A spiritual community for all: advancing justice and embracing diversity with love and acceptance

Guidelines for Email and Social Media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter)

Be respectful and courteous!

Without the body language and facial expressions of face-to-face communication,
electronic messages can be misinterpreted and can escalate a touchy situation into an argument very quickly.


  1. Keep newcomers in mind when posting or sending messages.
  2. Use email to send agendas, minutes, or supporting documents.
  3. Communicate directly with the person or group involved; refrain from gossip or negativity about others.
  4. Respect the diversity of values and viewpoints of others with appreciation and curiosity.
  5. Respect privacy: do not post private conversations or personal information of others without their permission.
  6. Adhere to any prior agreements you have with church members or staff.
  7. Assume that others act with good intentions. Minor corrections or clarifying questions are acceptable.
  8. Be kind when others make mistakes, but know we all have a stake in maintaining these guidelines.
  9. Apologize when warranted and seek to make amends in person.
  10. First UU Church staff will identify photos of staff and leaders unless we hear from them otherwise.
  11. First UU Church staff has the right to delete any inappropriate content from social media pages.

Things to Avoid:

  1. This is not a forum for airing grievances! To do that, go to the Healthy Communications Team.
  2. Do not send mass emails when only a few people are likely to be interested.
  3. Do not identify or “friend” minor children, without the explicit permission of their parents or guardians.
  4. Avoid strings of email to schedule a meeting; use online scheduling such as Doodle or Meeting Wizard.
  5. Avoid substantive discussions or decision-making with multiple people via email. Avoid emotionally loaded conversations on email or social media. Schedule a face-to-face meeting instead.
  6. Electronic storage and transmission of member information is not permitted except by church staff.
  7. Inappropriate content includes hateful or irrelevant content, attacks against an individual, financial solicitations, endorsements of a political candidate or party, or content that violates Facebook or other social media terms of use, code of conduct, or other policies.

Copyright © 2009 - 2020 First Unitarian Universalist Church, Houston
Updated: February 15, 2014