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Terms and Conditions

Last modified: March 3, 2016

By using our Website you agree to these Terms. Welcome to the website of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America®, a Minnesota non-profit corporation headquartered at 8765 W. Higgins Road, Chicago, IL  (“ELCA”, “we”, “our,” or “us”). These Terms of Use and any documents referenced in these Terms of Use (collectively, “Terms”), govern your use of www.elca.org, all elca.org websites, www.thelutheran.org, www.womenoftheelca.org, www.lutheranmeninmission.org, and the content, features, and functionality of these websites (collectively, “Website”).

Please read these Terms carefully before you use our Website. By using our Website you agree to these Terms, our Privacy Policy, and our Copyright Policy. If you do not want to agree to these Terms or our Privacy Policy or Copyright Policy, do not use our Website.

We may change these Terms. We may change these Terms by posting the change on our Website. Changes are effective when posted. By using the Website after we post changes to the Terms you agree to the new Terms. You should check this page each time you use our Website, so you are aware of any changes to the Terms. If you do not want to agree to the new Terms, do not use our Website after the new Terms are posted.

Your access to our Website. You are responsible for the equipment and internet services you need to access and use our Website. You are responsible for anyone who accesses and uses our Website using your equipment or internet services.

We may limit access to and use of all or parts of our Website. For parts of our Website, you may be asked to provide information, including information about yourself. All information you provide when accessing or using our Website must be correct, current, and complete. Personal information (e.g., name, age, address, phone number, email address) you provide our Website is governed by our Privacy Policy. By providing personal information to our Website, you consent to actions we take related to your personal information consistent with our Privacy Policy.

If you have credentials (e.g., a user name and password) that allow you to access and use parts of our Website, you may not share them with anyone else or allow anyone else to use your credentials. You must notify us promptly if someone, other than you, uses your credentials to access and use our Website. You must logout or exit the parts of our Website access using your credentials at the end of each session. You should use caution when accessing parts of our Website requiring your credentials from a public or shared computer, because others may be able to view or record your credentials. We have the right to disable your credentials or access to portions of our Website requiring your credentials at any time, for any reason, without notice, in our discretion.

The ELCA may terminate or suspend your access to and use of all or any part of the Website, at any time, for any reason, without notice, in its discretion.

WE own our Website and subject to these Terms grant you permission to use our Website. The Website and all associated intellectual property rights are owned by the ELCA or its licensors. You may access and use our Website for your personal, non-commercial use only. In addition:

  • You may temporarily store copies of the Website in RAM incidental to your access and use of the Website.
  • You may store files related to the Website that are automatically cached by your Web browser for display enhancement purposes.
  • You may print or download one copy of a reasonable number of pages of our Website for your own personal, non-commercial use.
  • If we provide desktop, mobile, or other applications for download, you may download a single copy to your computer or mobile device for your own personal, non-commercial use, provided you agree to our end user license agreements for such applications.
  • If we provide social media features with certain content, such as the ability to link or connect with Facebook®, Twitter®, or similar programs or applications, you may take such actions as are enabled by these features.

You may not alter any copyright, trademark, or other proprietary rights notices appearing on our Website. Except as provided in this Section, you may not modify, reproduce, distribute, create derivative works based upon, publicly display or perform, or otherwise use or exploit any part of the Website. If you want to use the Website or any of its content other than as allowed by this section, please send your request to Contact Us.

Any use of our Website not allowed by these Terms is a breach of these Terms. If you breach these Terms, your right to access and use our Website ceases immediately and you must, at our option, return, or destroy all copies of our Website and its content in your possession. Except for the limited license granted to you to access and use our Website as provided in these Terms, you have no right, title, or interest in our Website. All rights not granted to you by these Terms are reserved by the ELCA.

We own our name and trademarks. Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, ELCA, the ELCA logo, and all names, logos, product and service names, designs and slogans of the ELCA, are trademarks of the ELCA, or its affiliates, or licensors. You may not use our trademarks, or those of our affiliates and licensors without our written permission.

