Policy for UU Congregation Web Sites and Email Lists
Corporate Web sites
Purposes: The web site's objectives are to serve as a living and dynamic electronic extension of the parish ministry by:
- Providing information about our church, its history, and beliefs to prospective, new, or existing members.
- Creating a "virtual church" to allow friends and members away at school, or unable to physically attend congregation functions to continue to maintain contact with our church community.
- Establishing a warm and welcoming presence on the Web and within the electronic community of our geographic area.
- Creating a living spiritual and educational resource for adult education, the young people of the church, and lifelong learners by supporting and extending existing church curriculum.
- Contributing to the general presence of our church and Unitarian Universalism on the Internet.
- Creating a dynamic forum for the free expression of views and opinions relating to UU values, principles, and Resolutions of Immediate Witness as voted at parish meetings and the UUA General Assembly.
The web site will contain information concerning the congregation and its activities, contact information for the congregation and staff, and information of use to prospective visitors and members.
Standards: All material, in whatever medium, distributed for public consumption on behalf of the congregation shall be consistent with our mission statement and will reflect the highest quality and professionalism standards reasonably obtainable.
Contact Information: This congregation respects the privacy of its members and visitors. No personal contact information will be placed on the congregation's public web pages without prior permission.
Exceptions: First names (only) may be placed under pictures adult members engaged in routine events sponsored by the congregation. These captioned pictures may be placed on the congregation's web site without prior consent. If a member wishes pictures of him or her not to be used, then s/he may contact the minister, administrator, or webmaster to have their name placed on a list of members for whom absolutely no information will be publicly displayed on the web site. This aspect of web policy will be promulgated to all members upon joining and at least annually thereafter.
Privacy Statement This congregation respects the privacy of its members as well as that of visitors and friends. We understand that there are those who feel uncomfortable about having personal information, or information about their personal preferences disclosed, accidentally or otherwise. At no point does our web site capture or intend to capture personal data. If you email a congregation member, you are NOT added to a mailing list (unless you explicitly request to be added to a mailing list).
Responsibility for Linked Content: The congregation does not take responsibility for, and does not necessarily agree with or support the opinions expressed and information provided at other web >sites which can be accessed by following links from our site.
Web site administration
Webmaster: One member, designated by the minister (or in his/her absence, the President) and approved by the Board of Trustees, shall act as webmaster and have the following responsibilities:
- Have overall authority and control of web site administration.
- Administer the web site consistent with the congregation's mission and the Purposes and Principles of the UUA.
- Act as a liaison to the organization currently hosting the web site.
- Act as a liaison to the Domain Name Service currently hosting our domain name.
- Administer access to all parts of the web site.
- Coordinate development and delivery of content to be placed on the web site.
- Develop and maintain guidelines for the 'look and feel' of the web site so that its appearance is consistent and access to information is logical.
- Allow for password controlled access for writing to the web site to other designated congregation members. Designate members who will help in maintaining web content. The Minister will additionally approve these members. This approval will be followed by notification of the Board of Trustees at its next regularly scheduled meeting.
- Designate members who will act as reviewers of web content and policy.
- Ensure that the web site policies outlined in this document are adhered to.
- Be responsible for promulgation of web site privacy policies to all members at least annually.
- Maintain back-up copies of the web site at least monthly.
- Review our web policy (this policy) annually (generally prior to the annual congregational meeting) and provide a report to the Board of Trustees.
- Maintain a list of members who desire that absolutely no public information about them be revealed on the web site. Ensure that our web site respects the rights and wishes of these, as well as all members.
- Coordinate with Council members and various committees to allow opportunities for any committee to provide web content consistent with this policy.
- Maintain a budget for web-related activities and report at least annually to the Treasurer regarding financial activities related to the web site.
- Maintain a list of persons currently granted (write) access to all or part of the web site and make this list available for review by the Minister and Board of Trustees.
- Remove (write) access from persons who are no longer actively serving the interests of the congregation. The Minister (or in his/her absence, the President) shall have final appeal authority concerning removal of access to the web site.
- On an emergent basis, remove content that has been placed on the web site and subsequently deemed inappropriate.
- Act as a developer for those portions of the web site that are common, or have no developer available.
One or more congregation members (and/or the Administrator if s/he is not a member), designated by the Webmaster and approved by the Minister shall act as web site developers. Developers will have the following responsibilities:
- Understand the areas of the web site for which they are responsible (designated by the Webmaster, approved by the Minister).
- Develop web content consistent with the mission of this congregation and the Purposes and Principles of the UUA.
- Deal with technical details of placing content on the web site.
- Gather existing brochures, reports, pictures and histories for the site.
- Act as liaison to Council and Committee members as appropriate.
- Design the page layout for his or her area of responsibility, consistent with look and feel of the overall web site as decided by the Webmaster. The minister (or in her absence, the President) will arbitrate disputes should any occur in this area.
- Keep dynamic information current.
- Create graphics as necessary (ensure copyright laws are adhered to).
- Work on continuously updating, expanding and enhancing the web site.
- Consult the Minister (or in nis/her absence, the President) concerning content intended for the web site which is of a questionable nature.
- Have e-mail that will usually be accessed daily and have convenient access to the Web.
One or more congregation members, designated by the Webmaster and approved by the Minister (or in his/her absence, the President) shall act as Web Site Reviewers. A person who is a Developer or the Webmaster may not be an independent reviewer of content that s/he has developed. Web Site Reviewers will have the following responsibilities:
- Look at the site when changes are made and make suggestions on how to improve it.
- Comment on drafts of the policies that guide how the site works.
- Have e-mail that will usually be accessed daily and convenient access to the Web.
Community Web Sites
( definition development needed - corporate policy above would not be appropriate )
E-mail and Mailing List(s)
E-mail sent or received by congregation staff members is considered to be private in nature and will not be forwarded, copied, or otherwise retransmitted unless permission of the author is obtained or permission is implicit in the content of the e-mail. Forwarding may occur between staff members when it is necessary to expedite services that are directly related to content of the e-mail in question.
Staff members will take reasonable precautions (password protection, screensavers, secured backups, etc.) to ensure that unauthorized access to e-mail does not occur. When such access is suspected, further security measures (as appropriate) will be taken and all persons whose private information might reasonably have been compromised will be informed.
Announcement mailing lists: The congregation hosts one or more announcement mailing lists to which anyone (members and friends of the congregation as well as others) may subscribe. Announcements may be posted to these lists only by the church administrator and should pertain to congregation business and events. Subscribers cannot post to the list, and it is not intended for online discussions.
Discussion mailing lists: The congregation does not host or manage a discussion mailing list (that is, a mailing list to which subscribers can post messages). The congregation does not take responsibility for discussion mailing lists hosted by members or others, even if the list topic relates to the congregation.
- Adapted from Kitsap Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, written by John Stilwell, adapted by Margy Levine Young, with some material from the First Congregational Parish in Kingston's policy blended in 1/23/2007