Last updated September 15, 2023
Keeping the faith
The Northwest District of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (“the Northwest District,” “we,” “us,” etc.) is a nonprofit Christian organization that provides services and resources to The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (“the Church,” “LCMS,” or “synod”) congregations, LCMS schools, LCMS ministries, LCMS Recognized Service Organizations and constituents located in Oregon, Alaska, Washington, Idaho, and one congregation and school in Hong Kong so that they may live as fully committed followers of Jesus. This Website (http://nowlcms.org/) is intended for only people residing within these jurisdictions. To find LCMS resources outside of these jurisdictions, please see the LCMS website (which we do not control) at https://www.lcms.org/ and note that your use of that website will be subject to that site’s terms and conditions.
Through our Website, we offer information and opportunities to gather, in person and online, to celebrate our beliefs and faith. We also help maintain, in support of LCMS, a nationwide placement database for LCMS Rostered workers, looking for guidance with their careers within the Church, along with continuing education resources for those leaders. The Northwest District also supports workers who are on the Minister of Religion – Ordained and Minister of Religion – Commissioned rosters of the LCMS.
These efforts, to connect constituents with one another – or to jobs and education – require us to collect personal information about Website visitors – including conference registrants, teachers, pastors, and church leaders who use our tools and services. Furthermore, our support of LCMS and workers requires that we share certain information – including, where relevant, your personal information – with LCMS and other LCMS districts. When it comes to handling your personal information, we want to reassure you that it’s being handled in a responsible way. This Privacy Notice is part of our effort to achieve that.
When you visit our Website to search for congregations, events, resources, or guidance; share your faith-based experiences so we may use them on the Website, or sign up to receive our monthly newsletters, sign up for other email distribution lists, or sign up to receive information on our podcasts, you will share your personal information in various ways. Sometimes we collect it directly from you. Other times, we use technology to automatically collect personal information. We may also receive your personal information directly from the LCMS. In all cases, you can be confident that we will handle your personal information lawfully and faithfully, with an eye toward protecting your rights. We also want to give you the necessary tools and options to manage your personal information as you see fit.
This Notice applies to our Website and any sites or services that display these terms. It does not apply to any website, mobile app, or service that does not display or link to this Privacy Notice or that contains its own privacy notice. Please note that, because of the way our Website automatically collects some categories of personal information (explained in detail below), providing those categories is not optional if you wish to access our Website. Accordingly, if you do not agree with our policies and practices, please do not use our Website or services. By accessing the Website or using our services, you agree to this Notice.
How we collect personal information
We may collect personal information from you directly or indirectly. When you fill out a form on our Website (to sign up for our newsletter or podcasts, in connection with pledges from your congregation, or to register for a conference, for example), you provide personal information directly to us. Other times, personal information is collected automatically as you use our Website. In addition, we also may receive personal information from third parties with whom we partner.
We collect personal information when you provide it
When you subscribe to our newsletter or fill out any other form on our Website, you will provide personal information that may include your name, email address, phone number, mailing address, and company.
Finally, you may provide personal information to us at events or by phone and even through old-fashioned mail when you correspond with us. Besides collecting your name, address, phone number, or email address, we may also take or receive photographs of you at conferences and other events we either sponsor or help moderate that we share on our Website or through social media posts.
We collect personal information from third-party sources
We may collect personal information about you (that you have provided) from certain third-party vendors, such as (a) our software provider ACS Technologies who helps us with our data management efforts, (b) our event-registration vendor, and (c) our donation and registration payment processor Vanco who provides information about donations made to us and event registration. We also use Constant Contact, an email marketing firm, to manage our database of constituents and disseminate our newsletters and podcast information. Note that when we share your personal information with a third party, we require that third party to protect the information consistent with this Notice and limit use of the information to performing the services they provide to us.
As noted above, we work with LCMS and other LCMS districts across the United States to help maintain a national database of openings for internships, paid positions, and educational opportunities within the LCMS. Constituents who are seeking those kinds of opportunities will voluntarily share personal information that may include their names, contact information (mailing addresses, email addresses, phone numbers), gender, and education level. That information is maintained by the LCMS and is shared with LCMS seminaries, LCMS schools, LCMS congregations, LCMS districts, and LCMS Recognized Service Organizations (“RSO”) in the United States.
We collect personal information using automated technologies
Cookies are small data files that are placed on an individual’s computer or mobile device when an individual visits a website. Cookies are widely used by website owners in order to make their websites work, or to work more efficiently, as well as to provide reporting information.
Cookies set by our Website are called “first-party cookies.” Cookies set by parties other than our Website are called “third-party cookies.” Third-party cookies enable third-party features or functionality to be provided on or through the website (e.g., advertising, interactive content, and analytics). The parties that set these third-party cookies can recognize your computer both when it visits the website in question and also when it visits certain other websites.
