Welcome to the Episcopal Church Foundation (ECF) Vital Practices website at uniform resource locator (URL) (the “Website”). Access to or use of our Website and its content is subject to these Terms of Use, whether or not you are a registered User of ECF Vital Practices. If you do not agree to abide by these Terms of Use, do not use or access the Website. Any use of or access to the Website or its contents other than as authorized in these Terms of Use is strictly prohibited.

Website Features

The purpose of the Website is to disseminate information and share ideas related to the mission of the Episcopal Church Foundation in supporting Episcopal congregations, dioceses, and related organizations. Some features of the Website may include:

  • New articles and archives from Vestry Papers (“Vestry Papers”)
  • Practical tools for parish leaders (“Tools”)
  • A blog with multiple bloggers (“Vital Posts”)
  • Congregational materials and resource submitted by readers (“Your Turn”)
  • Stories about changing congregations (“Fieldwork”)
  • Live webchats (“VP Talks”)

ECF may modify, add, or eliminate any features of the Website at any time. Additionally, ECF reserves the right, but does not intend, to terminate the Service at any time.

Registration

Certain features and content of the Website may be in passcode-protected sections, accessible only to registered Users. If you choose to register, you may be subject to terms of a registration agreement, which you will have an opportunity to review prior to registration.

Content Guidelines

ECF generally encourages free-flowing exchange of ideas and materials, but respects intellectual property and other rights and the law. ECF allows non-exclusive reproduction and distribution of content from ECF and its contributing authors (other than discussions in the “VP Talks” area or comments submitted by readers), subject to the guidelines provided in these Terms of Use. Permission is granted solely for individual, congregational, and educational purposes, but not for any commercial purposes. ECF reserves the right to deny or revoke permission for any purposes that do not align with the mission of ECF.

The following terms apply to reproduction and distribution of content from the Website:

  • You may reproduce and distribute the work to others for free, but you may not sell the work to others.
  • Content may not be altered or adapted except for minor edits to make content fit the format of the distribution medium. Other changes are not permitted, except if specifically noted by the author of a work.
  • Reproductions and distributions in print, electronic, or other formats must provide credit with these words: “Reprinted from ECF Vital Practices www.ecfvp.org,” and, if applicable, to the original source as noted in the work (e.g. “Copyright [date, source]”, “Originally created by….” ).
  • If you distribute the content to a single Episcopal or Anglican congregation or for a limited Episcopal or Anglican audience, no notification is necessary.
  • If you distribute the content to a wider Episcopal or Anglican audience (e.g., via a diocesan newspaper or website) or to members of a different religious denomination, please notify ECF. Send a link and/or an attached document that demonstrates the republished form for our records to ecfvp@episcopalfoundation.org or ECF Vital Practices, Episcopal Church Foundation, 475 Riverside Drive, Suite 750, New York, NY 10115.


Discussion Guidelines

Discussions using any of the Website tools, including VP Talks, reader comments, social networking tools and other forums hosted on the Website must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Comments, links, and critiques should pertain to the topics at-hand. We recommend comments of less than 400 words.
  • Links to relevant content and quoting from other people’s work is allowed only to the extent permitted by law or the owner of the rights in such content. You shall not violate, plagiarize, or infringe on the rights of third parties, including copyright, trademark, trade secret, privacy, personal, publicity, moral or proprietary rights.
  • Personal attacks, name calling, libel, defamation, hate speech, threatening, harassing, bullying, obscene, sexist, or racist comments are strictly prohibited.
  • To respect individual privacy, do not share the home addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, or other confidential information of individuals in any posting.

ECF may from time to time monitor or review discussions. However, ECF is under no obligation to do so and assumes no responsibility or liability arising from the content of any such discussions. ECF may, in its sole judgment, block any discussions or remove any postings that do not adhere to these guidelines, with or without notice to you.

Intellectual Property Rights

All content on the Website, including designs, text, graphics, pictures, video, information, applications, software, music, sound, and other files, and their selection and arrangement, are the proprietary property of ECF, its licensors, or its Users. No content (except for content uploaded by you) may be modified, copied, distributed, framed, reproduced, republished, downloaded, scraped, displayed, posted, transmitted, or sold in any form or by any means, in whole or in part, except as expressly provided in these Terms of User.

ECF, and other graphics, logos, designs, page headers, button icons, scripts and service names are registered trademarks, trademarks, or trade dress of ECF (or its licensors) in the United States and/or other countries.

User Content

Solely our Users are responsible for the content, discussions, and comments that they upload or post. ECF does not accept responsibility for any such User postings.

