What is this Policy?
What information do we collect?
Information collected through the www.umcna.org website, or through various Conference or District Offices, is used for a variety of denominational, conference and district purposes. This information may include (but is not limited to) names, email addresses, phone numbers, mailing addresses, age groups, age, local church affiliations, ethnicity, gender, and relationship to the Conference. For clergy, we also collect educational background information, marital status, and spouse’s name (as applicable). We use this information to provide you with any electronic services you may request from the NAC. The website will not ask you to provide your, or anyone else’s, social security numbers.
The NAC may automatically, and through third-party tracking services (e.g., Google Analytics) gather certain non-personally identifiable information about your use of the NAC website, and store that information in log files. This information may include Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, browser type, internet service provider (ISP), referring/exit pages, operating system, date/time stamps, and related data. The Conferenced uses this information, which does not identify individual users, solely to improve the quality of our products and services. Out of respect for your privacy, the Conference does not link this automatically-provided data to personally-identifiable information.
What does the NAC do with the Analytics Data it collects?
As mentioned above, the Conference website my use Google Analytics, or another third party tracking service, to help analyze how users use the site. The tool uses “cookies” to collect standard Internet log information and visitor behavior information in an anonymous form. A cookie is a small text file that is stored on a user’s computer for record-keeping purposes. The information generated by the cookie about your use of the website (including IP address) is transmitted to Google. This information is then used to evaluate visitors’ use of the website and to compile statistical reports on website activity for the North Alabama Annual Conference. You are free to decline cookies, but by doing so, you may not be able to take full advantage of all of the offerings available from the Conference on its website. The Conference does not link the information it stores in cookies to any Personally-Identifiable Information (PII) you may submit while visiting the Conference website.
The NAC will never (and will not allow any third party to) use statistical analytics tool to track or to collect any PII of visitors to our site. In addition, Google will not associate your IP address with any other data held by Google. The Conference and Google will not link, or seek to link, an IP address with the identity of a computer user. We will not associate any data gathered from our site with any PII from any source, unless you explicitly authorize the Conference to do so.
How do we protect/use your information?
The Conference takes precautions to protect your information. In addition to using encryption security measures, only Conference or District employees who need the information you provide to perform a specific job (such as responding to an inquiry or request from you) are granted access to PII. The computers/servers in which the Conference stores PII are kept in a secure environment.
Except to the limited extent set forth in the Policy (relating, primarily, to information about Conference, District and local church officers (“Local Church Officers”), including Lay Members to Annual Conference from a local church), your information is never sold or provided to unrelated third parties. It may be shared with cooperating partners to further the mission and ministry of the Conference, to conduct the Annual Conference, comply with Conference Rules, provide data requested by the denomination, and to assess the ministries of the Conference. Some information may be published in Conference Journals. We may contact you by email with news items, announcements, and other urgent information.
Conference and District Officers and Leaders Information
The NAC collects the names and home and mailing addresses of officers elected by the Annual Conference or District Conference, as well as others serving voluntary leadership roles in the Conference or a District.
Use of Conference and District Officers and Leaders Information
To the extent any Conference and District Officers, whose name and information is collected in the course of preparing and submitting Charge Conference reports already has an @umcna.org email address, he or she, and his or her information, will be subject to, and governed by the Electronic Asset and Communication User Agreement set forth below. However, many lay persons will not have an @umcna.org email address. Therefore, those persons, and the information they provide will be subject to the following:
- Conference or District employees or authorized ministry partners of the Conference may wish to reach out to Conference and District Officers with information about Conference or District events, or services and programs offered by authorized ministry partners (including requests for donations). These types of contacts, due to time sensitivity and for other legitimate reasons, may be made more effectively and efficiently if the Conference, its ministry partners and Candidates to General Conference or Jurisdictional Conference are able to contact the Conference and District Officers directly – by regular mail, addressed to the Officers’ home or mailing addresses.
- Conference and District Officers will be able to evidence their consent to allow their names and home and mailing address information to be shared with authorized ministry partners by the NAC, or their refusal to give such consent, in either of two ways:
(a) They may sign and send to the Director of Communication for the NAC a hard copy consent/refusal of consent form, a copy of which may be accessed via this link: www.umcna.org/privacyconsentprint or
(b) They may electronically evidence their consent/refusal of consent by visiting the following link www.umcna.org/privacyconsentonline and clicking either, “I agree” or “I do not agree”.
