(Initially created in February 2020. Updated on 1/25/21.)
Churches can contact this hotline with any emergent need, 215.621.8312. Clergy in the diocese are encouraged to join the Clergy Facebook page where all notices are also posted. We are sending notices out to all parishioners and clergy via Constant Contact. To receive, sign up here.
Guidance for Food Ministries
Updated 7/21, we have created a guide for churches based on best practices. Those not in high risk groups who have been asymptomatic for the past two weeks are urged to step up to help assure that the needs of the poor, the outcast, the lonely, the aged and the frightened are not forgotten. If you have questions about what you should do, please contact the Rev. Canon Toney Smyth, firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, Philadelphia is providing information on where residents can find food.
Guidance for AA and NA Groups
Many in our community rely on Recovery Groups (AA, NA, Alanon, etc) to maintain their wellness. Since many meetings across the country are being cancelled due to COVID-19, we are sharing this resource (not currently loading, contact us) that lists virtual ways to stay connected to recovery help. Another resource can be found in the app store on your phone, "In the Rooms." (or www.intherooms.com) Download this free app and set up an account. You can then select what kinds of recovery groups you need.
Online Giving Options
For comparision, here are available options; the handling fee (%) per transaction; and a monthly fee if applicable. ECF wrote a primer on online giving which is also helpful and links to a guide with terms explained.
- Tithe.ly, 2.75% + .30, monthly fee of $0 with TENS access (contact us.)
- Venmo, 2.9% + .30, no monthly fee (see below)
- PayPal, 2.2% + .30, no monthly fee
- Faithlife, 2.99% + .45, no monthly fee
- Easy Tithe, 3% + .39, monthly fee between $0-49
- Givelify, 2.9% + .30, no monthly fee
- PushPay, 2.5-3% + .30, tiered monthly plan
- Vanco, 2.75% + .45, monthly fee of $10 (Vanco works w/22,000 churches)
- Cash ($) App, sender is charged a 3% fee to send a payment using a credit card and 1.5% for an instant deposit to a bank account. For business payments, the customer is charged 2.75%.
- Donation thru Diocese, all churches listed, 2.9% that we are charged by Member365 to process, no monthly fee. All donor information would be provided back to the churches and not saved by us. No login needed.
Online Giving on Social Media
YouTube Donations. You will need to set your account up as a 501c(3) nonprofit before you can add a donation card to your YouTube account.
Note: PayPal is not set to work with YouTube
2. Facebook Live Donation Button
- People can add a donate button to their live video to help raise money for a US-based 501(c)(3) as long as you have a verified Page on Facebook.
- If you are a US-based 501(c)(3) charity with a verified Page you can use video and other Facebook donation tools to raise funds for your nonprofit directly on Facebook when you apply and are approved by Facebook payments.
How to add a donate button to Live video.
Going Live? Here are instructions on how admins of verified Pages using Facebook, mentions, or the Page Manager app in iOS can add a donate button for a nonprofit to their live video.
- Before going live, tap on the “...” button for more options on the bottom left-hand corner of the screen. Tap “add donate button” and select a nonprofit.
- Go live, and the donate button for the nonprofit you selected will be attached to the bottom of your live video, allowing friends or fans to donate directly from the video as they watch or after you post the video to your page.
- People will be able to see how much money has been raised.
Note: To use this feature you need to be an admin of a verified Page and have the latest version of Facebook, Mentions, or Pages Manager app on iOS.
The Church Foundation. It is "business as usual" for The Church Foundation. They are also available to process any requests and answer any of your questions. You can also find updates on their website at https://www.tcfdiopa.org/ and Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/tcfdiopa/. All quarterly payouts will continue to be distributed as usual, and investors can expect to receive their first-quarter distribution by the end of March. Please direct any questions to Executive Director, Lori Daniels, email@example.com, or Operations Manager, Ryan Campbell, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Churches across The Episcopal Church are livestreaming services via Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, Boxcast, IBM and many other platforms to reach new audiences and those who are unable to come to church. Please contact us if you need assistance. Click here for a video on how easy it is to set up. You can also use these step by step instructions here. One License is offering a free streaming license (valid to 4/15) to churches coping with COVID-19. You would need this to stream copyrighted music during a service. For a full list of churches who are live-streaming Sunday services, and services during the week, go here.
Advice: Best Option for your church: Use the platform you already are most comfortable with and have an audience. Short overview on how to live-stream in 4 easy steps.
