Digital Guide to Worship

Digital worship in your area

The List is Growing...

If you haven't tried to participate in worship by live steam - there's no time like the present! Here's a collection of churches in The Atlantic District that are currently streaming worship live. Past services, in many cases, are also available for viewing.

Immanuel Lutheran Church in Niskayuna, NY

Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Delmar

Live Streaming & Archived Services

Trinity, Glen Cove

The Life Lutheran Church, Old Westbury

Sunday Worship and Compline

King of Glory, Williamsburg

Friends of the District, Live Streaming only

Resurrection Lutheran Church, Garden City

Sunday and Wednesday Services available

Trinity, Hicksville

St. Peter's, Brooklyn

True Light NYC

English and Cantonese Worship

Everyone Loves a Hymn-Sing!

In addition to joining your church remotely, Every Tuesday, the Getty Family live-streams a hymn-sing via Facebook Live. Download the lyric sheet and more from their website. 

Getting Started with Digital Worship

Perhaps you're the 'Tech Person' in your church, perhaps you're a pastor or deacon. Getting started with digital worship will look different for every church, but it's easier than ever to get started. Here's a few guidelines to those who are exploring to get you started quickly

Live Streaming for the Beginner

There are options available for any budget, ranging from full-on production suites to simple turn-key solutions. Not to make this a 'choose your own adventure' project - but certain decisions do need to be made. Here's a few guidelines for getting started:

1. Pick a streaming platform

...and then practice! (Some known suggestions below)

2. Internet Connection

You'll need a stable internet connection. If you are in an area with a strong cellular signal (like 4G or LTE) this can often be used in the absence of wifi.

Generally speaking, if you can stream Netflix in HD, you'll be able to stream live video. A 3Mb upload speed would be the recommended minimum.

You can test your internet bandwidth using speedtest.net.

3. Lights, Camera...

There are some specialized cameras out there that are designed for streaming, but chances are your smartphone would be able to get the job done in a pinch. Whatever device you use to capture video make sure your subject is in good light - the brighter the better. They need to see you.

Use Your Smartphone Camera

Fancy doesn't have to be expensive. The rectangular slab of glass in your pocket probably has a pretty sophisticated camera. Video streaming doesn't even need that good of a camera to be honest. A couple considerations though:

  • Use a tripod with a smartphone adapter. There's a bunch of universal mounts out there for smartphones, and if you spend more than $10 for the adapter, you spent too much.
  • Keep it simple. Moving camera shots require a camera man, and often go into the realm of annoying. Make the shot as tight as you can. You don't need to see the congregation.
  • Invest in a mic adapter for your phone, and use a lavalier (clip-on lapel) mic. This will work the same way your mic-enabled headphones work, but will capture speech much better than your phone's built-in mic. You'll need: (links provided as an example, not an endorsement)
    • A Lavalier Mic. We use Rode because we're familiar with the quality, but most options from Shure, Audio Technica and others are probably fine. Just check out the ratings.
    • TRS to TRRS adapter
    • For iPhone, you'll need your lightning-headphone adapter that came with your phone. Lost yours? They come in 12-packs.
    • For Android, if you have a headphone port, you should be all set. If not, you may need something like this
    • OPTIONAL, but recommended: A wireless conversion kit like this. You plug your mic into the transmitter, and the receiver into your phone, and boom: wireless freedom. The Rode Go - actually has a mic built-into the transmitter, so you could even skip the wired lavalier mic if you don't mind wearing the accessory on your lapel.

Streaming-specific cameras

Mevo is probably one of the better turn-key options. It integrates with streaming services like Youtube, Facebook, Periscope, Twitter and others at the same time. It's fairly easy to setup, and requires little interaction, but supports pretty advanced functions. It requires WiFi, but has options for a wired ethernet connection. Our suggestion though: use the free "Mevo Mic" remote app to capture audio, as the built-in microphone isn't the clearest in a large space. We prefer using the remote app with an input from our sound system, or a lavalier mic. (Suggestions for audio & mic'ing follow the above guide for smartphones.)

Other equipment the Mevo requires:

  • A Mic Stand (or their custom 'Mevo Stand,)' but you've probably got a mic stand floating around somewhere - either will work. A camera tripod would workweek too, but takes up a bit more space in a 'live worship' environment.
  • Access to Power. Probably. Mevo can run for about an hour on a charge. You could either keep things brief, or plug it in so you don't need to worry about it. There's an optional accessory, 'Mevo Boost' which you honestly probably don't need unless you require a wired ethernet connection.

4. Let thy people KNOW.

Call, email, social media are all ways to get the info out. If you've got someone who runs your website, providing instructions for viewing the stream would be very helpful too.

5. Be Cognizant of Copyright issues

Onelicense.net is offering one month for free. If you have Lutheran Service Builder you should be covered for the hymnal. If hymns are in the Public Domain you are fine.

You do not need to live stream the whole service. You may simply record and post either video or sound recording. A simple outline would be:

  • Read the text,
  • Share your sermon,
  • Offer a prayer of encouragement
  • add parts of the service as you choose if desired

6. Can't Tell the Players without the Program

Email or provide a link to your bulletin so folks can follow along or read on their own.

Streaming Services

Streaming Services

These are some services found on the internet. There are many others in addition to what is listed. These are just a few we have used in the past. Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram all have live streaming services. Everyone needs an account, but they are simple solutions. You would follow the instruction on the app, which is almost as easy as pressing a button. I do not believe any of them have a call in feature, but you could pair this with FreeConferenceCall.com. Free Conference Call or Freeconferrencecall.com is free service that offers a variety of options.

Freeconferencecall.com - Phone conference call

  • Free to call in as long as you have free long distance.
  • There is toll Free for a charge of $.039 /min, should you choose to use it
  • Up to1000 participants
  • No time restriction
  • Easy to setup no downloads or anything but a phone required (except to register)

This is useful if you are choosing to not have video or think video might be too complicated. You should ask people to mute their phones when they call in to reduce ambient noise. You could then do the service speaking into your phone/ You would want to make sure to speak the responses, so they can follow.

Freeconferencecall.com - video conference call

  • Seems to be no charge
  • 1000 participants
  • Ability to call in ($.01 /min)
  • No time restriction
  • Can record
  • Need download on computer (there is a web-based version that works only on Chrome)
  • Usable on Phone or computer

We tried this site. It works well. It was simple to register and invite people. People could also call in. The interface seemed easy to learn, but a bit clunky. I am more familiar with others programs, but will revisit this platform as the price is free. You should mute all participants. Then follow through the service. Make sure you practice a recording and watch it.

Zoom

  • No charge for up to 100 participants; 300-500 participants 19.99 /mth
  • Ability to call in is free
  • 40 mins free; if you pay a minimum of $14.99 there is no time restriction
  • Can record
  • App or browser based
  • Usable on Phone or computer

The Atlantic District uses Zoom. I find the interface very easy to learn and use.

Go To Meeting

  • 14 day free trial
  • $12 for 150 participants; $16 for 250 participants
  • Seems to be a charge for calling in
  • Can record
  • App or browser based
  • Usable on Phone or computer