April Issue of Greenwood District Newsletter

2015_04_01 - front pageThe April issue of the  District newsletter is now available.

Items of interest include:

  • April Clergy Meeting
  • Sending Forth Service, May 22
  • Disaster Response Training Information
  • Local Mission Fair at Annual Conference
  • Conference UMM Ministry Recognized
  • 100 Mighty Men of Faith
  • Wightman UMC Golf Tournament

Social Media and Pictures of Your Parishioners

How often do you think of the consequences of posting photos of church activities on your church’s web page, Facebook page, Instagram feed, or other social media sites? Probably not often enough to ensure that your actions are protecting the persons in the pictures while publicizing activities and events in the life of your church.

A recent discussion on a moderated listserv centered on this very issue. The original question asked if any church that listserv members were affiliated with had any kind of release statement or form that church members had to sign in order for the church to use their pictures on any social media site, including the church’s web page. Many comments and suggestions were offered by members of this listserv. Several responded that a statement was included in the newsletter and bulletin giving adult members the opportunity to “opt out” of having their picture included. Such statements as, “If you do not wish for any pictures of you to be a part of the XXXXX website, please contact the church office immediately by calling xxxxxxxx, ext10.  Thank you” or “I do not give permission to XXXX Church to include my photo on any social media outlet and in any print publications from the church.” You should always have permission from parents before posting pictures of children and youth on your social media sites, whether or not you use names.

The best answer to this question was posted by Bryan L. Mills Associate General Counsel GCFA:

“Generally, we are not aware of anything that would require your church to receive the permission of the adults featured in photos to be used in such manners. However, we do know that many churches make available a statement or policy regarding such uses of photos, either in a bulletin or on the church’s website. Here are several examples of such statements/policies:

http://www.stlukesonthelake.org/photographypolicy

http://unionboston.org/privacy-policy

http://www.oxfordbaptistnc.org/disclaimer/

http://www.saint-barnabas.net/Photography_Policies

http://www.decaturfirst.org/termsofuse.html

The above examples vary in level of detail and incorporated procedures, but there are some general concepts that emerge:

· The church reserves the right to use photos of large groups without receiving specific permission, especially if no names are used.

· Pictures of smaller groups of adults may require receiving permission first, especially if names are used.

· Pictures of minors will only be used with permission, and often without naming them.

· Regardless of the church’s policies, an individual church member can specifically request to not be featured in any photos.

We are hopeful the above examples and concepts will provide a starting point for your church to develop its own guidelines. (Searching the Internet for “church photography policy” or something similar will produce lots of other useful examples.) Please let us know if there is any other way in which we can be helpful. Thank you.”

If this is a topic you and your church leaders have not discussed in the past, perhaps now is the time to add the use of photos on social media sites to the agenda for your next meeting. . Better to be prepared and be proactive than have to react at a later date.

 

The March Newsletter is now available

March newsletter

This month’s issue is available online. Items of interest in this issue include

– March Gathering of Fellowship of Clergy
– Greenwood District Disaster Response Training Events
– ERT Training
– Ken Callahan Seminar
– Greenwood District Lay Servant Ministries School

2014-2015 Continuing Education Opportunities

The SC Conference Board of Ordained Ministry has provided information about continuing education opportunities for SC clergy.

CECG Guidelines (1) There are two types of Continuing Education Covenant Groups (CECG). One is a traditional group with a similar format to the Residency Groups for provisional deacons and elders. The other is a focus
group with a format based on a specific area of education. Both Groups are offered annually by the
Board of Ordained ministry and coordinated by the Director of Continuing Education Groups. Anyone appointed in the SC Annual Conference (LP, FE, FD, AM, DM, RM, OE, OD) may participate. Provisional members should complete Residency prior to participating in a CECG.

CECG 2014 15 Brochure (1) – Continuing Education Covenant Groups 2014-2015

Traditional Group: The Greenwood District Traditional Group is led by Rev. Kathy Carr and Rev. Steven King. The organizational meeting is set for September 16, 10:00 a.m., at St. John’s UMC, 513 West Church St., Batesburg-Leesville. Contact person is Rev. Kathy Carr (klcarr@umcsc.org). Education Focus: Non-violent understanding of Atonement using writings by several authors.

Focus Groups: Body Challenge/Spirit Challenge. Mike Henderson is the contact person (mbhenderson@umcsc.org)

Two-Day Focus on Sermon Delivery. Contact person is Rev. John Stapleton (cynjohn@bellsouth.net)

Becoming a Transformational Leader.  Contact person is Rev. James McCoy-Bruce (gracepastorjames@aol.com)