Website guidelines

These guidelines are being provided in order to help support and protect branch churches as they create websites. What you show in your website is largely up to your own inspiration and creativity in responding to the needs of your community.

Something you might like to think about in establishing your website is how to make it unique for your local area. Ideally your website would invite people to visit your branch church, as well as to come to your Reading Room, where they can explore our publications and products, and meet Christian Scientists who can tell them about applying Christian Science from their own experience.

Please note that these guidelines are not meant to be legal advice specific to your branch church’s needs. Instead, they are meant to help you identify potential issues with your website. Since many of the products and publications sold by the CSPS are copyrighted by the CSPS, TFCCS and/or other parties, these guidelines are being provided to help branch churches understand what they can use (and what they need to avoid using) in their websites so as not to run afoul of copyright or other legal and practical considerations set forth below.

While we have tried to address every issue we could identify, there may be some topics that still need attention. So, please check periodically for updates to these guidelines, and let us know if you have any suggestions for topics to add or ways to make these guidelines more user-friendly.

Please read these guidelines carefully. As a general rule, if these guidelines do not give express permission to use something in a particular way, please contact opendoors@csps.com for further information.

Linking to TFCCS and CSPS websites and using their materials

We invite you to link to our sites and use our materials as described in these guidelines.

Read guidelines for TFCCS and CSPS websites and materials

More information about linking using the logos of various CSPS and TFCCS publications and websites, such as The Christian Science MonitorJSH-OnlineChristianScience.com, MBELibrary.org, Time4Thinkers.com, etc., can be found in the Terms of Service or Permissions pages on their respective websites.

Use of Bible Lessons

The Bible Lessons published in the Christian Science Quarterly are copyrighted by the CSPS, and are not authorized for posting on the Internet. It is permitted, however, in the context of announcing Sunday Services, to post the Subject, Golden Text and Responsive Reading for any current or future Bible Lesson, to the extent that the CSPS has published them, provided that you include a credit to the Christian Science Quarterly and the particular Bible used in the Golden Text, whether the King James Bible or any other. Please also include a link to the Quarterly website, www.biblelesson.com, to provide visitors to your site with more context and information about the Bible Lessons. Finally, please take down the Subject, Golden Text and Responsive Reading within a reasonable time after the applicable week for the Lesson has ended.

Use of other materials from CSPS and TFCCS not provided for web use

Only TFCCS or CSPS materials designated as approved by CSPS or TFCCS for third-party web use may be used on websites (or in other electronic formats). Any other materials and/or uses require express permission. To request permission, please email opendoors@csps.com.

Timeliness of websites

Please try to keep any date-sensitive materials relatively current on your website.

Use of testimonies not published by the CSPS

Christian Scientists, and branch churches, are encouraged to send their testimonies of healing to the Journal, Sentinel, or Herald for verification and publication in the CSPS periodicals, which Mary Baker Eddy called “the organs of this Church” in the Church Manual, and required them to be “ably edited.” (see Art. 8, Sect. 14)

We invite you to consider with us Mary Baker Eddy’s provision and purpose for establishing The Christian Science Publishing Society as the primary publishing activity for her Church. Since 1883, the periodicals have served the vital role of publishing testimonies only after they have been responsibly verified by others who know of the healing or can verify the integrity of the writer in sharing his or her healing, which underlies the authority and respect afforded to testimonies published in the periodicals. Furthermore, as testimonies are verified and published in the periodicals, they become permanent additions to the official record of Christian Science healing, unambiguous as to their source, and available to the broadest possible audience–to any sincere seeker of truth who discovers our Reading Rooms, websites and periodicals.

We ask that branch churches that post testimonies that have not been published by the CSPS follow these guidelines:

1. Only post testimonies from members of your branch church, and not pick up testimonies from unrelated branches or third parties.

2. Be sure the testimony is related in a way that would be understandable to someone new to Christian Science and that you can verify the integrity of the individual sharing the healing experience.

3. Post your members’ testimonies under a notice akin to the following:

“The following testimonies are given by members of our local [Location] church who have experienced healing through sole reliance on Christian Science. You are invited to visit our Sunday church services or Wednesday testimony meetings to learn more about Christian Science and healing.”

4. If your branch wishes to post links to testimonies or articles from JSH-Online, you may post up to five links in accordance with the Terms of Service and Permissions information on that site. Please distinguish your members’ testimonies from those published by CSPS by posting the following notice as an introduction to the links:

“To explore an official collection of healings which have been verified and are happening all over the world, visit jsh.christianscience.com.”

5. Your branch should notify your local Christian Science Committee on Publication whenever you plan to post testimonies from your members online.

Use of images of people and images obtained from third parties

We encourage being careful when using images of recognizable individuals, even when such images are licensed from photo stock agencies. We have often found that the use terms from these agencies do not provide adequate legal protection in the form of model releases (permission from individuals in the photo) or do not permit promotional or advertising use, such as websites. Incorrect use of photos can subject the creator and owner of the website to legal liability. Please note that permission from those visible in the photo is also required even when you take your own photos.

Depicting youth

Please be particularly sensitive to images of and testimonies by youth. Young people, and images of them, have different legal requirements and potential ramifications than those of adults.

Promoting products other than the periodicals

Images of covers of books, CDs and other products distributed by CSPS, which are posted on the Online Shop, may be used for purposes of promoting the sale of those products, provided that the covers must be presented along with the descriptions of those products found on the Online Shop, rather than devising your own descriptions. However, these images may not be used at a size larger than they appear on the Online Shop, or used for other purposes or in other contexts, such as to provide pleasing design elements, illustrate metaphysical points, etc. Cover images may only be used in full. No use of images from the interior of books and other products may be used without specific permission. Please contact permissions@csps.com.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The magazines and other publications from TFCCS and CSPS have been carefully edited. Please do not editorialize or republish TFCCS or CSPS products and publications. Please use the descriptions of these items that can be found on the Online Shop, rather than devising your own descriptions. In some countries, legal consequences can result from making claims which can be construed as having a medical nature (for example “This book can heal you”). Be sure to check with a lawyer in your country if there is any doubt as to your country’s laws.

Use of Mary Baker Eddy’s writings

Please attribute all quotations from the works of Mary Baker Eddy. Please use full sentences or paragraph quotes, or begin or end partial sentences at a colon or semicolon. Do not italicize, bold or highlight portions of quotes to add emphasis. Avoid breaking up and mixing quotes. Present each quote with adequate space to allow it to stand on its own. If space permits, in addition to showing Mrs. Eddy’s name as author, please include a reference to the appropriate book or article. For permission to use any other materials written by Mary Baker Eddy, please contact permissions@csps.com.

To provide more information on Mary Baker Eddy, you could link to www.marybakereddylibrary.org/mary-baker-eddy.

Use of images of Mary Baker Eddy

Please contact permissions@csps.com.

Use of images of The Mother Church

Please contact permissions@csps.com.

Use of the Cross and Crown trademark

The Cross and Crown symbol is a registered trademark in the US and other countries. To use the trademark on Reading Room websites, signage, windows or informational brochures, a formal license must be granted. Further information may be found here or by e-mail at trademark@csps.com.

The Cross and Crown trademark normally appears on periodicals, books and other products distributed by the CSPS. These publications and products may be displayed in Reading Room websites as described in these Guidelines without the need of obtaining a trademark license.

Use of materials in languages other than English

Please contact opendoors@csps.com for further information.

Linking to TMC/CSPS videos on YouTube

Several departments within The Mother Church maintain dedicated channels on YouTube. For a list, of options, go here. Individual videos also have specific URLs, which can be linked to independently of the main channel page.