You have the right to decide whether to accept or reject cookies. You can exercise your cookie rights by setting your preferences in the Cookie Consent Manager, which can be found in a pop-up banner on our Website. We currently use Termly to provide our Cookie Consent Manager. The Cookie Consent Manager describes the specific types of cookies served through our Website, the purposes they perform, and allows you to select which categories of cookies you accept or reject. Essential cookies cannot be rejected as they are strictly necessary to provide you with services and operate our Website.
Cookies are not the only way to recognize or track visitors to a website. We may use other, similar technologies from time to time, like web beacons (sometimes called “tracking pixels” or “clear gifs”). These are tiny graphics files that contain a unique identifier that enables us to recognize when someone has visited our Website or opened an email including them. This allows us, for example, to monitor the traffic patterns of users from one page within a website to another, to deliver or communicate with cookies, to understand whether you have come to the website from an online advertisement displayed on a third-party website, to improve site performance, and to measure the success of email marketing campaigns. In many instances, these technologies are reliant on cookies to function properly, and so declining cookies will impair their functioning.
Websites may also use so-called “Flash Cookies” (also known as Local Shared Objects or “LSOs”) to, among other things, collect and store information about your use of our services, fraud prevention, and for other site operations.
If you do not want Flash Cookies stored on your computer, you can adjust the settings of your Flash player to block Flash Cookies storage using the tools contained in the Website Storage Settings panel. You can also control Flash Cookies by going to the Global Storage Settings Panel and following the instructions (which may include instructions that explain, for example, how to delete existing Flash Cookies (referred to “information” on the Macromedia site), how to prevent Flash LSOs from being placed on your computer without your being asked, and (for Flash Player 8 and later) how to block Flash Cookies that are not being delivered by the operator of the page you are on at the time).
Please note that setting the Flash Player to restrict or limit acceptance of Flash Cookies may reduce or impede the functionality of some Flash applications, including, potentially, Flash applications used in connection with our services or online content.
Third parties may serve cookies on your computer or mobile device to serve advertising through our Website. These companies may use information about your visits to this and other websites to provide relevant advertisements about goods and services that you may be interested in. They may also employ technology that is used to measure the effectiveness of advertisements. They can accomplish this by using cookies or web beacons to collect information about your visits to this and other sites in order to provide relevant advertisements about goods and services of potential interest to you. The information collected through this process does not enable us or them to identify your name, contact details, or other details that directly identify you unless you choose to provide these.
We use Google Analytics (via Google Tag Manager) on our Website. Google Analytics is a web analytics service offered by Google LLC that tracks and reports Website traffic to us. This data is shared with other Google services. Google may use the collected data to contextualize and personalize the ads of its own advertising network. You may be able to prohibit Google from collecting and analyzing the cookie-generated data about your use of the Website (including your IP address) by downloading and installing the browser plugin available here http://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout?hl=en. As noted above, our use of Google Analytics means that we share information regarding your Website visit with Google – such as the URL of the page you are visiting and your IP address. This can result in Google sending you targeted advertisements. Google can also set additional cookies on your web browser or determine what cookies are already on that browser. More information regarding Google’s privacy practices (and how they may impact you) can be found here: https://policies.google.com/technologies/partner-sites.
We will not knowingly collect information from anyone younger than 16 years
Our Website and services are not intended for use by anyone younger than 16 years old, and we will never knowingly collect personal information from anyone that young. If we become aware that personal information of anyone younger than 16 has been provided to us, for any purpose, we will delete the information from our files.
How we use personal information
We know your personal information is important to you, so we want to be transparent about our use of it. As mentioned above, we use personal information primarily to send newsletters to Website visitors who have chosen to receive them, register Website visitors for conferences, and help other constituents find career and educational opportunities within the Church.
We also collect and use this information to provide easier, quicker access to our Website and secure the information you have provided. As constituents navigate through the Website, their movements will be tracked and analyzed. Using this information allows us to improve their experiences. We also use personal information:
- To send communications through email.
- To respond to support requests or respond to enquiries.
- To provide access to and maintain the security and integrity of the Website.
- To provide updates regarding the Website and its resources.
- To comply with legal and regulatory requirements applicable to the Church and internal policies for maintaining records.
- To protect all parties in the event of disputes.
- For any other legal, business, or marketing purposes that comply with the practices described in this Notice.
When we share personal information
Once your personal information is collected, as detailed above, we may share it with third parties for various reasons. As mentioned above, we help connect constituents with career and educational opportunities that may be available within our District or other districts within the Church. Career and educational information about you may therefore be shared with LCMS and other districts. We also use Google Analytics to study how users interact with our Website and keep it up and running. This allows us to see what areas of our Website are most engaging and provide relevant and useful information to our constituents. Finally, we use third parties – such as Constant Contact, event-registration vendors, and payment processors – who provide specialized services on our behalf.
If you make a public post, other users may see it
If you make a post on a third-party social media site, such as Facebook, or by identifying us in your social media feed by tagging us using a hashtag (#) or “at” (@), your personal information may be publicly available and is subject to the privacy policies of those third-party social media sites. As a reminder, this Notice describes how we will treat your personal information once it is in our possession – not how third-party sites will treat your information.
