Best Practices for Live-Streaming from Minnesota UCC Churches

We’re pleased to share the insights of four UCC congregations who have found successful and innovative ways to worship online. Our thanks to Rev. Garth Schumacher (The Congregational Church, Rochester), Chris Bonhoff (Plymouth Congregational), Eli’jah Carroll (Mayflower UCC), and Lucas Cervi (St. Paul’s UCC) for sharing their wisdom and advice, and for Robert Galkiewicz for suggesting this idea! VIEW THE VIDEO

Leading Ideas Talks Podcast – Episode 56: “Online Worshipers: Moving from Viewers to Participants” featuring Orlando Evans

How can your online outreach grow beyond just streaming worship? In this episode, we speak with Orlando Evans, Online Pastor at Impact United Methodist Church in Atlanta, about how to build relationships with online worshipers and engage them in studies, small groups, and even membership classes. Click here for the podcast or click here for the transcript


Principles for Online Ritual Design from Sacred Design Lab
“Amidst hardship, this is an unprecedented moment for extending the reach of ritual to online participation–crossing barriers of geography, generation, and time like never before. Here are five design principles that we’ve developed for our work at Sacred Design Lab, which we hope will support you in crafting and leading online rituals of your own. While far from exhaustive, these ideas can be applied to anything from funerals and weddings to birthday parties, holidays, and rites of passage.”  Download the PDF

Live Streaming How-to

Video: How to Livestream Your Church Service in 4 Easy Steps.  Learn how to “Go Live” at church using only a cell phone and a tripod!  View video

Webinar: Creating Live-streamed Worship. March 24, 1:00 pm, free.  Register here

Webinar On-Demand: How To Use Live Video in Your Ministry.  $10 for unlimited viewing, from the Center for Progressive Renewal.  More info and register here 

Webinar On-Demand: Getting Started with Church Online: Sharing what we know to help with online worship, Bible studies, and meetings.  Register here

10 Best Practices for Remote Worship and Devotions, PDF download from Wisconsin Council of Churches

How to do Church Online – Webinar March 22nd, 1:00 pm CDT.  Will also be available on demand after the 22nd – so REGISTER even if you can’t participate on the 22nd.  Topics will include:

  • Why to do church online
  • How to livestream
  • Facebook Live vs. YouTube
  • Pastoral Care in a digital world
  • Digital resources for faith formation

Find examples of live streamed church services courtesy of Wisconsin Council of Churches here

Music Licenses

OneLicense is offering free licenses to churches in light of the coronavirus, so that they can legally stream their music.  OneLicense website

Helpful video regarding music licensing by Chalice PressChalice Press video

Copyright for Music, Liturgy and other Resources (from Wisconsin Council of Churches website) – Music and Intellectual Property: be aware of copyright! Avoid pre-recorded music. Music in the public domain is acceptable and shouldn’t cause you any issues. If you are streaming worship, you will need a streaming license that covers your songs (yes, even if you have the hymnals). Visit CCLI, OneLicense, or your usual music licensing provider for the add-on license to cover this circumstance. If you are going to post worship on Youtube, make sure you include a disclaimer with your permission/licensing so your recording is not removed.

Bulletins – While a streaming license covers broadcasting the music and lyrics that may be projected, it usually does not cover printed (hard copy or electronic) materials like bulletins or song sheets you may post online or mail out.

It’s possible that Facebook or YouTube could cut off livestreaming worship during services. Facebook and YouTube are acting pursuant to their own policies and may not be aware that the church has a license for the particular song. The church would need to pursue resolution of that issue with Facebook and/or YouTube individually.

More resources can be found on the national UCC website at ucc.org/coronavirus.

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