Greater Northwest Area continues Zoom subsidy for churches through 2023

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Leaders from several Crest to Coast Missional District churches gather in person at Puyallup UMC, as others participate via Zoom during the 2022 charge conference season.

From the earliest days of the pandemic, the Greater Northwest (GNW) Area has offered its local churches a Zoom hosting license at a reduced and subsidized rate. For many, the platform has been essential even after churches returned to in-person worship and activities. We will continue to offer this license for 2023 at the same low rate.

As we approach a winter where three respiratory viruses – COVID, RSV and the Flu are in strong circulation, we believe it is both wise and missional to extend this connectional support again. 

“Offering virtual and hybrid options helps people to make better decisions when they aren’t feeling well or when they need to prioritize their health or family,” explained Rev. David Valera, Pacific Northwest (PNW) Conference Executive Director of Connectional Ministries.

Extending this program for 2023 is one way to affirm ministries that continue to offer hybrid options. “This means more members can participate in bible studies, meetings, social gatherings, and worship opportunities,” shared Laurie Day, Oregon-Idaho Conference Director of Connectional Ministries and Assistant to the Bishop.

United Methodist churches in the Alaska, Oregon-Idaho, and Pacific Northwest Conferences will have their hosting license renewed for $50 for the entirety of 2023. This only applies to the first license a local church receives.

“As budgets tighten, we continue to look for smart ways to support local churches and other ministries,” said Alaska and PNW Conference Treasurer Brant Henshaw. “Sharing this cost together, we can save resources that can be better deployed to other ministries.”

The pricing offered to GNW ministries is approximately $80 less than the cheapest paid Zoom plan while including more features like the ability to host large meetings and webinars with up to 500 participants, unlimited cloud storage and transcription services in addition to the basic Zoom features. This is due to group purchasing and subsidies from the area conferences.

Ministries that do not want to renew their licenses must opt-out using this form by Friday, December 30. Failure to do so by that date will not allow our staff adequate time to remove your license before the annual Zoom renewal is completed.

Financial support for this initiative will come from existing funds in each annual conference budget and resources under the care of the Regional Media Center (RMC), which operates out of the Pacific Northwest Conference Office in Des Moines, WA. The RMC is a resource-lending library serving local churches across the Northwest and beyond for nearly two decades.

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