Copyright/Publicity Complaints

ECF respects the intellectual property, publicity, and other rights of Users and third parties. ECF, in appropriate circumstances, may suspend and/or terminate the accounts of Users who infringe or repeatedly infringe the copyrights, publicity, or other intellectual property rights of others. If you believe that your rights have been violated, please notify our Copyright Agent as described in our Copyright Policy.

No Warranties

The content and recommendations on the Website are presented in good faith. However, the content is provided “as is,” and ECF makes no representations or warranties as to the completeness, accuracy, reliability, or usefulness of any content. ECF makes no commitment to update or correct any content.

You must make your own determination as to the suitability of the content for any purpose, and you assume the entire risk of relying on the content. In no event will ECF or its affiliates be responsible for damages of any nature whatsoever resulting from the use of or reliance upon the content or any product/services referred to or recommended in the content.

ECF MAKES NO REPRESENTATION OR WARRANTY OF FITNESS FOR ANY PARTICULAR PURPOSE, MERCHANTABILITY, NON-INFRINGEMENT OR ANY OTHER WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, REGARDING THE CONTENT.

Privacy

We may collect and use information about you as described in the ECF Privacy Policy.

Third Party Websites

The Website contains links to other websites, including through advertisements. Linking to a third party website does not imply ECF’s approval or endorsement of such third party website, its content, or its owners and creators. ECF does not investigate such third-party websites, and we are not responsible for any third party websites accessed through a link on the Website. If you decide to access any third party websites, you should be aware that our terms and policies no longer govern. You should review the applicable terms and policies, including privacy and data gathering practices, of any website to which you navigate from the Website.

Prohibited Conduct

While using or accessing the Website, you shall not:

  • Post any materials that are pornographic, defamatory, libelous, harassing, or unlawful;
  • Post false, inaccurate, misleading information;
  • Distribute or post spam, chain letters, or pyramid schemes;
  • Distribute viruses or any other technologies that may damage the Website, or the interests or property of readers and Users;
  • Violate any laws;
  • Violate third party rights;
  • Violate our policies, guidelines, or instructions;
  • Attempt to access or use our Website if your registration is temporarily or permanently suspended;
  • Harvest or otherwise collect information about Users, including email addresses, without their consent;
  • Use any robot, spider, scraper or other automated means to access the Website, or bypass robot exclusion headers or other measures used to restrict access to the Website;
  • Take any action that imposes or may impose (in our sole discretion) an unreasonable or disproportionately large load on our infrastructure; or
  • Interfere or attempt to interfere with the proper working of the Website or any activities conducted on the Website.

ECF requests your help in keeping our Website working properly and safely. Please report problems, inappropriate content, and policy violations to us.

Liability

You will not hold ECF responsible for actions or inactions of Users or other visitors. You acknowledge that the Website merely provides a forum for congregations to share ideas related to the mission of the Episcopal Church. ECF has no control over and cannot guarantee the quality, legality, or safety of any content provided by Users, the right of a User to license content, or the truth or accuracy of Registration Information.

ECF does not guarantee continuous or secure access to the Website. Numerous factors outside of ECF’s control may interfere with operation of the Website. Accordingly, to the extent legally permitted, we disclaim all implied warranties. ECF is not liable for any loss of money, loss of information (including loss of your content), goodwill, or reputation, or any special, indirect, or consequential damages arising out of your use of or access to the Website. Some jurisdictions do not allow the disclaimer of warranties or exclusion of damages, so such disclaimers and exclusions may not apply to you.

Regardless of the previous paragraphs, if ECF is found to be liable, our liability to you or to any third party is limited to $100.

Release

If you have a dispute with any Users or visitors, you release ECF and our affiliates (and our officers, directors, agents, and employees) from claims, demands, and damages (actual and consequential) of every kind, known and unknown, arising out of such dispute.

Indemnity

You will indemnify ECF and our affiliates (and our officers, directors, agents, and employees) from any claims and costs, including reasonable attorneys’ fees, arising out of your breach of this Terms of Use, or your violation of any law or the rights of a third party.

Amendment

ECF may amend these Terms of Use at any time by posting the amended terms on the Website.

Miscellaneous

ECF is located in the State of New York. You agree that any claim you may have against ECF must be resolved by a state or federal court located in New York, New York. You agree to submit to the personal jurisdiction of the courts located within New York County, New York for the purpose of litigating all such claims. The laws of the State of New York govern all matters arising out of these Terms of Use, without regard to conflict of law principles.

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