During this time of practicing social distancing, we want to make sure we have the resources to stay connected and in community with one another. Here are a few of the resources available to us:

Using FaceTime:

To use Group FaceTime video calls, all users will need iOS 12.1.4 or iPadOS on one of these devices: iPhone 6s or later, iPad Pro or later, iPad Air 2 or later, iPad mini 4 or later, iPad (5th generation) or later, or iPod touch (7th generation). Earlier models of iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch that support iOS 12.1.4 can join Group FaceTime calls as audio participants.

To make a call from the FaceTime app…

1. Go to Settings > FaceTime, and make sure that FaceTime is on.

2. Open the FaceTime app and tap the plus button  in the top-right corner.

3. Enter the name of your contacts, phone numbers, or emails.

4. To start your FaceTime call, tap Video.

To make a call from the Messages app…

In a group conversation in Messages, you can start Group FaceTime right from the group conversation. Follow these steps:

1. Open Messages and start a group conversation. Or go to an existing group conversation.

2. Tap the contacts at the top of the group conversation.

3. Tap FaceTime, then start your call.

FACEBOOK MESSENGER

Facebook.com

Using Facebook Messenger:

To use Facebook Messenger video calls, all users will need a Facebook account, plus a computer (PC, Mac, or Chromebook) with Google Chrome or a smartphone (iPhone or Android) with the Facebook Messenger app.

To make a call from a computer…

1. Navigate to Facebook.com and log in. Click on the Messenger icon located in the top right corner of the page. A drop-down will appear. From this menu, selected “New Group.”

2. Choose everyone from your friends list that you want to add to the call. You also have the option to name this group. Once you have selected everyone, tap “Create.” This will open a new group message window window at the bottom of your page.

3. To start the video call, look to the top right-hand corner of the message window. Click the icon that looks like a video camera. You may have to go through a relatively quick setup screen or two to make sure your computer is ready. Then you are ready to go.

To make a call from a smartphone…

1. Launch the Facebook Messenger app, then tap the pencil icon in the top right corner to start a new message.

2. Choose everyone from your friends list that you want to add to the call. Once you have selected everyone, tap “Done.” This will open a new group message window.

3. Tap the video camera icon located in the top right corner to start your call.

ZOOM

zoom.us

Using Zoom:

Zoom requires one free or paid account to be set up by the video call host. Free plans can host video calls up to 40 minutes. This number is expanded with their paid versions. Participants can join in by downloading the full Zoom application on their computers or smartphone, or just by quickly downloading and installing “Zoom Client” as prompted when they receive a video call invitation.

To make a call from a computer…

1. If you do not have the Zoom application installed, navigate to Zoom.us, select “sign up” to get started, then select “Host a Meeting” to begin installation. 

2. Open your Zoom app on your desktop and click Sign In.

3. Click the downward arrow and select Start with video, then click New Meeting to start an instant meeting.

4. During a meeting, you can invite people to join the conference by clicking on “invite” tab in your meeting controls. Once you click invite, you can choose the option to Invite by Email or by IM. Another easy option is to click “Copy URL” or “Copy Invitation” in the share window. You can then paste the instructions for other users anywhere you like.

5. Users should then following the instructions from their invitations and links to log on from their computers or smartphones.

To make a call from a smartphone…

1. If you do not have the Zoom app installed, start by downloading it in the App Store.

2. Once downloaded, open the app. Select “sign up” to create an account.

3. Tap “New Meeting” to create a new video meeting.

4. During a meeting, you can invite people to join the call by clicking on “Participants” tab at the bottom. Click “invite,” you can choose the option to Invite by Email or by IM. Another easy option is to click “Copy URL” or “Copy Invitation” in the share window. You can then paste the instructions for other users anywhere you like.

5. Users should then following the instructions from their invitations and links to log on from their computers or smartphones.

SLACK

slack.com

Organize conversations, share files, and get answers faster in Slack. Keep your whole group or team in the loop by messaging in open spaces called channels.

Slack allows us not only to communicate, but share files easily and quickly.

Facebook

facebook.com

A great way to connect with your small group is a Facebook Group. There are three types of groups on Facebook, depending on the group’s privacy settings:

  • Open: Anyone can view the group, its members, and their posts.
  • Closed: Anyone can view the group and its members, but only members can see group posts.
  • Secret: Only members can see the group or any of its information. People who are not members won’t even be able to see that the group exists.

To create a group:

  • Click Create in the top right of Facebook and select Group.
  • Enter your group name, add group members, and then choose the privacy option for your group.
  • Click Create.

Once you create your group, you personalize it by uploading a cover photo and adding a description.

Right Now Media

rightnowmedia.org

With RightNow Media, thousands of hours of engaging Bible study videos and materials are available at your fingertips. An account is free to you through St Matthew; we just have to add you to our account. If you’re not already on RightNow Media, email Rose Mill.

Watch the videos on your own, as a family, or even as a small group. For a small group, with some of the resources above, you can all watch the videos on your own and then gather online to talk about and unpack what you learned.


While we long for being able to meet face to face again soon, these tools can help us make the most of the situation we’re in and challenge us to grow in new ways. Check out some of these available tools and see how you can continue to grow as a follower of Jesus in these strange times we’re in today!

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