IMPORTANCE OF KEEPING SIMPLE RHYTHMS: Connecting With One Another

The Main Idea:

Today, I am going to highlight ways that we can connect with one another over technology. Some of you may already be familiar with these options, and if you are, you’re ahead of the curve! For those of you who don’t have experience with some of these tools, I wanted to share some helpful tips on some of the tools that are available to us.

In Matthew 18:19-20 Jesus shares these words: “Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”

While we can’t gather in person right now, we are being challenged to encourage, support, and gather virtually with our church family. We are believing that in this season, the Holy Spirit will meet us in our homes as we come together virtually. Although the disciples probably couldn’t have imagined a time when people would communicate via smartphones and computers, we know that God’s promises remain the same for us today.

 

Exploring Technology to Connect: Zoom, Google Hangouts & Skype

ZOOM: Many churches and businesses are using Zoom in this time to communicate with groups big or small. It offers many features that are helpful in facilitating group meetings, including the ability to break off into smaller groups (while in a larger meeting). Zoom free accounts do have a limit of 45 minutes per call, however, if you are participating in a call with an organization that has a Zoom account that limit is waived. Here at Vineyard Gilbert, we do have a Zoom account, so we are able to host calls without that interruption. Currently, we are hosting a daily prayer meeting on Zoom at 8am, and we plan to add more meetings on Zoom coming soon!

Why Zoom? It offers a platform to connect that does not require the participants in the call to create any accounts to use it. You can simply click on the invite link that you received and if you are on a computer it will open right up. If you are going to participate on a tablet or phone you do need to install the Zoom app, but you are still not required to create a user account.

Here is a quick YouTube video that will show you how to join a Zoom call once you have received an invitation:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIkCmbvAHQQ (Joining Zoom Call from a computer)

If you are trying to join the Zoom call from a mobile device (Tablet or Smartphone) go to the app store for your device and download the Zoom app. Once you have the Zoom app installed you will be able to click on the invitation you received in your email from your mobile device and connect with your group.

 

GOOGLE HANGOUTS: Also, a good option to connect! It does require you and your participants to have a Google account, so if you have a Gmail email account you are already ready to use Google Hangouts. Google Hangouts does not have any time limits like we discussed in Zoom, making it a great option for connecting without interruption if you don’t have a paid Zoom account. Google Hangouts does not have the ability to breakout into smaller groups, but in many settings that isn’t a deal breaker.

Why Google Hangouts? If you already have Gmail account, you are ready to go! You can quickly communicate with other friends that you have in your Google contacts who are also Gmail users. It works for one on one as well as group video calls and chats. One of the added benefits of Hangouts is that you can text other people in your group even while you are not on a video call. So, if you set up a circle of friends you can continue a conversation together as a group via text (think of it as another way to facilitate a group text).

I didn’t find any great YouTube videos, but simply put, if you have been invited to a Google Hangout, you will receive an email, click on the invite link within that email and you will be connected to the Hangout (provided you are clicking it at the scheduled time). You will also see it listed on your Google Calendar and can click into the Hangout from there as well. If people have trouble with this, I can create a video later to send out with easy step by step instructions. Note: Similar to Zoom, if you are trying to join a Hangout from a mobile device, make sure you go into your app store and download the Hangouts app first. If you are on your computer, you can simply click the link and join.

 

SKYPE: Some of you may have just had a flashback to 2003 when Skype first launched. For many of us Skype is a nostalgic icon and may have been the first tool you used to do video calls. While the nostalgia may be enough for some people to get excited about using Skype, there are plenty of reasons to use it even today in 2020! Let’s explore those. Similarly, to Hangouts, Skype does require you to have an account.

Why Skype? If you already have a Microsoft account, you are ready to go! Chances are if you are on a PC you already have a Microsoft account, and if you are on Windows 10 there’s a good chance Skype is already installed on your computer. Skype offers full HD video calls and allows up to 50 people to be in a video chat at one time. Additionally, because Skype is a Microsoft product you can present PowerPoint presentations, and even transfer files within your group up to 300Mb. Skype does have some unique features that make it stand out from its competitors. One of those features is live subtitles! If you happen to have a hard time hearing on video calls, this feature alone will improve your experience. Additionally, Skype has a wide reach of compatibility, it is available to download on your computer, mobile devices (See app store), Xbox and Alexa. Similar to Hangouts, Skype also allows you to continue to chat with groups or individuals via text/messenger.

I didn’t find any great YouTube videos on Skype either.  However, if you download Skype on your device and login, it should be simple to connect with other friends you have within Skype.

You may hear more from your small group leader soon about connecting online, and they will probably direct you to one of these platforms I discussed today. If you have any additional questions about how to connect please reach out to us. We are glad to help!

As we continue to navigate this time, we want to encourage you to take hope and seek refuge in the Lord. We hope that these tools are helpful for connecting with the church family. We believe that continuing to foster these relationships is helpful for everyone in staying healthy, spiritually and mentally.