Local Church Officer Information
The NAC also collects the names and home and mailing addresses of officers elected in the local church on annual Charge Conference reports. This collection is based on ¶249 of the Book of Discipline which requires local churches to elect at least the following officers:
- Church Council (administrative council or administrative board) Chair
- Nominations and Leadership Development Chair
- Committee on Pastor-Parish / Staff-Parish Relations (Full Committee)
- Finance Committee Chair
- Financial Secretary
- Church Treasurer Board of Trustees Chair
- Lay Member(s) to Annual Conference (all Members)
- Lay Leader
- Recording Secretary for Charge Conference
Use of Local Church Officer Information
To the extent any Local Church Officer, whose name and information is collected in the course of preparing and submitting Charge Conference reports already has an @umcna.org email address, he or she, and his or her information, will be subject to, and governed by the Electronic Asset and Communication User Agreement set forth below. However, most Local Church Officers, as lay persons, will not have an @umcna.org email address. Therefore, those persons, and the information they provide on the Charge Conference reports, will be subject to the following:
- Except as otherwise set forth in this policy, Local Church Officers’ information collected by the NAC includes the Local Church Officers’ addresses (home or mailing) or email address. Any attempt to contact such Local Church Officers by or on behalf of the NAC (or any related or affiliated agency of the Conference) will be sent to the Local Church Officer in care of his or her local church, on whose Charge Conference form the Local Church Officer’s name was provided initially.
- There may be legitimate needs for third parties to contact Local Church Officers directly. For example, Conference or District employees or authorized ministry partners of the Conference may wish to reach out to Local Church Officers with information about Conference or District events, or services and programs offered by authorized ministry partners (including requests for donations). In addition, candidates for delegates to General Conference or Jurisdictional Conference (“Candidates”), may wish to reach out to Lay Members of the Annual Conference, to seek such Lay Members’ support for the Candidates’ efforts to be elected.
- These types of contacts, due to time sensitivity and for other legitimate reasons, may be made more effectively and efficiently if the Conference, its ministry partners and Candidates are able to contact the Local Church Officers, including Lay Members of Annual Conference directly –by regular mail, addressed to the Local Church Officers’ or Lay Member’ home or mailing addresses.
- Commencing with local church Charge Conferences to be held in the summer and fall of 2018, all electronic Charge Conference reports will have a www.umcna.org/privacy to this Policy for review by all Local Church Officers. In addition, Local Church Officers, including Lay Members of the Annual Conference, will be asked to: (a) agree to comply with the terms and conditions of this Policy, and (b) to allow their names and their home and mailing addresses (but no other personal information) to be made available to authorized ministry partners, to General Conference or Jurisdictional Conference Candidates and to other persons who demonstrate to the satisfaction of the NAC’s Director of Communication that such persons have a legitimate need to know the names and contact information (i.e., home, mailing addresses, but no other personal information) for the Local Church Officers or Lay Members to Annual Conference .
- Local Church Officers, including Lay Members to Annual Conference, will be able to evidence their consent to allow their names and home and mailing address information to be shared by the NAC, or their refusal to give such consent, in either of two ways:
(a) They may sign and send to the Director of Communication for the NAC a hard copy consent/refusal of consent form, a copy of which may be accessed via this link: www.umcna.org/privacyconsentprint; or
(b)They may electronically evidence their consent/refusal of consent by visiting the following link www.umcna.org/privacyconsentonline and clicking either, “I agree” or “I do not agree”.
- Each local church will be responsible for ensuring that all of its Local Church Officers, including Lay Members of Annual Conference, respond, either affirmatively or negatively, to the request for consent made the subject of this Policy. District Offices will follow up with particular local churches which have not provided the requested consent/refusal of consent forms from all Local Church Officers, including Lay Members to Annual Conference of that local church.
- Any Local Church Officer or Lay Member to Annual Conference who wishes to change his/her initial decision regarding granting/refusing to allow his or her name and address information to be shared with third parties, may change his or her decision at any time by notifying the NAC’s Director of Communication, either electronically or by regular mail, as follows:
Ms. Danette Clifton, Director of Communication
North Alabama Conference
898 Arkadelphia Road
Birmingham, AL 35204
Payments to Third Parties
The Conference does not process credit card payments directly through the www.umcna.org website. We use a third-party vendor (Pay-Pal), so the Conference, its employees, and its individual contractors do not have access to your personal credit card data at any time.
How can you review, change, or limit what information we have?
Customers and Local church Officers, including Lay Members to Annual Conference, as well as all clergy, can review or update their information at any time by contacting the Office of Communications (firstname.lastname@example.org). We make every effort to comply with requests for non-publication, removal, and changes of data. However, clergy contact information is available through the Conference Directory. Clergy membership includes responsibilities to The United Methodist Church, including participating in the demographic studies of denomination. The NAC does provide contact update opportunities, twice a year for clergy and once a year for laity. Despite the availability of this information, the Clergy Directory is NOT intended as a source for obtaining and sharing personal information about clergy members of the NAC. It is intended to be a resource to assist clergy stay in touch with one another – on a personal, one-to-one basis.
ELECTRONIC ASSET AND COMMUNICATION USER AGREEMENT
The 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 makes 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 (“User Agreement”).
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:
- Any Conference system, device, or message must be used for professional/ministerial use only.
- Any files stored on a Conference-sponsored or provided system, including email transmissions and received messages, may not be forwarded or preserved on any unauthorized external resource or mail system.
