.

Instructions for Setting Up Zoom and Joining a Zoom Conference

  • Set up Zoom in advance of the meeting time.  Allow 15 minutes at least. Allow more if you think you may need assistance.  Please avoid using the link above to try out or test Zoom; another meeting may be in progress or about to start at the time you’re doing that.  Instead, try using 

  • Familiarize yourself with the Zoom features you will use during the meeting, such as muting and unmuting, starting and stopping your video, controlling what you see, and the chat feature.  You can access these features by tapping your screen of your mobile device or moving your mouse on your computer.  Options will appear above and below the video content.  For muting/unmuting, the clickable link will always show what your not doing, so if you're unmuted, it will say "mute" and if you're muted it will say "unmute"

  • Use only one audio connection per room, ensuring all other microphones and speakers are muted. (For example, you might have more than one person in a room and might be tempted to each use your own device to connect.)

Download and Install to your Computer or Mobile Device

Joining the Meeting on a Computer or Mobile Device

  • For the call-in information, see the email sent out in advance of each meeting. It will contain a clickable link that has the password embedded in it.  You may also email for link.  The link for Worship is contained on this website in the Private Section.  Request access to Private Content and follow the directions. It may take several days to be  granted access by the BFM Website Administrator.  

  • Zoom security changes now require a password for entry into all meetings. 

  • A new tab or window will open in your browser, which will then automatically open the software you installed and connect you to the meeting.  Follow the prompts. If your computer audio is not working, you may also call in by phone: follow the directions given by the Zoom app.  If you can't use computer audio, follow Zoom app instructions for dialing in by phone.

Participating by phone

  • Participating with video by Zoom app is helpful but not required.

  • To join by phone, call the number listed in each Zoom meeting announcement, enter the Meeting ID and Password provided.

  • For the call-in information, see the email sent out in advance of each meeting.  Zoom security changes now require a password for entry into all meetings. 

  • To mute or unmute your phone, dial *6

  • At the end of the call, just hang up.

Additional Resources

Quakers and COVID-19

Online Worship