Instructions and Suggestions for Running a Service.
Congratulations! You've decided to run a service at the UU fellowship in Second Life. You have a great topic all ready, you've done a little bit of research, and you're ready to go. You have the content, now how do you do mundane things like virtually unlock the door and turn on the lights?
There are several avatars who can help you with running the service:
- Etaoin Barcelona
- Bizarre Berry
- Otenth Padderborn
Etaoin Barcelona is the lead "trainer" and this page is the biggest source of information to get you started.
As soon as you decide to run a service
Schedule your service.
- Go to the FUUCSL UUWiki scheduling page and sign up for a date. http://www.uuism.net/uuwiki/index.php?title=FUUCSL_Schedule
- You'll have to add your userid to the UU wiki to edit the page.
- If it's far in the future, fill in the weeks of the calendar between the last week and your week, please.
- You don't have to sign up for a topic immediately; just reserving the date is enough.
- We normally run a service on Thursday and Saturday, and normally you should do both days. But if you can only make one of the days, just sign up for the day you can make. We can work on the missing day. Let people know if you have problems making both services.
- Ask to join the "House of Wu" group. Being added to this group will make you a "Service Coordinator" which will give you the ability to rez objects in the Lovelace sanctuary and change parcel media setings. It will also let you set Events to happen at the Lovelace sanctuary. Etaoin or many other service coordinators should be able to add you.
As you prepare your service
Prepare a "service script".
This text document contains all the elements of your service: readings, prayers, music URLs, etc.
I also add things like the event text to paste into the SL Events calendar, and little cues to do things like ring bells. In a pinch, you could cut-and-paste everything from this script into the chat window and you'd run the service. During the service proper, you will be doing too many things to thinks about stuff, and this script takes away the routine thought process.
When writing the service script, start each sentence on a new line, and separate the paragraphs with a blank line. I use something like a "---" at the beginning of a line to separate sections of the homily.
I try to make my service about 40 minutes long. Be aware that "Joys and Concerns" tends to take about 15 minutes. If you find the service lasting more than an hour, try to finish it, since people will start to poof out at about that time.
Find music and other media.
If you use music or media, get the URLs of the files together. Watch out for server network capacity; your favorite server might work well when only you are using it, but if 40 people are hitting it you may have problems. If you can check out your server capacity before the service you will avoid problems during the service.
Note there is some concern about what music is publicly playable and which is not. Please make sure that your music can be performed in SL.
When in doubt, run Radio Riel on the Music URL at http://music.radioriel.org
You can also stream video. If you accidentally clobber the video URL you can load up "A Living Tradition" video at http://www.uua.org/ya-cm/campus/Videos/living%20their%20faith-New%20movie-H.264%20300Kbps%20Streaming.mov
When the service is done, please make sure you reset the media URLs.
Learn to use the toys in the sanctuary.
Practice changing the music and media URLs. Even if you don't plan on using music, you may have to change the parcel music if it starts to play a spoken-word performance.
To change the parcel music:
- Click on the name of the parcel in the top-center of your SL screen. This is a shortcut to "About Land"
- Under the "Media" tab, you can update the top box for the movie-screen content, but you will probably update the lower box for "Music URL".
See how clicking on the small chalice lights and darkens it.
Figure out how voice works with your microphone. A headphone with a microphone attached works best--it keeps your microphone a constant distance form your lips. And if you use voice chat, please be aware that you should only listen through headphones, since external speakers tend to feedback at odd times to the other people listening to the service.
Learn to use the notecard reader. See these instructions on how to use it. You need to get one of these from Etaoin Barcelona.
A few days before the service.
Add an event to the Second Life Event database.
Note that it might take 48 hours for the event announcement to appear in-world. We do get a few visitors from Caledon who notice the pretty star over our area and have gotten a few friends that way.
Be sure to get the time (AM or PM) right. Remeber, SL works on Pacific time here in the USA (and European presenters....good luck!).
I usually classify the event as a "Discussion"
The title I usually use is something like "Unitarian Universalist Thursday Service"
For the text of the event I use: "Join the members and friends in our Unitarian Universalist fellowship in our regular weekly Thursday meeting. Come to hear what we have to discuss, and stay for the discussion during the "coffee hour" following the service. Join us in our quest for truth and meaning. This week, we'll be discussing (the topic)"
Practice the service.
I've gone to the sanctuary, even with a few people there, and practiced the service. Like anything else, and especially the first time you run a service, practice is important.
The day of the service.
Make sure the notecard reader and Order of Service sender is set up right.
You can edit the Order of Service sender directly--it is disguised as the vase of tiger lilies in front of the pulpit. Right-click to edit it, go to the "Content" tab, and update the text in that notecard. Anyone can update that notecard. When complete, say "oos" to see if you get the correct notecard.
Set up the notecard reader near the seating area. Keep in mind when it works you see swirly particles and it might be a distraction.
During the service.
Identify an usher. (optional)
The first time you run a service, a lot is going on. Someone may help out with ushering. Mostly, they will be in IM contact with you during the service and can take care of new people who come by. They may also handle griefers for you.
Be ready for griefers.
Unfortunately, we seem to get griefers attending our service. Usually they are mostly harmless, but can be obnoxious. My strategy is to accept them for a few seconds, but if they get out of line, I freeze them; usually that's enough to get them to behave; they will teleport elsewhere. If that doesn't work, Eject them; if they return, Eject and Ban. I do try to send something in IM first if they aren't being obnoxious; sometimes they just hover next to the pulpit and they might be a confused newbie.
Note that most griefer avatars are one-time-use avatars; banning them usually just means they could be back as someone else the next service.
If you are in the House of Wu, you can Freeze, Eject, and Ban. Just right-click on the avatar giving you trouble (or their name card if they are moving too much), select "More" then "Freeze" or "Eject".
Freeze will stop the avatar, keep them quiet, and make them unable to do anything for 30 seconds. You can talk to them in IM or open chat and they must listen. They can teleport out, and most griefers will at that point. If freezing doesn't work, you can Eject which will move them out of the parcel. You can Eject and Ban so they can't return to the parcel. CoyoteAngel Dimsum can ban them from the region; I've never had to go that far.
Use voice correctly.
Practice with the microphone--if possible get another avatar to tell you how you sound. Note that you can adjust the volume for all speaking avatars by pressing the little chat-balloon icons next to the talk button. But there seems to be a default volume setting and you should set your microphone gain to be set for that volume.
And have fun. Remind people they can get the Order Of Service by saying "oos" in open chat.
Tidy up the sanctuary.
Remove the toys you might have put out.
Please make sure you reset the media URLs.