Old First’s member directory—Balancing information sharing with privacy needs

Online privacy is in the news these days, so we thought it would be a good idea to review how we at Old First protect the congregation’s confidential information.

Old First is a patchwork quilt of one-on-one relationships among individuals in the congregation. Our online member directory, Breeze, helps facilitate those interactions, with easy access from your smartphone or computer.

Breeze makes it easy for you to find a fellow Old Firster’s contact info so you can ask for ride to church, mail a card when someone is ill or text to meet up for drinks on a Friday evening after work.

But we must balance the value we place on the openness and sharing with our commitment to safeguarding individuals’ private data.

Our policy for sharing contact information has two prongs:

First, only Old First members are listed in the directory. Stated another way, the Member Directory is a directory of Old First members. (Note that you may log into Breeze and decide for yourself precisely which elements of your contact information are viewable to other members. Would you prefer that other members can only see your home phone number but not your cell? Sure! Just your email address but not your phone numbers? No problem. If you would like instructions for making these changes, send an email message to web@oldfirstucc.org)

Second, we restrict access to the Member Directory. All members are invited to create an account on Breeze, which gives them a login & password to view contact information for other members. A small number of individuals who are embedded in the life of the congregation, but have chosen not to formally join (for one reason or another) are sometimes also given access to the directory, if deemed appropriate by the pastor. (These individuals, however, are not listed in the directory, following our policy that directory contains members only.)

Thus, if you search Breeze in vain for a person whom you see in worship frequently, it may be because that person is not actually an Old First member. If you would like to contact that person, please call or email the church office (215-922-4566 or admin@oldfirstucc.org). We will either give you his or her contact info (if the individual has approved our sharing it) or contact the person on your behalf.

Lastly, if you are a non-member who regularly worships with us, perhaps this is one more reason to join! We are happy to have you walk with us in faith in whatever way feels comfortable to you. But joining is one way to show the congregation your commitment to our shared journey.