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Social Media Boundaries in the UCC

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Elizabeth Dilley

on 26 June 2018

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Transcript of Social Media Boundaries in the UCC

Stay in touch with family and friends
Learn what is going on in people's lives
Discern what is important to the people you serve
Find people with shared values
Build and sustain communities
Social Trends and Evangelism
Share news, information, events
See what conversations are trending and what stories are being shared
Retweet, Repost, Share
Promote and display core values of the church
Promote activities of the church
Amplify voices
Pastoral Care
See and hear what is going on in people's lives
Provide a safe space to share stories, hear grief, offer grace
Connect to others - you are not alone
Connection and Relationship
Social Media = Public Space
No legal or practical expectation of privacy
Inform parishioners that social media does not allow for confidentiality
Manage "privacy" through lists, private messages, closed or secret groups
Manage confidentiality by minimizing confidential conversations on social media
Availability of Clergy
People are always there
People expect you to always be there
People expect you to see what they have posted there (and may not think to share with you in other ways)
During and After Transitions
Create and communicate your Social Media Transition Plan
Pass along administrator duties, remove self as administrator, share passwords with appropriate leaders
Best practice is to unfriend/unfollow all parishioners; sometimes appropriate to create separate list for former parishioners
Refer all pastoral concerns to the current pastoral leadership
Follow your Transition Plan
Pray for your former ministry setting and for its new ministerial leadership
While Serving
Do you initiate friend/follow requests?
Do discern how and whether to accept friend/follow requests
Consider: whose story is this to tell?
Do encourage face-to-face conversations for sensitive concerns
Do keep a list of any passwords for online groups you administer
Do consider having separate accounts for personal and professional use where possible
Avoid vague postings
Opportunities for Ministry
Expectations for Ministry
Best Practices
Social Media Boundaries for UCC Clergy
Grounding for the Work
Theological Grounding
Trinity is interconnected
Three-in-One God calls us to relationships of authenticity, wholeness, integrity
Covenants of support and accountability help us embody holy relationships
Liability Concerns
Mandatory Reporting Laws
Use of social media nullifies confidentiality (i.e., no "seal of the confessional")
With Children and Youth
Do not submit "friend"/follow requests to youth
No "confidential" or "private" conversations on social media
Build and use safeguards for online communications
Use privacy settings, and remind that social media = public space
Create group covenants for any youth group pages
Follow mandatory reporting requirements
Do not post photos of minors on social media, certainly without permission

Boundary Considerations
Authorized ministers' appropriate use of power
Whose story is this to share?
Who else needs to know what has been shared?
How is transparency being modeled?
Full transcript