Ways to Connect Digitally

Hi Villagers!

As we are adjusting to social distancing and the many other changes happening today, The Village staff and leadership still wants you to connect with one another.

Leaders will be checking in on people from time to time but do not hesitate to reach out to an elder (Rod, Mark, or Eric) if you need anything.

In the meantime – here are my top three apps for connecting with video:

Google Hangouts – https://hangouts.google.com/- This one seems to be one of the easiest platforms to use. I hosted a meeting for Makers’ Camp the other day and simply had to share a link with the people that were invited to attend. You can download the Google Hangouts app on your phone – but again, if you have a link I don’t think it’s necessary. This might be a great option for Pilgrim Group leaders and Monastic Communities to meet digitally with up to 10 people. Your best bet is to create a google account and then use Chrome (rather than Internet Explorer) to open the Google Hangouts app. You do not have to pay for this service.

Here is a 7-minute video explaining how to use Google Hangouts: How to use Google Hangouts – Beginner’s Guide

ZOOMhttps://zoom.us/  – This is a great professional platform to have audio and video conferences with large groups of people. You will need to sign up to host a meeting but, like Google Hangouts, you can share a link with everyone that you want to attend. Zoom even has a resource page for navigating the site specifically for social distancing times. I believe they have also expanded their services so that you do not have to pay for longer meetings.

Facebook Messenger- https://www.messenger.com/ – You don’t need a public facebook page to have a messenger account. Once you create one, you can be added to or create several different chat groups. I have two main groups – a neighborhood group and a nuclear family group – and I have had multiple video calls that worked out great. Once you establish your group, you can simply call everyone at once using the Video Call function and see everyone’s lovely faces in one screen. I’ve read that the limit of meeting is 4 but I know I’ve met with at least 6 people at once, maybe they have changed it.

You can also find more information in this easy-to-read article from someone that sounds like they know what they are talking about: https://dailyhive.com/vancouver/free-online-video-call-apps 

AND – For all you board game lovers out there, many games are available for download on Steam or the Apple or Android store so that you can play games with your friends! There is a fee for most games through but if you’re a serious board game player, it may be worth it. Access STEAM here: https://store.steampowered.com/

Do you have more insight to share on each app? Feel free to leave a comment below!


  1. Sue Cepin

    Thanks for these details, Jessica! I find this really helpful. 🙂

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