Prohibited Uses. You may not use our Website:

  • In  a way that is inconsistent with the ELCA’s mission and ministry;
  • In a way that violates the law, or the intellectual property, contractual, statutory, common law, or other legal rights of any person;
  • To promote criminal activity, obscenity, abuse, harassment, hate, pornography, discrimination, violence, or the exploitation of any person;
  • To harass, abuse, exploit, threaten, or harm any person;
  • To receive or distribute content, which does not comply with the Content Standards;
  • For commercial purposes, to advertise, to solicit, or fundraise, without our written permission;
  • To impersonate any person;
  • In any way that may harm the ELCA, or its reputation, or  expose it to liability;
  • To interfere with the proper working of our Website, any person's use of our Website, any person’s internet use, or any person’s computer, computer network, or mobile devices;
  • To spread technologically harmful material (e.g., a virus, Trojan horse, worm, or a logic bomb); or
  • To gain unauthorized access to, interfere with, damage, or disrupt the servers hosting the Website, or any server, computer, or database connected to or using our Website.

User Contributions. Our Website contains features allowing users to post or share content with other users (“User Contributions”). We do not review User Contributions before they are posted and are not responsible their content. However, we may refuse to post, modify, remove, or take any other action we determine appropriate regarding a User Contribution.

You are responsible for your User Contributions. Your User Contributions must comply with these Terms, including the Content Standards. You represent and warrant your User Contributions are not confidential or proprietary. You acknowledge your User Contributions will not be treated by us as confidential or proprietary. You may not post content you want to keep confidential or is proprietary. When you provide a User Contribution to our Website, you grant the ELCA an unlimited, worldwide, assignable, transferable, sub-licensable, perpetual, non-terminable, royalty-free right, but not the obligation, to modify, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works based upon, publicly perform and display, and otherwise use and exploit for any purpose your User Contribution. You represent and warrant that you have the right to grant the ELCA this license.

Legal Action. We may take appropriate legal action, including referral to law enforcement, for any illegal or unauthorized use of our Website. We may fully cooperate with law enforcement authorities, or court orders requesting or directing us to disclose the identity, or other information of anyone accessing, using, or posting content on our Website.

Content Standards. User Contributions may not:

  • Be illegal, deceitful, defamatory, obscene, abusive, harassing, hateful, pornographic, disrespectful, discriminatory, exploitive, or otherwise inconsistent with the mission and ministry of the ELCA;
  • Promote criminal activity, obscenity, abuse, harassment, hate, pornography, discrimination, violence, or the exploitation of any person;
  • Violate the intellectual property, contractual, statutory, common law, or other legal rights of any person;
  • Violate these Terms or our Privacy Policy;
  • Contain technologically harmful material (e.g., viruses, Trojan horses, worms, or logic bombs);
  • Misrepresent the identity of the person posting the User Contribution;
  • Contain commercial content, advertisements, solicitations, or fundraising information without the ELCA’s written permission;
  • Contain material that interferes with the proper working of our Website, any person's use of our Website, or any person’s internet use or computer resources; or
  • Give the impression they emanate from, or are endorsed by the ELCA, or any other person, if that is not the case.

(collectively, “Content Standards”) If you believe that any User Contributions violate these Terms of Use or the Content Standards, please Contact Us.

Copyright infringement. If you believe that any User Contribution violates your copyright, please see our Copyright Policy for instructions on sending us a notice of copyright infringement. It is the policy of the ELCA to terminate a user’s access to or use of those portions of our Website, which allow the user to post User Contributions, if the user is a repeat infringer.

Changes to our Website. We may withdraw or change our Website at any time, for any reason, without notice, in our discretion.

Our Privacy Policy. All information we collect about you through the Website is subject to our Privacy Policy.

Online purchases and other terms. All purchases through our Website are governed by the Terms and Condition of Sale and Terms and Condition of Use.  Parts of our Website may have additional terms of use. If there is a conflict between additional terms of use associated with a particular part of the Website and these Terms, the additional terms of use will control for that particular part of the Website.

Linking to our Website and Social Media Features. If you link to our Website, you may not do so in a way that suggests an association between you and the ELCA or approval or endorsement by the ELCA, without our written permission. We may terminate your permission to link to our Website at any time, for any reason, without notice, in our discretion.

Our Website may include social media features. You may use these social media features as provided by us, and in accordance with these Terms and any additional terms we provide governing your use of these features. We may disable any social media features, or terminate your permission to use the social media features at any time, for any reason, without notice, in our discretion.

