Eastern NC UUA Technologies in Congregations

You can see samples and links to these technologies on this demonstration page.

The main speaker, Annette Marquis, has shared her outline and links from the session here.

If you are interested in creating material or testing out a Wikispace, please click on the "Join Now" link at the top of this web page.

2012-03-17 Meeting

Following are minutes from the Eastern NC Cluster meeting of UUA Congregations in NC. The intent is to get these minutes out right away and refine them over time including photos and perhaps even audio snippets after gaining appropriate permissions. Wherever possible, URLs are added and samples are embedded into linked pages on this wiki to show how many of the external technologies reviewed are simple to integrate into a web site.

Raw notes from M Smith enhanced with input from other attendees as noted:

0630 Depart Chapel Hill on a foggy Saturday morning
0845 Arrive UU Congregation of Greenville on a lovely Saturday in Eastern NC!
  • The host congregation had set out ample, healthy alternatives for breakfast
  • I started an audio recorder near podium and speaker system
  • photos on Blackberry
0900 Banner parade & intros
YouTube on RollerGirl UU minister see this web page.

YouTube: How Can anyone ...

Being more of ourselves when we plug in
    • Photo on Olympus
Outer Banks minister, Pat __ notes transition from 40+ members + 40+ friends and their facilities.
Soon putting up podcasts. Use of projector during regular services
    • change to new track on recorder
Closing words and extinguish flame for introductory service.

0930 Preliminary YouTube videos
Annette (initials AM throughout these notes) started the YouTube video from New Unity UK (brief internet interruption).
[Note that it is really good to use one of the tools to download a YouTube video so that if a network fails an embedded YouTube in a PPT won't stop your presentation. Of course get permission from the YouTube video owner!]

Come as you are, new-unity.org YouTube video This is a great example of a "Ken Burns" style of video carrying a UU message. Still photos are "animated" using one of several software packages such as Camtasia Studio or CamStudio available with music and words added then uploaded to YouTube. a also embedded here:

Annette Marquis intro by
Gave audience time to get refresh

0950 Start of Annette Marquis presentation
    • photo on Olympus
    • restarted recorder (was stopped!)
Uses PPT presentation
Goal to leave here having learned one or two things that can put into practice right away
Excuse for new tech: What if someone has it and asks a question?
Green paper passed out: One question related to technology that if understood would help
[Annette answered the questions raised toward the end of the workshop.]

All references covered in the presentations will be in e-mail sent out next week (setup a site for others to add and grow? Where?)
Attendance at this time: 41 (including speaker and workers)
Demonstration of text gateway "Poll everywhere" (about 20min exercise)
184164 22333
Two services mentioned:
http://www.smspoll.net/ and http://www.polleverywhere.com/

Reference to FaithCommunitiesToday.org Virtually Religious section
2008-2009 reached peak in web sites for UU congregations! Thesis: Facebook is replacing traditional web site as front door.
Note FB vs Web, web alone
    • Photo,
Note Blogs have overtaken podcasts with # congregations using
Trends among the categories. Surprising: preponderance of using A/V & Tech in Worship
Direct correlation: having drums in service and growing congregation, guitars second!
AM: Most important - have a vision for integrating High Tech, if not then not worth time
who is audience: capture UU, for existing members, as outreach
UUA web site major revisions (note Lisa is AM partner) transitioned but focus was to capture those who came without knowing who UUAs were
redesign to meet both needs, visitors and as resource for existing congregations
Set aside Facebook Group as closed to members?
separate entry for visitors from web site, use of Facebook?
clarity of vision & purpose
those who use tech a lot, members more engaged to invite people

Note use of Sharing buttons to share from web site to FB
Fig 17: Growth & Decline of High Tech
2nd highest tech growth category was declining in growth,
When congregations start to decline turn to tech to rescue!
Technology can create conflict.
Note emphasis on eliminating "White Screen" of video projector
Display slides that bring people in, musical prelude (C3HUU has luxury of real musicians!)
Placement of Joys/Concerns (1st most discussed), Placement of Announcements (2nd most), 3rd most ...
Use the projector to display announcements at start to emphasize and get focus on the church NOT on the printed page in front of them
Video part of immersive experience!
Include person's photo with the announcement!
Avoid making the "tech" a negative experience!
? Does tech create a strain between age groups?
?? Is there a copyright clearing house for podcasts ??
AM: note there is an exemption for use of copyrighted, more trouble putting words in order of service, but can project. More concern for printing words in order of service and then podcast.
Best available is contact the copyright holder and AM is sending a list of all contents in hymnal so negotiated status is understood.
    • MUCH discussion about copyright issues! AM disclaimer that she is not a lawyer, this is not legal advice.
Discussion about "announced pilot" of different technologies and changes
Took over 30min on Fig 17!
When Tech... growth potential increases dramatically.
The space in which religious life happens can be expanded technologically.
ex: Facebook is 24x7 Joys & Concerns! expands community and connectivity
post and have talkback in addition to podcasts and written copies of sermons
More active and congruent. USE virtual meeting spaces! at 1300EDT surprise visitor to join us!
Possible to do "talkback" without the dangers of talkback. Still are ramifications.
Above all: if congregation WANTS youth, can't be stepping into 1980s for youth & young adults!
Discussion of frequency of communications, consistence with vision, and feedback from intended audience.
? References on better use of print media, whither mailed newsletters ?
important to NOT REQUIRE internet access for participation and newsletter!
1140 way behind schedule... break
Met hearing impaired UU couple from John Knauth and Ilona Forgent who are looking into Loop technologies. Shared what we have done, send updates to: jknauth@gmail.com and iforgeng@gmail.com
Resume with Q/A:
Note caution insuring references are quoted in sermons, if read quotes especially
MUST edit the material. AM is going to edit and make snapshot
Video factors: note $300-$400 for servicable in low light (sanctuary), enough recording time to record whole service?
Sample First Unitarian in NM made committment to be available throughout state of NM, branch congregations, recording service, upload to a sharing site, downloaded and replayed sermon elsewhere, so minister comes in via video!
NO IMPACT of having virtual sermon vs live?
live streaming requires committment of higher bandwidth to guarantee quality
AM tried live stream experiment in Fall, failed though recording was available after fact
GA pays for high quality service, both service provider and video technology
many congregations using iTunes for replay of sermons
Reference to QuestForMeaning.org; church of larger fellowship. Meg Riley committment to broadcast streaming. Note the concurrent conversation in the broadcast stream. Building online virtual community.
mobile app, can light chalice!
StreamingChurch.tv: for less than $15 per service ($99/month + bandwidth costs!) Creates online worship community! Facilitates building interactive church community under one roof. One of several in this genre of consolidated web sites.
For Video note ref to iMovie on Mac, MovieMaker on Windows (online),
Break for lunch 1215-1255
met many who were interested in how we at C3HUU have semi-automated the upload of Podcasts.

