Become a member of GoodShepChurch@yahoogroups.com
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is it free? Yes, it is free.
2. What's the catch? Yahoo subsidizes it by tagging an advertisement at the bottom of the email, but there are NO proactive solicitations or selling of your email name or similar. You can check out Yahoo's commitments to privacy, etc. on their "Groups" homepage.
3. Can I use my own, familiar email address? Yes. There are several ways to join, it depends which one you use. But even if you are a Yahoo member, or even if you join Yahoo for free and then join the grroup, you can set your familiar (non-Yahoo) email address as the active connection to the group. Just visit your Group Preferences once you log into the group page.
4. Can I send emails? Yes, anyone in the group can send emails that will go out to the entire group.
5. What if I don't want to respond to the entire group? The default "Respond" will be to the entire group, but if you only want to respond to the initial sender you simply erase the group name in the "To" address bar and retype the sender's name, just as you would with any other email that you originate.
6. I'm confused about the difference between the website, the church email, and the group mail. The Church (office) will continue to have an email address (GoodShepUMC@verizon.net) and will continue to have a website (this one). This is a third means to keep linked to current activities and announcements. The group email site at Yahoo will ALSO have a home site that will list some basic info about the group email service.
7. Is this like a list serve or a distribution list? Yes, Very similar. A distribution list is a pre-set list of family, friends, co-workers, or your company softball team, that you maintain. The benefit of this group is that people can continually join (or leave) and you won't have to worry about keeping up to update the list of names.
8. What can I use the group for? You can just be a "listener" and look at the the traded emails that others put out. Or you can initiate an email to the group to remind everyone that you committee is meeting this Thursday, instead of Wednesday.
How do I join? (By whichever method, you will receive a confirmation email letting you know you have successfully joined.)
1. By Invitation. The moderator can send you a proactive invitation via email to join. That is used when he knows your email and knows, or thinks, that you would be interested in joining. By responding to that invitation, you will be lead through the process.
2. If you are already a Yahoo client. If you already own a Yahoo email address like "firstname.lastname@example.org" then you are a Yahoo client. Your ID (name) and password will log you into Yahoo whereupon you can click on Groups or Join a Group or similar, look up our group, and click to join. Within our group you will be known by your YahooID.
3. You can join Yahoo for FREE by using either box above. If you use the icon on the LEFT and are not a Yahoo client, then you will have to click on "Sign Up". Don't be scared or intimidated to do this. By creating a free YahooID account and password you become a member of Yahoo, eligible to join any of their many, many services, one of which is to search "Groups" and then follow #2 above. For example, you may pick as your YahooID "churchgoer" and your password as "doberman". You now own a Yahoo address "email@example.com". Write your ID and password down in a safe place near your computer! You must then re-log into Yahoo and then join the group. If you use the icon above at RIGHT then you can enter your email address. You will receive an email from Yahoo asking you to confirm that you, indeed, own that address. Respond to that email and follow the procedure from there on.
4. Okay. I joined Yahoo and it signed me up as "firstname.lastname@example.org" but I want to change my membership to use my 'regular' email address. No problem. Log in to Yahoo using your YahooID and your password, choose "My Groups" and then open your membership page to our group. You can "Edit your Preferences". By adding any number of home or work email addresses you use you can then designate which one to be the default contact. What are some of the preferences?
You can choose to receive all emails as they are posted by members, or . .
You can choose to receive one "daily digest" of all group email activity, or . . .
You can choose to only read emails when you log in to your account.
You can change the colors and set up of your membership page.
You can choose which email address you own to be the contact point.
You can search past emails if you lost one.
How does it work?
Members send an email to "GoodShepChurch@yahoogroups.com" and it goes to all. You may choose to respond (to all) by hitting the reply button, or you can delete that and retype the sender's address in the "To" box to reply only to him or her, so everyone need not be copied. (The moderator can reverse this option.) Anyone familiar with emailing will recognize how to control to whom you are sending, copying, and even "blind" copying an email. Sometimes you may want to reach all members. Sometimes you may only need to respond to the sender. The more members, the more active the service becomes and the more emails are traded. However, you always have the option to receive "all" emails as they are posted, or to receive one "daily" digest of any emails that are posted, or to log in to selectively read any emails (or none) that interest you based on the subject or the description in the opening sentence.
I'm still confused!
Okay, let's take me for example. I belong to several email groups. My kid's school PTA sponsors one group, wherein I choose to receive a daily digest of any email postings that may occur. My other kid's sports team email group has much less members and for that one I choose to receive emails as they are posted (occasionally, it turns out) that announces changes in practice times, the rescheduled date for the rained-out game, and the all important, "who is bringing the juice and snacks!?"
You always have the option of unsubscribing; instructions are on this group's Yahoogroup home page; keyword, GoodShepChurch.