Links to other websites. Our Website may contain links to other websites and resources; these links are provided for your convenience only. We have no control over the content of those websites or resources, and accept no responsibility for them, or for any liability or loss that may arise from your use of them. If you decide to access another person’s or entity’s website or resource linked to this Website, you do so at your own risk and subject to the terms of use and privacy policies for those websites and resources.

Geographic restrictions. The ELCA is located in the United States and our Website was designed for users located in the United States, not other countries. Access to and use of the Website may not be legal by certain persons or in certain countries. If you access or use our Website from outside the United States, you do so on your own initiative and are responsible for compliance with local laws.

Representation and Warranties exclusions and disclaimers. YOUR USE OF OUR WEBSITE IS AT YOUR OWN RISK. OUR WEBSITE IS PROVIDED “AS IS,” “AS AVAILABLE,” AND “WITH ALL FAULTS.” The ELCA makes no representations or warranties regarding our Website and EXCLUDES AND DISCLAIMS ALL REPRESENTATIONS AND WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND WHETHER EXPRESS, IMPLIED, STATUTORY, or arising by Law, course of dealing, course of performance, usage of trade, or otherwise, to the fullest extent possible pursuant to applicable Law, including the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title, and non-infringement.

Our limited liability. THE ELCA and ITS AFFILIATES AND THEIR RESPECTIVE MEMBERS, MANAGERS, OFFICERS, DIRECTORS, EMPLOYEES, VOLUNTEERS, CONTRACTORS, and LICENSORS (collectively “ELCA Persons”), are not LIABLE FOR any DAMAGES OF ANY KIND, UNDER ANY LEGAL THEORY, related to YOUR USE OR INABILITY TO USE Our WEBSITE, ANY WEBSITES LINKED TO our Website, OR ANY information, goods, or SERVICES OBTAINED THROUGH Our WEBSITE. In addition, the ELCA Persons are not liable for INDIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, OR PUNITIVE DAMAGES, whether these damages are foreseeable or the ELCA PERSONS were advised of the possibility of these damages. The limitations in this Section apply, even if Your remedies fail their essential purpose. You acknowledge the limitations on the liability of the ELCA Persons in this Section are reasonable. If applicable law limits the application of this Section, the ELCA person’s liability is to be limited to the maximum extent permitted by applicable law.

Your obligation to defend and indemnify us. To the maximum extent permitted by applicable law, you shall indemnify and defend the ELCA Persons against all losses, liabilities, claims, and actions of any kind, including reasonable attorneys' fees and other litigation or proceeding expenses, (collectively, “Losses”), related to: (i) your acts or omissions; (ii) your use of our Website; or (iii) your breach of these Terms.

Governing Law and Choice of Forum. The U.S. federal laws and the laws of the State of Illinois, excluding the State of Illinois’ choice of law rules, govern this Agreement. All actions related to our Website or these Terms must be brought in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, or the Illinois state courts located in Cook County, Illinois. You submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of these courts.

One (1) Year Limitations Period. You must bring any action against us related to our Website or these Terms within one (1) year of the action accruing. You waive any right to file an action related to our Website or these Terms under any longer statute of limitations.  

Jury trial waiver. You waive, to the extent permitted by applicable law, any right to a trial by jury, in any action between you and us related to this Agreement.

Wavier. Any failure of delay by the ELCA to exercise any right under these Terms is not a waiver of that right. A waiver must be in writing and signed by the ELCA. The ELCA’s waiver of a breach of a provision of these Terms is not a waiver of any subsequent breach of the same provision.

Severability. If a court having jurisdiction over a dispute between you and us, determines any portion of any provision of these Terms is unenforceable under applicable law, the rest of that provision and these Terms remains in effect to the extent permitted by applicable law. In addition, as to any provision determined to be unenforceable as written in these Terms, the  provision is not void, but rather it is the desire of you and us that the provision be reformed and enforced by the court to the extent permitted under applicable law, as if originally executed in that form by you and us.

Entire agreement. These Terms are the entire agreement between you and the ELCA with respect to your access to and use of our Website, and supersedes any prior agreements between you and the ELCA regarding your access and use of our Website.

Your Questions, comments, or concerns. The ELCA welcomes your questions, comments and concerns about our Website and these Terms. Please send them to Contact Us.

Thank you for visiting the Website.