Can I Set Up a Stake Project?

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richardostewart
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Can I Set Up a Stake Project?

Postby richardostewart » Sun Jun 30, 2013 12:11 pm

I am helping out with a technology project in my stake (an informational web site for some stake sponsored community activities). Can the LDSTech environment can be used to manage the wed site development project?

There are several people contributing to this effort, so ideally we would have access to source control and project management tools (task tracking, progress monitoring, etc.).

If we can't do this through LDSTech, does anyone have any suggestions on how to approach it? Should I go through CloudForge or another free service like that?

richardostewart
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Re: Can I Set Up a Stake Project?

Postby richardostewart » Sun Jun 30, 2013 12:57 pm

After posting my question, I continued to look around this site for answers. In one forum discussion I found a link to the following two pages of information:

Introduction to LDSTech Projects
Internal Leadership on Project Teams

These two sites reiterate that the projects shown on the site are official, and are led by a church employee. I don't think my project would qualify as official, since it is local in scope. But maybe it could be a limited-view project, by invitation only. That way we can still use the tools that are there to help us, but we don't get portrayed as an official project that the church is working on.

russellhltn
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Re: Can I Set Up a Stake Project?

Postby russellhltn » Sun Jun 30, 2013 1:07 pm

I would suggest reading Handbook 2: 21.1.22.

On occasion, official Church Web sites may be approved for other purposes, such as multistake projects, special events, and young single adult activities and organization. To seek approval for such a site, the organization’s priesthood leader submits a request stating the purpose and need to a member of the Presidency of the Seventy or the Area Presidency.

I think it would be worth taking that up with your stake president. From what I've heard, this isn't just an approval thing, but once approved, you have access to some additional resources.
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richardostewart
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Re: Can I Set Up a Stake Project?

Postby richardostewart » Sun Jun 30, 2013 2:02 pm

russellhltn wrote:I would suggest reading Handbook 2: 21.1.22.


Based on the above section of the handbook, it looks like we either have to be officially sanctioned by the church or we have to follow the guidelines under the header Members' Use of the Internet in Church Callings. This means that we don't imply church sponsorship in any way.

If one of the purposes of the effort I am involved with is missionary work, can we (the stake) say who we are so that people become more aware of the church, or does this violate the instruction to avoid implying church sponsorship?

Based on my reading, I'll definitely be running this conversation up my priesthood chain of command to see which route is best for the intended purpose, and to get further clarification on whether we are unofficially or officially doing what we are doing.

If anyone has any more suggested reading to help guide the conversation, I'd love to know about it.

russellhltn
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Re: Can I Set Up a Stake Project?

Postby russellhltn » Sun Jun 30, 2013 4:26 pm

richardostewart wrote:If one of the purposes of the effort I am involved with is missionary work, can we (the stake) say who we are so that people become more aware of the church, or does this violate the instruction to avoid implying church sponsorship?

To me, the "Members’ Use of the Internet in Church Callings" section is a bit tricky. On one hand, it shouldn't be a end-run on the "Stakes and wards are not authorized to create other Web sites" rule. OTOH, I don't see where you have to hide the association with the church - just make it clear that the web page is not sponsored by the church. (But that raises the question - who is paying any hosting costs? If it's the church, then aren't they sponsoring it?)


richardostewart wrote:Based on my reading, I'll definitely be running this conversation up my priesthood chain of command to see which route is best for the intended purpose, and to get further clarification on whether we are unofficially or officially doing what we are doing.

That's the best plan. They have the keys to interpreting the handbook.
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richardostewart
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Re: Can I Set Up a Stake Project?

Postby richardostewart » Mon Jul 01, 2013 7:07 pm

russellhltn wrote:To me, the "Members’ Use of the Internet in Church Callings" section is a bit tricky. On one hand, it shouldn't be a end-run on the "Stakes and wards are not authorized to create other Web sites" rule. OTOH, I don't see where you have to hide the association with the church - just make it clear that the web page is not sponsored by the church. (But that raises the question - who is paying any hosting costs? If it's the church, then aren't they sponsoring it?)


