Virtual Church

Welcome to the Virtual Church Page

As we should all be aware by now, no “in-person” events are being held at the church during this critical health crisis.

Instead, we will be holding some events “online” by using a video conferencing/meeting system called Zoom. If you have never used Zoom before, you should read the brief explanation at the bottom of this page.

Our Sunday worship will be a “Virtual Church” service online every Sunday at the normal time (9:30am), and you can join us for the service simply by clicking on the little sunny church image that you will find on the home page of this website on Sunday mornings.

Some important notes about the virtual service. When you first connect, the mic on your computer or device will be muted. It is important during the service that you do not “unmute” your mic unless you have some particular role in the service such as reading a lesson. Think of it: if we have 50 people connected and 50 mics are all turned on, we will all be hearing phones ringing, babies crying, people coughing, doors slamming, even people whispering, you get the picture! It will feel odd during the hymns, because we will not be hearing each other singing, but that’s the way it has to be. (And because of audio delays over the internet, even saying prayers with your mic on would be very confusing because of a very strong “echo effect”.) So, keep microphones off please!

We suggest, just like we regularly do on Sundays, that you come a little early, to make sure you are connected and ready before the service starts.

We are also setting up an daily “St. Nicholas Coffee Hour” at 10am and 4pm most days of the week. This too is “virtual” and we will initially try it for a week to see if it is helpful. Just click on the Coffee Cup image that will usually be available on the home page, and you should find other people gathering there to chat and catch up on news with each other. Just brew yourself a cup of coffee or tea, and click the Coffee Cup.

About Zoom:

Zoom is very different from other video call systems like Skype. You don’t just log in and can contact any of your friends (or groups of friends) you want. Zoom doesn’t work that way. With Zoom someone (called the “host”) schedules an event (which Zoom calls a “meeting”) and you have to have an invitation to the event. The invitation is something you have to click on to “join” the meeting. You find invitations to specific events either in an email sent to you by the host (us!), or posted on a website, if it is some kind of public our community event.

Something important to remember: An invitation is only valid during the specific scheduled event, and will not work correctly at any other time. There will be separate invitations for separate events. The church services will be scheduled at the same time each Sunday, and the “Invitation link” for the church service will only work during the church service.  We have provided the “invitations” on the website in the form of the little pictures of the church, and the coffee cup.

There is a Zoom program (app) which must be installed on your computer or device for you to be able to join any of our events event. The very first time you try to connect to any Zooom event it will try to install itself automatically for you. There is no need to “sign up” with Zoom if all you want to do is join the event that you have an invitation for.