Dear Beloved Community:
All the information that was public on our old Web site is still available to anyone. You do not have to sign in with a user ID and password to get it. With our new site, however, we are introducing many new features that require you to sign in with ID and password, which we refer to as "keys" or credentials.
With them, you'll be able to write blogs, participate in online discussions, continue your covenant group and social justice activities, among other things, online. We'll be adding short movies on how to use a variety of tools and features on the site that will also explain why you would want to.
But first, we ask that you read the following information on your first or second visit to the site:
- The Keys to Get In:
For individuals with the church provided designation of "member", "friends," and "inquiring friends" as of Oct. 31, 2009, you can sign in with the "keys" that are provided by the church. You can get them from Sarah Masters, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. We have already registered you with them. You can change the email address and password you used to sign in at any time in the "My Settings" area. Please note that the email address you use here, is important. You automatically get notices sent to that address when you choose to be notified of updates to a variety of features on this site. Please also note: We have set your profile page, known to you as "My Page," as being viewable only by "members." On this site "members" means individuals who are literally Members of the church but also individuals who are Friends and Inquiring Friends. Why did we do this? If we made the "My Page" feature available to anyone then search engines like Google would crawl your pages and return them as results when your names are Googled.
- Parents & Families:
In addition to this blog, please also read the information that specifically effects the decisions families need to make if they want to have their children sign on to this site.
- Public vs. Private:
No one from the public can sign into the church. And there is no technical connection between this site and any internal databases of the church. No one can get your personal information on this site unless you give it out.
- Your Privacy:
Before you start writing blogs or leaving comments around the site, please go to your Settings page to review how you control your privacy.
- A Photo of You:
Please upload a photo that is clearly of you. We've chosen social technology to be the foundation of our new site because we believe it will significantly nurture our relational church culture. We are all trying to get to know one another better - intentionally. We'd like everyone to be able to recognize each other not only at church or events but also online. A photo goes a long way to do that, especially when you meet people for the first time.
There are circumstances under which you may not want a photo of yourself online. That's fine. But we ask that you then use the default black and gold chalice icon that represents everyone who doesn't have a photo.
Our online home is not like Facebook or MySpace where people can be anonymous and have icons of graphical images. Our real names and photo icons, if you have one, accompany us wherever we are on the site. If you don't have a digital photo of yourself, Sarah Masters can take one of you when you're at the church on Sundays. Arrange it with her in advance.
- Messages vs. Comment Walls:
In this network, you can send private messages to other individuals. What you write in those notes will be seen only by the recipient and not displayed publicly. You write these messages from inside of your Inbox. A link to your Inbox is always in the box that tops the right column of every page on this site. To send messages to others, you must designate them as "friends." You will most likely get requests from people you know to be "friends." "Friending" enables you to create lists of people with whom you can easily communicate. The list also acts as a way to grant access to blogs, multimedia and other activities you do. You can restrict access to those things with a friend list. Comment Walls are typically public comments. They are like guest books. You leave comments that are available for others to see.
- You are in the Church Here!
When you are signed into this site, you are in the church. It's like being at coffee hour after services. With one exception. Depending on where you make comments here, they have shelf life. Once you say it here by writing comments, posting videos and photos and sharing documents, your actions and words can take on a life of their own. You may want to refresh your memory of our church covenant. It applies here too.
- Online Help:
- It's coming as noted above. But for now, if you have questions, send them to the network administrator, known, by the name, UUCA, on this site, and represented by this icon:
That's enough information to get you started. We're excited about the possibilities that this site offers. It's another way for us to walk together in the ways of love no matter where we are!
See information specifically for families with children.