- Messages, files, posts, comments or other electronic communication that is identified using the authorized user’s NAC email address must conform to the framework outlined in the “Unacceptable Use” paragraph set forth below, as well as with the Board of Ordained Ministry’s published Social Media Guidelines. Here is a link to the Social Media Guidelines: www.umcna.org/policies
- Any authorized person must adopt and follow reasonable security measures to protect his or her data and communications, as well as any NAC system, to include; but not limited to:
- Change your password to the NAC system with reasonable frequency, using a sophisticated combination (suggested passwords are at least 8 characters in length and include a random combination of letters, numbers and symbols).
- Lock your computer workstation or device when you will be away from it for any period longer than five minutes.
- Use an anti-virus software on any device that can be exposed or infected.
- Any authorized user must report any abuse, intrusions, unauthorized monitoring or capture or inappropriate use of the NAC systems, or any component of the systems, to the Director of Information Technology for the North Alabama Conference.
- Acknowledge that the NAC reserves the right, by and through its system administrators, to audit, log, review, capture, retain and monitor any North Alabama Conference system, including all email addresses ending in “umcna.org”.
- Recognize that electronic files and communications, including email correspondence, may be admissible as evidence in court, just as any traditional “writing”.
IMPORTANT NOTICE REGARDNG CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS WITH CLERGYPERSONS:
Alabama law recognizes that confidential communications properly entrusted to a member of the clergy are privileged from disclosure, and that a clergyperson may not be compelled to disclose those communications in giving testimony. The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church (2016) also mandates that clergy are “to maintain all confidences inviolate” subject to certain exceptions. Book of 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:
- Revealing an authorized user’s account password to others, or allowing use of such account by others, including family members.
- Violating the rights of any person or entity protected by copyright or other intellectual property laws, or similar laws or regulations, including, but not limited to, the installation or distribution of “pirated” material that is not appropriately licensed for use by the authorized user.
- Displaying or transmitting sexually explicit images, messages and cartoons is not allowed. Similar prohibited misuse includes, but is not limited to, ethnic slurs, racial comments, off-color jokes or anything that may be construed as harassment, profanity, discrimination or showing disrespect for others.
- Posting harassing, unsolicited or ethically questionable messages or comments on Conference message board or other systems.
- Using a computing asset to procure or transmit material that may violate human trafficking, sexual harassment or hostile workplace laws.
- Any form of harassment.
- Soliciting email for any other email address, other than that of the poster’s account, with the intent to harass or to collect replies.
- Sending unsolicited electronic communications, including email, or advertising material to individuals who did not specifically request such materials (email spam or “junk mail”).
- Unauthorized use or forging of email header information.
- Posing as anyone other than the authorized user himself or herself when sending email, except when authorized to send messages for another when serving in an administrative support role.
- Transmitting, receiving or retaining any personally identifiable or confidential information outside of the scope of ministry use. If confidential information is required to be sent, use appropriate redaction or encryption. However, always start with the assumption that confidential information should NOT be sent.
- Sending or forwarding email that contains, or is likely to contain, computer viruses.
- Participating in “chain” emails, Ponzi or other pyramid schemes of any type.
- “Everyone” or “Reply to all” messages that are personal messages or solicitations are not allowed.
Any authorized user who violates this User Agreement may be subject to disciplinary action by the Board of Ordained Ministry or other responsible NAC official, to include suspension, termination of employment, loss of credentials or other appropriate 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 in the form of filing 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.
MAILING LIST REQUESTS
The North Alabama Conference wants to help churches stay connected to ministry information and opportunities. We are here to help share information from North Alabama Conference-related ministries.
Snail Mail Mailing Labels / Mailing Lists
North Alabama Conference-related ministries may request mailing lists (snail mail only) of churches, clergy and local church lay leadership (with addresses in care of the local church) for the purpose of communicating upcoming events or ministry opportunities.
- Mailing information will not be provided for commercial use or for the purpose of sales or non-ministry marketing.
- Clergy mailing lists only include the official mailing address each clergy person has designated.
- Only North Alabama Conference approved ministries and agencies (e.g., Advance Specials) can receive mailing lists to be used for fund-raising purposes.
Printed mailing labels cost $15 for up to 2000 labels. Larger lists are priced based on the number of labels.
Mailing lists are free and are provided in Microsoft Excel format.
Mailing labels and mailing lists are provided for one-time use only.
Please click here and complete the form to request mailing labels / mailing lists.
Except as specifically authorized by this Policy (especially the portions hereof relating to Lay Member(s) to the Annual Conference), The North Alabama Conference and its Districts never give out lists of email addresses of clergy or laity to any individual or organization. This is part of our agreement with churches and individuals who provide contact information for Conference and District use only.
Instead, we are happy to include your information (if it fits within the parameters of our Conference vision and priorities) in one of our regular email publications. We also work with Advance Specials and Conference teams to send targeted emails on their behalf to specific groups of people.
Submit your request for information to be communicated by mass email to Director of Communication Danette Clifton.