Zooming must be addictive. I was reluctant at first, but now I look for opportunities to worship on Zoom – with Memphis Friends on Sunday, with Laura and a few other friends weekdays at noon, Movie Night hosted by the Racial Justice Working Group, QEW (Quaker Earthcare Witness) spring meeting, FGC Gathering, and just this morning I added Pendle Hill.
I wanted to see how they managed their Zoom meetings. They’ve got it figured out, but with Zoom, apparently, there are always a few hiccups. We had 148 participants on my first morning (June 25). In Gallery View we filled up 6 screens. I spent a few minutes scrolling through to see the faces. I saw a lot of faces; most people had their video on. Only the 6th screen was filled with blanked out squares.
As I logged on I had added “in Memphis” to my name, so other Friends would know where I was from, but only a few others had listed their location – Florida, Toronto, North Carolina. It looked like it was mostly East Coast -- not surprisingly since the West Coast was still asleep.
As we settled down, a Friend in the meeting room at Pendle Hill switched us from Gallery View to Speaker View. There were a few spoken messages in the half hour of worship and whenever a speaker turned their audio back off, this Friend returned us to the view of the meeting room. There were two Friends visible in the meeting room, a clerk and one other Friend sitting safely distant from one another and so quietly that it took awhile for me to realize that this was a live feed.
Just before the rise of worship we were invited to share joys and concerns and then, if we were newcomers, to introduce ourselves. In spite of the large audience I was able to do that easily because of my Zoom experience with Memphis Friends. In the Chat column, participants were invited to sign the guest book, so I took the time to do that too. It was certainly a satisfying experience; one I expect to seek out again.