HMUMC's Guide to Staying Connected
During these times of social distancing, we wall want to stay spiritually connected! We have identified several tools you can use to connect online with your Sunday School and Lifegroups.
If you have any questions about the various tools you see here, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Zoom is a conferencing tool that allows simple online meetings on an easy to use platform. Zoom is available for both Windows and Mac users and offers the option for people to call in utilizing their phones if they do not have smart phones, tablets, and desktops. Zoom also has the ability to schedule meetings and send invitations prior to your group chat. Please note that Zoom meetings are only free for 40minutes at the time of this writing.
To participate in a Zoom call, follow the link that your leader will email out to you. You do not have to download the app to participate, but it does provide a user-friendly environment. Zoom will help you test your video and your audio, so we recommend logging in a few minutes early to make sure everything is working properly. The key to a great Zoom experience is to follow all of the prompts that it gives you, and you should be able to navigate easily. When you receive the email invitation, follow the link provided and type in the Meeting ID Number. Here’s an example of what the invitation will look like:
Click on the button "Schedule a New Meeting." The below screen will appear:
Fill out the prompts with your group’s information, time for meeting, and other necessary categories. For meetings, make sure that Host is “on” and that audio is turned to “both.” When you are creating your first meeting, we do NOT recommend creating a password for your meetings. It will only complicate the process. When you have finished creating your meeting, click save. This screen will appear:
To invite your group, click “Copy the Invitation” on the right of the screen.
To invite your Sunday School class or LifeGroup, copy the invitation, and send the invitation to your normal email list and your group can utilize the link when it’s time for your meeting!
When it’s time for your meeting, login and click START.
Google Meet is a great option, especially for people who already have google emails, although that is not a requirement! It is a simple format and easy to utilize. There is not a time limit.
When you receive the invitation email, simply click the link and follow the prompts. It will ask you for access to your microphone and camera, make sure you allow permission so that you can utilize the platform fully.
Open up your web browser and go to google.com. Once there, click the upper right-hand corner to sign in on your google account. If you don’t have a google account, I recommend making one if you want to utilize Google Meet. Once signed in, an icon in the upper right-hand corner will appear. Hover over it and this menu bar will open:
Click on the “MEET” icon. Then click the button that says, “Join or Start a Meeting.” Name your meeting (i.e. LifeGroup, Sunday School, Devo Group) and allow permissions to utilize your microphone and camera. Once in, click Join Now. The following screen will either pop up or be an option in the bottom left hand corner:
Click Add People to add folks by email quickly and efficiently. If you don’t want to input emails, you can copy the information and send it out over your preferred platform. You can also let members Dial-In with your specific PIN number. This is a great way to include folks with no access to internet or without smart devices. As people “add” into your meeting, be prepared to be asked to approve them depending on your settings.
Option 3: Group FaceTime Calls (Apple Users Only)
Group FaceTime Calls are a good option for smaller numbers of people who all have Apple products. Please note that FaceTime will not work for Android or PC users. FaceTimes are a great way to stay connected with your family members as well!
You must have an updated iPhone, iPad, or MacBook to utilize Group FaceTime Calls. Please note, if your phone has not been updated you will not be able to utilize this resource.
Simply wait to receive a text message from your leader to join the FaceTime call. Accept the request and it will utilize your phone camera and microphone for the conversation. For best use, if you are not talking try to keep the microphone muted.
You can only do Group FaceTime through the FaceTime App.
Click on the FaceTime App and then click the plus sign in the top right corner.
Type in the names of your contacts. Wait for them to turn BLUE after typing in each name. If for some reason, after waiting 30seconds or so, a name does not appear in BLUE that means it is not compatible with FaceTime Group calling. Click the Video Button and the FaceTime Group Call will begin. The icons will appear below. As people answer your FaceTime, their faces will appear.
If one or several of your participants miss the invitation the first time, simply “RING” them.
RING sends another invitation to the individuals you select. By gently touching the area where the four icons appear (look for the small horizontal line as seen above) and pulling up, you will display this screen:
Click RING next to the names of those who have not answered and then swipe back down with the small horizontal bar at the top. We recommend practicing with one or two people before inviting your entire group!