I am in total agreement that we shouldn't be doing an end-run on any rules. In fact, I got asked to help out because the people that were working the site needed someone with a bit of web development experience. After reading that handbook section, I am trying to figure out what exactly our site qualifies as. Here is a portion of a prominent statement on the site as it currently stands:

...is sponsored and presented by the...Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


There aren't any official church logos, but the name of the church and the name of the activity are in larger type than the name of the stake. I'm wondering if the statement is too much. Would it be better if it were worded more like this:

...is sponsored and presented by members of the...Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.


This statement, and the original one, still make me nervous. I'd definitely like a bit more clarity on all this stuff. I'll try to remember to post back here when I hear back from the official channels.

We are talking about having a Facebook page and a YouTube channel for this activity, so we want to make sure we are doing it the right way.

richardostewart
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Re: Can I Set Up a Stake Project?

Postby richardostewart » Mon Jul 01, 2013 7:20 pm

russellhltn wrote:...who is paying any hosting costs? If it's the church, then aren't they sponsoring it?


I forgot to provide the other bit of information that I actually know about the situation :), and that is that the hosting costs are being contributed by a member, so there isn't any cost to the church for anything we are doing. So from this standpoint, the church isn't sponsoring it.

russellhltn
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Re: Can I Set Up a Stake Project?

Postby russellhltn » Mon Jul 01, 2013 7:29 pm

richardostewart wrote:
...is sponsored and presented by members of the...Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.


This statement, and the original one, still make me nervous. I'd definitely like a bit more clarity on all this stuff. I'll try to remember to post back here when I hear back from the official channels.


I'd be interested in hearing how it comes out - and from what level.

It just seems like a close call without it being approved from the area.
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jdlessley
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Re: Can I Set Up a Stake Project?

Postby jdlessley » Mon Jul 01, 2013 8:28 pm

Until a site is sponsored by the Church I would assume a site falls under the "Members’ Use of the Internet in Church Callings" section of Handbook 2, 21.1.22. With that assumption then the statement found on the existing site would need to be removed.

In my opinion, removing that statement would be necessary to comply with item 3 of the afformentioned reference which states, "Members should not state or imply that their Web site or activities are sponsored or endorsed by the Church."

I don't think rewording the statement as suggested will work because the implication is still there. Adding a disclaimer would help satisfy the requirement to disconnect the site from implied church sponsorship. As russellhltn stated, "just make it clear that the web page is not sponsored by the church." A disclaimer would do that.

Since the site is sponsored by a member then item 2 of the "Members’ Use of the Internet in Church Callings" section needs to be met. If one member created and is 'responsible' for the site and another is funding or sponsoring the site then I would include the required information about the responsible member and give credit to the other member for funding the page. This not only meets the handbook requirement but also establishes the source of sponsorship which supports the disclaimer.

I agree that direction from higher authority should be sought or approval for a site obtained. I am also interested to hear what instructions or approvals are given by higher authority.
JD Lessley
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russellhltn
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Re: Can I Set Up a Stake Project?

Postby russellhltn » Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:25 pm

jdlessley wrote:In my opinion, removing that statement would be necessary to comply with item 3 of the afformentioned reference which states, "Members should not state or imply that their Web site or activities are sponsored or endorsed by the Church."
[...]
Since the site is sponsored by a member then item 2 of the "Members’ Use of the Internet in Church Callings" section needs to be met. If one member created and is 'responsible' for the site and another is funding or sponsoring the site then I would include the required information about the responsible member and give credit to the other member for funding the page. This not only meets the handbook requirement but also establishes the source of sponsorship which supports the disclaimer.


If they are going down that route, I'd suggest saying that the event is sponsored by the stake but the website is run by Brother Smith.
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