bohemian

Meetings via zoom

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As many places of woship are rightly closed to prevent the spead of Covid-19, all kingdom halls of Jehovah's witnesses included worldwide, we have been holding our meetings via Zoom video conferencing. This is taking place all over the world so we are meeting regularly twice a week for our meeting for worship (what the Church would refer to as services). Our congregation also has a 15minute meeting every morning for encouragement (except Sunday morning when our main worship meeting takes place).  This has helped tremendously in these times of physical isolation.

However, many places - sub-Saharan Africa in particular - the internet is a) intermittent b) expensive, c) not available; or the brothers have no money to buy internet access, data charges, or mobile phones/tablets/computers.

Our organization has negotiated with tv and radio stations to broadcast our midweek meeting on Saturdays and the weekend meeting on Sunday on state television and radio. This is happening in many countries - Angola, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia, DR Congo and others - so we can all have our weekly meetings in spite of not just the lockdowns, but the economic difficulties faced by our brothers in these countries. Radio was included because not all have television in their homes.

This has contributed greatly to our worldwide unity of our brotherhood.  

As for family members in the North of England - we use facetime every day to keep in touch.

How are others using technology to keep in touch with family and friends?

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My Lodge is having a go at a Zoom meeting at 3.00 today. Chaos will doubtless ensue. I'm not sure how many of the brethren have got as far as downloading the app, and not all those who've gone that far will know what to do next.

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We use WhatsApp or FaceTime for individual calls but a family Zoom event with my 3 sons, their partners and 4 grandchildren each week. It works very well, so much so we managed a 5th birthday party last week for my youngest grandson James. A few of my friends we just use video calling on Facebook Messenger.

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Super Wammer

I've been using FaceTime with my 78 year old mum and we also have the option of multi user events via Facebook Messenger...

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I just heard about a special Zoom meeting today in Romania and Moldova. A very special meeting with 66,571 attendees. All of JWs in those countries invited to join, plus some in other countries. It was in Romanian and translated too into Hungarian, Romany and Romanian Sign Language!

They were given the latest New World Bible Translation and four other books electronically for download and the Gospels of Matthew and Mark in new audio versions!

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Lots of safety features have been added to it, and Zoom representatives have been in discussions with our headquarters at Warwick, NY to sort out the safety and add extra security. As we use it on a worldwide scale we are one of their biggest customers. The information has been passed from our headquarters to every congregation electronically.

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11 hours ago, Tune said:

Isn't Zoom supposed to be incredibly unsafe?

in what way?

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The news was full of articles claiming that it was full of spyware and that people found it remarkably easy to hack into conversations etc - raising concerns as to it's safety for use on your computer. This was only a few weeks ago - just as it's use was going through the roof with the lockdowns.

I wouldn't be able to learn how to use it anyway but I just read all of the on line articles and the developer was just saying that they were "getting on top of the issues".

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Well, the Lodge meeting got six of the eight who'd signed up to it. The other two sent messages by WhatsApp saying they couldn't work it out. 

The six of us found it a great way to catch up. We chatted for more than an hour about anything and everything. It was good to see their faces too. It'll help me recognise them with their new haircuts when we're able to get back together.

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1 hour ago, Tune said:

The news was full of articles claiming that it was full of spyware and that people found it remarkably easy to hack into conversations etc - raising concerns as to it's safety for use on your computer. This was only a few weeks ago - just as it's use was going through the roof with the lockdowns.

I wouldn't be able to learn how to use it anyway but I just read all of the on line articles and the developer was just saying that they were "getting on top of the issues".

One of the main problems was that the meeting ID is a 10 digit number, and hackers were using random figures and sooner or later would hit on a meeting.  A password feature was introduced which vastly reduced that problem. Then 'holding rooms' were introduced where new participants were vetted before being allowed entry.

The use of 'breakout rooms' allows for seperate sub-meetings to occur.

Zoom is easy to use as a participant, but I have no experience as a zoom host or co-host so cannot comment on the ease of use or otherwise in that context.

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we are using zoom for church services , wonderful to see all the babies playing in their lounges , and whole families joining in. absolute lifesaver . yesterday we were accompanied by guitarist and pianist in toulouse , so good to be able to catch up with many old friends who join in and help support at this rather difficult time , many , many of these folks are NHS staff on the frontline or carers , so important for them to get spiritual help as they deal with being on the frontline and the fact that they are risking their lives    

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Posted (edited)

Good to see people overcoming the current problems to keep in touch. In fact, some people are finding that once denied they actually are a lot more interested in keeping in touch with families and friends. Hopefully, this will keep going on after things get better.  And it is helping those struggling to keep themselve straight despite what is happening.

My sister-in-law is finding our chats keeps her mind off the problems from the care home where she works. They have real issues there and a break to chat about nonsense helps her no end. So she says but I can't see it myself :)

Edited by George 47
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