Using Zoom Conferencing for Church Meetings
Scots' Church, Melbourne
Zoom Conferencing has been selected by the COVID-19 Commission of Session to be the preferred platform for meetings of committees and church organisations during the COVID-19 medical emergency and the restrictions on gatherings. Hot Air teleconferencing will also be available as a backup. Church administration will provide details on how to set up meetings using Zoom and Hot Air Conferencing to committee convenors and clerks/secretaries. The purpose of this guide is to assist member of church committees and organisations in participating in virtual meetings (video and audio) using Zoom Conferencing.
Setting Up Zoom Conferencing
Zoom Conferencing can be accessed from a Personal Computer, laptop, tablet, smart phone (video conferencing users) or a phone (phone conferencing users). PC’s/laptops have the most functionality with other applications (tablets/ smart phones) potentially being a little more difficult to use and access all the features of the platform. Meetings will be initiated by an email invitation. This invitation will include a link to the meeting for video conferencing users and a phone number and ID/password for connecting to the meeting by phone (mobile or landline).
If you are a video conferencing user, it is recommended that you set up the software in advance of the meeting. To do so, click on the link provided and follow the prompts. If you already have Zoom installed it will take you directly to the application. If not, you will be asked to install Zoom. You should bookmark the application (e.g. include in task bar on a PC) for future usage. It is also recommended that you test your video and audio settings by clicking on the cog in the top righthand corner of the Zoom Screen and go to settings. In the menu which comes up click video and check the video settings and the click on audio and check the audio settings. Headphones are recommended as they assist in reducing feedback and noise which may interfere with the call.
If you do not have a microphone or access to headphones on your device or your audio quality is poor, you can use the phone option for audio on your mobile or landline together with the video. If you choose this option, make sure that any microphone on your device is muted or disabled as use of multiple devices for audio can cause feedback.
Joining A Zoom Meeting
When it is time for the meeting, check on the link in the email invitation again and it will ask you to open the application. You will be placed in a waiting room and will be admitted by the meeting organiser. When you enter the meeting on the Zoom application, your microphone will be muted. If you are using the phone option for audio either on its own or together with video conferencing your microphone is muted or unmuted by entering *6.
In the top right-hand corner of the screen you will see an option for full screen. Do not use this as it limits functionality which allows a participant control panel to pop up on the right of the video screen when you click on the participant button at the bottom of the screen. The participant control panel allows you to see the names of all the participants, whether their microphone is muted or unmuted and some non-verbal communication symbols which you will come to know and be able to use with practice. The panel also allows you to change your display name, unmute/mute your microphone or raise your hand. You can also unmute/mute your microphone in this panel.
Beside the full screen button is a button which allows a personal view which just shows the person talking or gallery view which allows you to see all the meeting participants. It will also highlight who is speaking by displaying a yellow frame around their video.
Participating in the Meeting
Ensure your full name is displayed in your ID so you can be identified by other participants and to assist in maintaining visibility of attendees. The ID name can be changed in the participant control panel on the right-hand side of the screen under the More button.
If you wish to speak please raise your hand in the video or by clicking the raise hand button on the right-hand participant control panel. When invited to speak you can unmute your microphone by pressing the button at the bottom left hand corner of the screen or on a PC/laptop, pressing the space bar. Please mute your microphone when you have finished speaking. If you are on the phone, identify yourself by name and indicate you wish to speak. Your microphone is muted by pressing *6 to mute and unmute.
Meetings of church committees and organisations will generally be in private. Participants should therefore ensure they have a safe and secure place for the meeting. Voting will be by raising your hand or if on the phone remaining silent. If needed, a poll can be held.
Contact Jonathan North on 0425 884034 who will arrange support if needed.