 
Blessings & Peace to you and your families,
Jordan Gentes
Vineyard Gilbert

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THURSDAY NIGHT WORSHIP STARTING TONIGHT @ 7 PM

Tonight we’ll begin streaming live worship! We invite you to join us!
 
*While worship will normally begin Thursday night worship at 6 pm, since this is the first one we will be streaming it at 7 pm so we can get all the bugs worked out.
 
You can tune in at any of the following:
OUR WEBSITE: CLICK HERE
FACEBOOK: CLICK HERE
YOUTUBE: CLICK HERE  
 
Do you have an Apple TV, Roku, or Smart TV that streams YouTube? Subscribe to our YouTube channel and stream to your TV!

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GILBERT SCHOOLS OFFERING FOOD DURING CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK CLOSURES

The Gilbert Public Schools District Says they will be offering free meals for children ages 18 and under during school closures. (CLICK HERE FOR FULL STORY FROM AZFAMILY.COM) They said no registration or proof of income is needed. The meals will be served at these following locations:

Harris Elementary

1820 S. Harris Drive

Breakfast: 7:30-8:30 AM

Lunch 11:30 AM-12:30 PM

Monday thru Friday

Meridian Elementary

3900 South Mountain Rd

Breakfast: 7:30-8:30 AM

Lunch 11:30 AM-12:30 PM

Monday thru Friday

Mesquite Junior High

130 West Mesquite

Breakfast: 7:30-8:30 AM

Lunch 11:30 AM-12:30 PM

Monday thru Friday

Greenfield Junior High

101 S. Greenfield Rd

Breakfast: 7:30-8:30 AM

Lunch 11:30 AM-12:30 PM

Monday thru Friday

Highland Junior High

6915 E. Guadalupe Rd

Breakfast: 7:30-8:30 AM

Lunch 11:30 AM-12:30 PM

Monday thru Friday

South Valley Junior High

2034 South Lindsay Road

Breakfast: 7:30-8:30 AM

Lunch 11:30 AM-12:30 PM

Monday thru Friday


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FOOD PANTRY IS OPEN

Our food pantry is well stocked and open to the public this Tuesday, March 17, 10 am – 1 pm, and also from 6-7 pm. Although we don’t have toilet paper or hand sanitizer, our freezers and shelves are filled with perishable and non-perishable items. It’s all free, so if you could use a little help, please stop by this Tuesday during the food pantry hours.

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COVID-19 OUR RESPONSE

We want to take a moment and address the issue of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and our approach as a church family. As you know, it’s a rapidly evolving situation and one we’re monitoring closely.
 

PERSPECTIVE

As a church we continue to hold to faith, hope and love, instead of being driven by fear. These are great times to be serving Jesus and a great opportunity for us to love well and be a beacon of hope for the rest of the world. Our aim is to continue to bring life to our community, disarming fear and praying for anyone who is sick, in pain, or discouraged.

WEEKEND SERVICES

At this time, we believe continuing to meet does not pose a serious health risk to our community, so we plan to continue gathering on Sundays for our worship services and our building will remain open during the week as regularly scheduled.

However, for older members of our church family or people with underlying conditions, you may wish to consider livestreaming our services until there is a return to normalcy. (See below for details about how to access the livestream).

We recognize there could come a day when canceling in-person services is an appropriate act of love and care to protect the most vulnerable in our community. As we continue to monitor the situation, and consider the guidance from state and local authorities we will inform you if there are any changes to our schedule.

 

PRACTICALS

As we hold onto a godly perspective, we also want to walk in wisdom so that our community knows they can experience a safe and clean environment when they walk into our services. Here are the things we are doing to ensure this:

Our facilities are cleaned regularly and all kid’s rooms & equipment is sanitized before each service.

We continue to hold to our sick-policy regarding our children’s classrooms. Children with symptoms of illness – (fever, coughing, runny nose, vomiting, etc) may not be checked into a Vineyard Kids classroom.

Here are some things you can do to help reduce the risk of spreading illnesses:

Wash your hands often.
Use hand sanitizer.
Wave or fist bump instead of shaking hands.
If you or someone in your family isn’t feeling well, stay home and participate in our services through livestream.

Again, should you need to stay home, we encourage you to join us online on Sundays. Each week, we post the worship and message to Facebook as well as our website’s streaming archive for those who are not able to attend service and still wish to be a part of our worship together.

Stream the message here: https://vineyardaz.com/live/

You can find an archive of our streamed services here: http://vineyardgilbert.yourstreamlive.com/

You can listen to the audio of sermons on our website’s media page (https://vineyardaz.com/media/) or via our podcast available on Apple Podcasts or Google Play.

Also, please continue to help us move forward in the mission God has given us by giving online, and praying for our church and community. These things will help us stay connected as we continue to create environments for people to encounter God, find their place in His family, and step into God’s purpose for their lives.

 

PRAYER

Rather than being fearful and alarmed in this season, we believe God is calling us to make a difference in our city and region by praying that God’s love would abolish fear. Our role as the church is to be light and life to a world in desperate need of it.

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