Online services list?

Is there a list of United States and Canada Unitarian Universalist churches that still have services online, or even better, recorded services on YouTube or the like? I’m particularly interested in smaller and lay-led congregations. Hoping to see some samples of worship to get an updated sample of styles and operating theologies or outlooks.

4 Replies to “Online services list?”

  1. We are a smaller UU congregation (around 100 members) and we have been sharing streaming video worship services via our Facebook page since March 2020.

    A Facebook page does not require logging into Facebook (although Facebook will try and get a person without a Facebook account to sign in).

    The various pieces of video and audio content are managed using Zoom and the Zoom feed is fed into Facebook. I understand that this would also work with YouTube. Feeding the audio / video from Zoom into Facebook or YouTube reduces the odds of someone Zoom-bombing our online worship services.

    We did many months of online-only worship and we are now doing dual-platform worship (in person and online streaming video).

    The collection of streaming video worship can be found here:

  2. Thank you. I was even thinking of smaller congregations, in fact. What is the lower limit against which online services work? How ho they change. (My home church, for instance, is much smaller.)

  3. Scott – I regularly guest preach at a rural UU church with less than 20 members. You know which one. Typically 6-8 people in person.

    They livestream via Facebook, and also post the service onto You Tube.

    This congregation has only 2 people who can make the tech work. If they aren’t there, then there is no on-line content to watch. Low bandwidth in the area around the church also dissuades them from using Zoom for much of anything (it freezes and jumps a lot when they tried using it).

    Taking the service on-line has effected the way they handle things in-person. It has meant rearranging the chapel space to suit the camera, and making sure every liturgical component is set up to be seen by the camera. It also means that for the preacher, the camera is right in front of my face, and blocks much of my view of the in-person congregation.

    I’m not sure catering to the on-line audience has served them well. Managing the tech eats up most of the energy of their 2 most energetic members. Limiting the congregations capacity to interface with their local community. They often know how many people are watching the live-stream, or watching YouTube later. But with the exception of a few frail people who are often homebound, they have no idea who most of the 2-15 people are, and have little to no interaction or relationship with them. It’s purely the production of screen-content that is largely, anonymously consumed.

    Before 2020 this rural congregation and mostly elderly congregation had 2 young, local families in-person on a regular basis. But since Lockdown both families departed for “UU shows” at larger churches in the same time-zone, with much better looking production values, and a rotating menu of online weekday Zoom-based small groups.

    Contrary to the conventional narrative, I can’t say that it has been a productive gateway to growth, or outreach to new participants. And I think visitors to the in-person service (which has some very participatory components involving joys and concerns, as well as a post-sermon dialog) now feel a bit like props or actors on a stage.

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