1300 Web Conference with 2 other sites

  • restart audio recorder (note: battery at 2 bars)
Harlan ___ joined via webcast, good quality audio, modest OK video feed
referred to history of uua.org and currently 50k+ pages, much growth in use of Listservs, and references to Facebook often.
Videos are great trend being posted both targeting professional staff. current members and potential members
Q: How to connect better with outside and more people in UU?
A (Harlan _): Note 1100 congregations in US & Canada, better engage outside congregation in
Q (MS): where is UUA wrt adoption of tech among other religions and denominations?
A: Middle of the pack. Noted that many fundamentalist protestant organizations are very aggressive in outreach including new technologies. Powerful force to have a "mission" and dedicate time and energy to same as many fundamentalists do.

Note: tracking web cam was to have been setup which tracks the face of person in front of the webcam talking. Example is the Logitech AF, great to use this type of webcam for these kind of web meetings. Service was AnyMeeting.com free if willing to put up with ads. Includes polls, etc. Can collect fees for events, then ads go away, but service gets part of revenues. UUA.org used when attend UUA staff meeting. Hints/tips part of AnyMeeting.com for managing meetings. Option to use dial-in for audio. No hybrid in AnyMeeting.com, there is for others. Meshes audio and video for you. Ref to Skype.
Note that SE district board had regular meeting using virtual meetings!
Note requirement for by-laws change may be needed to have virtual attendees officially recognized.
1345 Break
1400 EDT resume
  • restart recorder
Note the UUA resources on social media:

AM suggests not to respond to an e-mail that has emotion (feelings) in it (unless say the sender loves you, even then take care...) not a good practice to engage in conversation over heated topic in e-mail. Ask person who is eliciting response with emotions to CALL or meet face-to-face not continue via e-mail thread!
Say "thank you for e-mail, will bring it to board..."
If higher level and board bombarded, designate strong person to read and summarize and bring to board
Note reference from Faith Communities above is a longer document for followup.
Breakout groups
Techie group:
  • themes on web sites, use of disks origin is wood disk from web site that John K & Ilona created
  • discussion of custom web site and integration with commonly available pre-built function such as Wikis and YouTube, Flickr, etc.
  • discussion about auto-tracking Logitech Orbit AF camera
other sessions
1500 back in joint session
  • restart audio on Zoom H1
Q: Can I retweet any humorous material?
A: Yes.
References to Twitter fountain, and other twitter aggregators.
Ideas: twitter using hashtag prior to or following service!
Ref to SimpleChurch, see search on Church Social Network
See this page for sample Social Networking tools embedded in a Wiki web page.

Q: Are there any Angies List for UUs? List for things like best DLP projector?
A: Many shared in mailing lists mentioned earlier.
Lisa: Mid-America region looking for tech person to consult to all congregations. Southern region too. Will look to get posted on Mid-America web site.
Annette: Harlan referenced webinars, currently distributed. Search for central resource for those materials. Wide ranging set of materials.
From governance group (Bev)
Finding place
Spiritual resource center
many said Board members coordinate with staff on Technologies
... (see audio at 1530)
Ref to Meetup.com organize in person gatherings. Some success by having topic related gatherings at local churches.
Annette story: started in Charlotte, worked weekends knew no one. Started Wed Meetup.com organized meeting in Charlotte for working lesbians. Meetup has continued, 500 members! 30-40 in each meetup dinner once/month. About 1/3 new, 1/3 turnover, 1/3 continuing.
Q: OK to meet at coffeshop instead?
A: Annette: OK, note Faith 20/20 alternative meeting places as part of that future. Fewer people coming into buildings and figure out where are the alternative places? How to get communities focused and committees meeting that don't meet in physical building?
Annette showed Richmond (1536) formed alliance on all groups who work on oppression initiatives. Come together and agree on sharing common communications and make extensive use of virtual meetings. See web site First UU Alliance to end Oppression.
Featured Google Sites for Non Profits (competitor for Wikispaces.com)
Attendance: 41, 13 male, 1 min, 28 women
1600 Closing
    • recorded in Zoom H1
[some original notes at end of workshop were lost due to laptop crash. MS hopes that the last part was caught on the audio recording]