- Facebook Live is Facebook’s livestreaming tool for business pages. You can stream live right from your smartphone’s Facebook Pages app. Once you start your broadcast, fans get a Facebook notification that you are livestreaming. With Facebook Live viewers can interact by asking questions or providing feedback during your live broadcast by commenting or using Facebook Reactions. Great overview here. En espanol aqui. You can also embed Facebook Live onto your web site. There are instructions if you scroll down on this page. Churches are using this tool.
- Periscope, which is owned by Twitter, is another app you can use to livestream from your smartphone. A major difference with Periscope is its Twitter integration. You can post your livestream to Twitter, and your followers don’t have to leave Twitter to watch your Periscope broadcast — it auto-plays in the tweet. This is a great option for anyone whose Twitter audience is more engaged than their Facebook audience.
- YouTube Live, probably the most professional platform for live streaming. It has video editing and managing tools, which are important if you want to consistently create video content. YouTube videos are easily indexed by search engines, which means your videos are “searchable.” Even after your live video is over, people can find it on Google when searching for something related. While Facebook content is mostly discoverable within the platform itself, and sometimes, not even. Facebook videos rarely show up on the first page of google searches, unless the search has the term Facebook in it.
- Zoom Webinars (as opposed to Zoom Meetings) are designed to livestream, and you can post the livestream directly onto Facebook and YouTube as well.
- Zoom Meetings are best utilized to replace in-person meetings with church members. (View this for best practices.) The free version has some limitations (length of recording time.) Participants can view the speaker using their computer for sound and audio or just the phone for audio. Contact us if you need assistance with this. Trolls have been getting into Zoom calls ("zoombombing") so please make these changes when setting up a meeting. 1.) Screensharing: Who can share? Set as host only. 2) Disable "File transfer," too. 3.) Disable "join before host" so people can't cause trouble before you arrive. 4.) Disable "allow removed participants to rejoin" so those causing trouble can not regain access.
- Twitch has been traditionally a live-streaming channel for gamers. (Think of YouTube but with games.) Right now, churches are using it to live-stream services. Here are instructions to live-stream on it.
These suggestions are curated from other Episcopal churches.
- Switcher, allows you to capture video from multiple camera angles you to stream from more than one camera. Helpful if you are in one location, and someone in the other.
- BeLive, allows you to show multiple people on a stream on Facebook or YouTube.
- Streaming Monkey is temporarily providing free video streaming.
- Church Online Platform is a great free platform to build your online campus on. And it’s free!
- Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) is a great free option. It works great if you want to stream on YouTube, Facebook, or Twitch.
Live Streaming Equipment and Add-ons
- You can find high-definition webcams for as little as $40. The main setback when it comes to webcams is their need to be connected to a computer, which can be limiting. Also purchasing and ordering is little difficult at the moment.
- The Mevo camera is around $300 if you can afford the investment. You can see what Mevo can do here.
- Your smartphone works too. If available, you can find accessories to enhance your video quality, such as clip-on lenses for wide shots, stabilizers for live streams on the go, external microphones and so on. If possible keep your phone plugged in for battery life
- Combine the two: Connect your mobile phone to your computer and use it as a regular webcam or as a second camera (links to a great guide for this)
- Use your lapel mic for sermons to stream a nice audio quality.
- If you have more than one person talking during your live video, it’s better to go for a directional microphone, which can be a desktop mic or handheld.
Stabilize your phone or camera for better quality
Live-Streaming Best Practices
Promote your broadcast in advance
If no one knows about your livestream, you won’t have an audience! Use your regular tools for alerting your audience, but go beyond and make sure you are using email, social media, and even phone calls to keep your congregation up to date. Direct event Facebook and YouTube links can be used even if the user does not have an account.
Create images using tools like Canva or PicMonkey that list your livestream’s topic, time, date, and platform and post those images in advance. Consider creating a flyer on your church doors to alert people who are walking that they can still reach you.
Keep the Content Available and Easy to Find When it is Over
Your livestream can have a long shelf life after the broadcast is over. Save your videos to your profile and index them on your website if possible. If you’re using Facebook Live, make your live broadcasts easy to find by creating a special video playlist on Facebook for them.
Link to your livestream videos in social media posts, newsletters, and blog posts. Remind your followers about your upcoming livestreams, and let them know they can view it if they missed it.
Additional Steps: Transcription and Close Captioning
When posting on your website, including sermon notes, transcription, or close captioning on the saved video can help you reach a wider audience and makes your content more accessible.
Conference Calling Solutions
These solutions have been curated by our churches.