Now that we have all moved online to gather as community, the need to educate ourselves about how to do so safely is that much greater.
The synod office has recently purchased, on behalf of all our parishes, one-year Zoom video conference licenses to help facilitate our collective move online. As with any online platform, Zoom comes with both great benefits and a few risks. Please take the time to understand the platform and how you and your parish can use it safely and responsibly.
Here are a few important links with tips for ensuring your online gatherings only include the people you intend:
Overview from the Zoom founder/CEO - https://blog.zoom.us/wordpress/2020/04/01/a-message-to-our-users/
Blog about "Zoombombing" - https://blog.zoom.us/wordpress/2020/03/20/keep-uninvited-guests-out-of-your-zoom-event/
Training videos and documents - https://zoom.us/docs/en-us/covid19.html
Please take the time to go through these important articles and videos so that we can keep ourselves as safe when we gather online as we are working to do in isolation and social distancing offline.
Another important tip for parishes is to not post Zoom meeting information on your websites. Instead, include a parish email address (e.g. admin@...) in the event post and encourage people to contact the (virtual) office using that email to get a link and a password to enter a meeting, ensuring that only those on the guest list attend. How to add passwords to your meetings, along with other important suggestions, are included in the links above.
...and don't forget to stay home, only go out if you have to, maintain two metres between you and others, don't gather with anyone outside of those you live with, wash your hands often and sneeze or cough into your elbow or a tissue. And while you're add it, please donate to your local foodbank, don't hoard items and say thanks to the cashier and healthcare workers....and don't forget to smile at folks. We're all in this together.
Peace be with you as you move into Holy Week.