Whether it’s live streaming worships services or engaging with people on social media, digital tools have become a vital aspect of most congregations’ ministry. Here you’ll find some resources to help you with your digital ministry.
In response to demand expressed in our 2023 Expedited Reach Grant Summit evaluation tickets, the Diocese was asked to provide a dynamic forum/networking opportunity for church tech volunteers and practitioners. To meet this call, the Diocese, represented by David Paradis, ODT, is partnering with The Rev. Tay Moss and Churchx to offer networking and training workshops. We are encouraging parish tech volunteers, but not asking you, and interested folks, to register with Churchx and join their online community. Many of their tech courses are free or offered on a by-donation-basis or at a very low cost. Indeed, once you join the network Shop Talk 3 will be a free workshop.
Tay+ has described the session as follows:
“This month we will be talking how to use the most popular software for live streaming, OBS, to mix different live and pre-recorded video and audio sources. We will cover the basics, but also explore more advanced techniques such as using a smartphone as a wireless camera transmitting to OBS, using plugins like countdown timers with OBS, controlled PTZ cameras from the software, streaming to multiple destinations, and techniques for using OBS to speed up your pre-recorded video production process. OBS is a very versatile solution and we’ll learn how to get the most out of it.”
You can view or download Shop Talk 1 and 2 sessions below and get a taste of Tay’s excellent workshops.
Hybrid & online ministry sustainability package
We also promised to develop a sustainability package – an assessment tool for parishes who are on the hybrid ministry development path.
Volunteer consultants Cynthia Majewski, ODT and Tim Ralph, ODT (see their bios below) authored the following assessment and planning tools for any parish looking to take the next step toward hybrid and/or online ministry.
Here are the five elements of the Healthy, Hybrid Church Assessment Tool:
- A Church Planning Tool: A healthy, hybrid Church
- Sustainability Package Instruction Guide
- 2×2 Matrix Exercise – A Hybrid Presence
- Worksheet A: Planning for Change
- Worksheet B: Identifying Resistance
We invite you to try them out and send any ideas or comments to Elizabeth McCaffrey at firstname.lastname@example.org. Elizabeth can also provide volunteer facilitators if you wish to engage some outside neighbourly help.
Tech practitioners' forum
Tech practitioners in the Diocese have been gathering to learn from experts and from each other about how to use technology for God’s mission, in particular through live streaming. You can find video from these sessions below.
If you’re interested in joining with other church tech practitioners, we recommend investigating CHURCHx, a key resource hub of the Innovative Ministry Centre (IMC) at the Toronto United Church Council (TUCC). Our Diocese works in collaboration with the IMC, and the national Anglican Church is a client partner of Churchx. You can learn more at churchx.ca
Shop Talk videos
Learn how to build resilient live streams and quickly troubleshoot stream problems:
Planning & facilitation team
Cynthia Majewski, ODT
As diocesan volunteer, Cynthia participates on the Project Enabling and Monitoring Group (PEMG), Reach Grant panel and the Bishop’s Committee on Healing Ministries and is a facilitator for Cast the Net. In a 2021 contract with the Innovative Ministry Centre, she co-created with an advisory group an assessment tool and accompanying guide for evaluation of innovative ministry now in adaptation for Anglican grants. Her leadership background in health care has brought a passion for growth, change management and evaluation to her efforts with the Diocese. She is a member of St. Timothy, North Toronto.
Elizabeth McCaffrey, Volunteer Resources Consultant, joined the Diocese 14 years ago, and is responsible for the Diocesan Volunteer Corps, after a life as a Foreign Service spouse lucky enough to be employed in Canadian missions in eight countries overseas. She has worked at Decima Research and Global Affairs HQ as a Survey Research Analyst and Consultant, has been an editor, speech writer and held many positions overseas with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, whilst volunteering as a Church School teacher, youth leader and superintendent, churchwarden, and Mum-in-the-pews, listening while her three now-grown kids sing in the choir. Covid catapulted Elizabeth and our volunteer coaches and facilitators into Zoom-land. Her role as Reach Grant staff liaison further pushed her into the techno-verse. She lives near the cathedral with her African Grey Parrot, Monty.
David Paradis, ODT
David Paradis, ODT is a diocesan tech volunteer. He has helped several parishes launch and enhance their online presence. He also provides advice on Reach Grant preparation. David has also been an audio/visual tech at St. Margaret of Scotland in Barrie. He led St. Margaret’s initial online presence in 2018, which evolved into a regular live streaming of worship and congregational connection during the pandemic. He has been a member of St. Margaret’s for the past 29 years.
Tim Ralph, ODT
Tim is a member of the diocesan Parish Selection Committee volunteer corps and a group facilitator. As a retired school principal, Tim’s last position with his school board was as the district’s Lead for Innovation and Innovative Learning. Specializing in the integration of technology and learning, Tim brings knowledge of how technology can enhance collaboration and learning while keeping social connectedness at the fore. Tim is currently a people’s Churchwarden and leader of the Digital Vergers at All Saints, Whitby.
Laurie is a member of the Diocesan Remote Tech Volunteers group and a lay reader at St. John the Evangelist, Port Hope. She is a speaker and presenter who takes a leadership role in her parish to develop and facilitate learning opportunities for parishioners. Her passion is to “spark people up” in their faith so as to live out their baptismal promises of serving others and seeing Christ in all people. Laurie’s career in accounting software and finance is where she developed her gifts in technology and in finding “out of the box” ways of using whatever is available to resolve atypical business problems.
Online communication tips
Below are some resources with links and ideas for churches using social media and other online communication tools. They are updated periodically. Have a question about online communication? Contact Martha Holmen, digital communications coordinator, at email@example.com.
Helpful links for digital ministry
Guide to online church, tech needs and best practices
Advice for churches on design, photography, social media strategy and many more topics.
Best practices and advice on how to create accounts on various platforms.
A list of video editing software to suit every level of ability.
A short piece to help parishes consider their digital ministries in preparation for winter and their budgeting for 2024.