E-News Policy

The USH-Enews is the web page posted each week on Wednesday evening.  Those who request notification are on an email distribution list. They are informed each week that the USH-Enews has been published.  In addition, they receive what are termed USH-Enews Special Editions.  These special editions, technically not web pages, include items normally not appearing as a web page.  Examples are notices of deaths and certain distributions of wide interest that are time-critical or not suitable for the more public face of USH appearing on the web.

The USH-Enews has several purposes.  It is the official publication of USH and as such will be expected to follow our principles.  External readers will, we hope, notice we are an open community not reluctant to exhibit our vibrant and open nature including documents about our internal workings and occasional items revealing matters under discussion in the community. In this regard, it helps to reread our principles from time to time. They are listed at the bottom of each issue.

It therefore follows that the USH-Enews will always be available to receive submissions from the Minister, Board Members and Staff.  In addition, the USH-Enews is, in part, the USH bulletin board available to sub-councils and individuals seeking to communicate their activities to the broader congregation.  Finally, it is a trusted source of information for the USH community about internal activities, in this sense acting like a regular newspaper for matters USH.

In addition to the USH-Enews, and the associated email distributions, there are many listservs available for communications among USH members and friends.  They are open to the listserv members.  Listserv names are not publicly listed because that would attract spammers. We try to limit this exposure by changing their names from time to time.

Who gets published? – The Minister, Board President, or Staff Members are automatically published as requested.  In addition, most submissions from various sub-councils are published on request.  There are various categories for these submissions and there is also a place for letters to the editor.  There is an area for events not at USH.  All submissions are edited with the view of making them technically correct and making the author “look good.” Most requests for item inclusion are automatically approved.  If there is a question, the requesting author may be contacted.  This is rare.  The one place where a good deal of discretion occurs is requests to publicize outside events.  They are more likely to be approved if closely related to the activities of USH members, or general activities of Unitarians. In practice few are actually turned aside.

What about controversial views? Over the years, there have been many controversial topics, and there have certainly been a few in our recent history.  Our principles concerning democratic governance as well as Constitution and USH history to date support open discussion of difficult ideas in our community.  To this end, the USH-Enews seeks to present the major views of participants in such a manner that the general community will feel the treatment was even handed – that is to say, those less involved can feel informed rather than left out and those involved will feel equally satisfied or dissatisfied.

Is the list of USH-Enews Emails subscribers available? – No, it is not available and is not distributed.  Subscribers are told the list is not being distributed and they may unsubscribe for any reason at any time.  The grand list is the property of USH and as such is available to the Minister and Staff upon request.  It changes every week.

Generally, we try to avoid using it except for the weekly notice of Enews publication, and special notices such as the death of a member.  We try not to use it to underscore events already covered in the weekly web publication because redundant publications are annoying to those who subscribe and more than one email a week usually results in one or two requests to unsubscribe from the grand list.  Unlike the listservs, that are unrestricted, the grand list does not exist where it can be accessed by individuals other than the Webmaster.