The North Alabama Conference (“NAC” or “Conference”) recognizes the role information and technology play in growing disciples of Jesus Christ and in fulfilling the ministry and mission of the United Methodist Church. To this end, the NAC is making unique email addresses available to all Conference clergy persons and other leaders, all of which addresses will end in the common domain “umcna.org”. Since these email addresses are part of a Conference-owned and operated email system, it is imperative that emails sent from and stored on the accounts established for these addresses are utilized in a manner which is in keeping with the ministerial values of the NAC and of the United Methodist Church.
In furtherance of this commitment, any or all persons who use any North Alabama Conference system, tangible or virtual, including specifically Conference-provided email addresses, will adhere to the following guidelines.
While the Conference’s Information Technology Department wishes to provide a reasonable level of email privacy for clergy or leaders using the “umcna.org” email addresses, such users should be aware that all data on any North Alabama Conference-sponsored or provided system is and will remain the property of the North Alabama Conference. In other words, clergy or leaders using “umcna.org” email addresses should not have any expectation of privacy in anything they create, send from or receive on an account ending in the “umcna.org” extension.
Persons granted rights to accounts and systems at the North Alabama Conference are responsible for all of their personal and professional email activity. Without limiting the foregoing, it is the responsibility of any clergy person or leader using an “umcna.org” email address (an “authorized user”) to comply with all of the following:
IMPORTANT NOTICE REGARDNG CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNICATION: Alabama law recognizes that confidential communications properly entrusted to a member of the clergy are protected, and that a clergy person may not be allowed to disclose those communications in giving testimony. The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church (2012) also mandates that clergy are “to maintain all confidences inviolate” subject to certain exceptions. Discipline ¶ 340(2)(a)(5). Clergy and leaders are advised to notify persons and/or parishioners that communication of confidential information via email to an authorized user may jeopardize any claim that person and/or parishioner may have to keep that communication confidential and privileged.
Under no circumstances is an authorized user to engage in any activity that is unethical or illegal under local, state or federal law, while utilizing a Conference-sponsored or operated system. Without limitation, the following activities are prohibited. Exemptions from these prohibitions may be appropriate while a user is performing his/her legitimate job/ministry responsibilities. In general, however, all of the following activities are unacceptable:
Any authorized user who violates this User Agreement may be subject to disciplinary action by the Board of Ordained Ministry or other employer to include suspension, termination of employment, loss of credentials or other appropriate responsive action. The Conference Information Technology Department may also suspend, deny access to, de-authorize, repossess, block or deactivate any NAC issued tangible or virtual asset from any authorized user found to be in violation of this User Agreement. Furthermore, depending on the severity of the violation, action may be taken to file criminal or civil charges.
If an authorized user’s action(s) violate, or may violate, any local, state or federal law, the Conference Information Technology Department will notify appropriate law enforcement agencies and will comply with any and all requests for information or other assistance from any such agency.
By using NAC-sponsored or provided computing systems, assets, data and networks, each Conference clergy person or leader using an “umcna.org” email address expressly accepts all terms, conditions, limitations and prohibitions set forth in this User Agreement, and accepts full responsibility for his/her use and/or misuse. The Conference considers each user to be ultimately responsible for his or her own actions and does not accept liability for any individual user.
This User Agreement may be modified only by the NAC Information Technology Department, and such modifications may be made at any time.
Upon access or re-access of any North Alabama Conference system, after receiving authorization in writing or by issuance of system credentials or assets (including an “umcna.org” domain address), each authorized user hereby accepts this User Agreement and agrees to comply with all terms and conditions hereof.ons hereof.