Last weekend we successfully launched our new online church platform, Evanston Vineyard Online. We want to share some of the things we learned during our first Sunday to enhance your experience.

The Chatroom
One of the great new features is the ability to join our chat room and visit with some of the pastors and members of our congregation whom you most miss seeing on a Sunday morning.

We learned a wide range of tips and tricks this week, from how to create a nickname, how to let someone know you’re talking to them, and also how to silence the chat room when you just want to worship or stay focused on the message. Here they are:

1. Joining the Chat
The chatroom opens 15 minutes before the service begins and closes 15 minutes after the service ends. When you arrive on the site, the chat is displayed by default.

When you want to join in, start typing and you’ll be prompted to choose a “nickname.” This is the name that will appear when you chat, so we encourage you to simply choose your first and last name, or just your first. If you wish to stay anonymous, please pick a name that is appropriate for the chat.

While there is no formal way to reply directly to someone who is talking to you, we found it helpful to use the format “@username — text.” So if you’re talking to our Youth Pastor Chris Herning, you can say “@Chris — good morning!”

2. Silencing the Chat
We had lots of questions about the option to silence the chat room so you can focus on the message or any other part of the service. While there is no way to “close” the chat room, you can hide it by choosing any of the tabs other than chat — including the notes section where we have important links, information about songs and the message and other announcements. There is also a tab with a Bible app built in, so you can pull up the scripture being explored in the message and read it for yourself!

3. Live Prayer
You’ll notice that there is a large button on the screen that says live prayer. If you want to have someone pray for you, clicking this button will send a prompt to our prayer team and one of them will enter a private chat room with you where you can pray over text. 20 people were prayed for this past Sunday!

4. Going Full Screen, Watching on Your TV and Accessing Closed Captioning
Finally, we had a few miscellaneous questions we want to answer here.

Can I go full screen?
Yes! Hover over the video and click the full screen shortcut button. Depending on your screen, you may need to resize the browser window so that the live prayer button doesn’t cover this option.

Can I watch on my TV?
There is no formal way to watch the service on your TV, but many smart TVs come with built-in browsers that you can use, and depending on your setup, you may be able to webcast or screen mirror your device to your TV.

Is there closed captioning?
Yes! You can access this by hovering over the video and clicking the closed captioning shortcut. Again, depending on your screen, you may need to resize the browser window so that the live prayer button doesn’t cover this option.

The video abruptly stopped for me during the announcements. Do you know what happened?
We’re so sorry about that. We’ve identified the problem and fixed it for future weeks. We don’t anticipate any issues like that happening again this Sunday.

We’re excited to see you this weekend. Remember that we will be exclusively streaming this week at — 8:30am for our Toddlers & Preschool Service, 9:00am for our Vineyard Kids Service and 10:00am for our Cross-Campus English Service.

If you have questions that weren’t answered here, please feel free to respond to this email or reach out to any pastor. And say hi when you join us on Sunday!

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