We therefore recommend you review the privacy policies of any third-party sites you visit to understand the data collection and practices of that third party.
We may share feedback you provide to us
We want to hear how we’re doing. If you have suggestions for improving our Website, resources and services, ideas for faith-based topics you’d be interested in learning about, or expanding the reach of our ministry, we want to hear from you. Please be aware that any feedback relating to our services on our Website or social media channels may be publicly shared.
Eventual successors may access information
In the event of a merger or reorganization of all or a portion of our assets, any user information owned or controlled by us may be among the assets transferred to third parties as successors in interest. As part of this type of transaction, we reserve the right to transfer or assign your personal information to third parties. Other than to the extent ordered by a bankruptcy or other court, or as otherwise agreed to by you, the use and disclosure of all transferred user information will be subject to this Notice.
We need to comply with legal requirements
We may disclose your information to government authorities or other third parties if any lawful circumstances arise, including when:
- You have given us permission to share your information.
- We are required to do so by law, or in response to a subpoena or court order.
- We believe, in our sole discretion, that disclosure is reasonably necessary to protect against fraud, or to protect our property, constituents or other rights or those of other users of the Website, the Church, third parties, or the public at large.
How we secure personal information
We have implemented industry-accepted administrative, physical, and technology-based security measures to protect against loss, misuse, unauthorized access, and alteration of personal information in our systems.
While we strive to use commercially acceptable means to protect your personal information, no method of transmission over the Internet or form of electronic storage is 100 percent secure. We therefore cannot guarantee its absolute security.
Questions or concerns about security or privacy protocols.
If you have received unwanted or unsolicited email from us or purporting to be sent by us, please forward a copy of that email with your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org for our review. If you feel that any of our privacy practices or security standards detailed in this Privacy Notice have been violated, you may contact us (see Contact Us at the end of this Notice for additional details).
We understand that you want to protect and control your personal information. This section details how we will work with you to do so.
Opting out of promotional emails
If you do not wish to receive promotional emails from us, you may follow the unsubscribe process at the bottom of the promotional email you received or by emailing us at email@example.com. Please keep in mind that you still may receive transactional emails from us (such as emails related to the completion of event registration, password reset requests, reminder emails you have requested, and other similar communications) that may be necessary for us to make the Website available to you or respond to your enquiries and support requests.
Request for information and identity verification requirement
You may request other information about our privacy practices – such as what personal information we have about you and with whom we have shared that information. To make a request, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with “Personal Information Request” in the subject line and provide full details about your request, including your contact information and anything you believe is relevant.
Under certain circumstances, we may not fulfill your request, such as when doing so would interfere with our regulatory or legal obligations, when we cannot verify your identity, if your request involves disproportionate cost or effort, or when the law allows us to retain that information.
Applicable law may require us to verify that the request was made by someone with the legal right to access the information. Therefore, before accessing or divulging any information pursuant to a data access request, we may request that you provide us with additional information so we can verify your identity and legal authority, particularly when the information provided with the request is insufficient to confirm legal authority and/or identity
Hong Kong resident rights
If you reside in Hong Kong, in addition to the information set forth above, you should know that you have the right to:
- Request access to and correction of your personal information; and
- Opt out of processing of your personal information (although that may require that you cease using our Website or other services).
European Economic Area, Switzerland, United Kingdom, or Canada resident rights
We currently do not target our Website, resources, or services to individuals outside of Oregon, Alaska, Washington, Idaho, or Hong Kong – such as to (without limitation) the European Economic Area, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, or Canada. We do not intend for our Website to be accessed by anyone outside of the United States jurisdictions listed above. If we begin to tailor our Website resources and services to other jurisdictions, we will update these terms to ensure we reflect any additional rights reserved under applicable laws. Those updates will be made available within this Privacy Notice, in accordance with applicable law.
Comprehensive state-level privacy laws
Various states around the United States (e.g., California, Colorado, Connecticut, Indiana, Iowa, Montana, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Virginia) have passed comprehensive privacy laws that provide (or will soon provide) specific rights to those who live in those states. But those laws apply only to a subset of entities. The Northwest District is not currently subject to any of those laws. If, however, our business practices and future expansion changes, or if laws change, such that we are subject to them, we will update these terms to ensure we reflect any additional rights reserved under applicable laws. Those updates will be made available within this Privacy Notice, in accordance with applicable law.
This Privacy Notice will be updated to reflect our personal information handling practices. We reserve the right to amend this Notice at any time, for any reason, without additional notice to you, other than through posting the updated Privacy Notice on our Website. We invite you to return to this page to ensure you are informed of any updates we make about how we collect, use, and protect personal information. You can see when this Privacy Notice was last updated by checking the “last updated” date displayed at the beginning of this Notice.
If you have questions about the way we handle personal information, please contact us:
Northwest District of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod
1700 NE Knott Street
Portland, OR 97212