Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise...--Phillipians 4:8
Once upon a time, most humans communicated by "word of mouth." Today the preferred method of communication has moved from hand-written letters to printed material to electronic communication, including social media and other online platforms that again enable word of mouth exchanges. Communication is fast and immediate, which sometimes makes determining the source and what is true more difficult.
Navigating Digital Media
In 2020, with the coronavirus pandemic, many churches began to offer online worship. They were able to reach both members of their congregation and others in their communities and beyond. Many small groups, training events and gatherings moved to virtual formats.
Guide to Copyrights, Licensing, Online Platforms
To help churches understand issues of copyright, licensing and use of online platforms, the Conference released a new guide in March 2021. Funded by the United Methodist Foundation of Western PA
, the guide, Navigating the World of Digital Media: Practical Copyright Licensing & Digital Media Strategies for Virtual Ministries,
was prepared by copyright attorneys with the firm of Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney.
Social Media Guidelines, Resources
Social media -- particularly Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat -- enable churches to connect with segments of their congregation and community regularly and quickly. But it's important to develop a policy to guide the use of social media in your context. Resource UMC
can help. Here's a sampling of key articles.
WPAUMC Social Media Guidelines
The WPAUMC Coordinating Cabinet, on July 1, 2020, adopted new guidelines for use of social media and other online platforms by clergy and lay leaders who represent the United Methodist Church in the Western PA Conference. See Guidelines for Social Media
Resource UMC is also a great place to find "how-to" information or sign up for online courses to learn specific skills or ways to reach more people. See what's available about connecting online.