I have looked for quite some time for a blog (or any publication really) dedicated to utilizing FLOSS in a church setting. The last entries on the few I found are all several years old, so I decided to write my own. As the introduction to this blog, here are some guidelines and background for this exploration.
I am in charge of audio and technology in general at my church though there are a few others who are involved to some degree (usually when I am unable to attend a service). While I have no formal computer/IT training, I do all my own and the church's IT work as well as working at a computer repair shop.
I am of the conviction that FLOSS (Free/Libre Open Source Software) is morally, technologically, and culturally superior to proprietary, closed source software (note: I do not believe that there is anything sinful in using proprietary software) and that Free/Libre software is superior to simply open source software. Users should control their computers; computers should not dictate to the users. But I am more pragmatic than Richard Stallman, so I do compromise when it is overly difficult to rely solely on FLOSS. In summary, I generally prefer Free/Libre software over open source software and both over closed, proprietary software.
I further believe that privacy is vital in computing. Personal computing used to be done entirely on a local machine with no need for any kind of interconnectivity. While the internet is certainly incredibly beneficial, not everything needs to phone home somewhere. Therefore, products from companies such as Google, Microsoft, and Facebook that have set themselves up to directly benefit from collecting as much information about their users as possible must be avoided whenever possible.
Finally, my church is small and our technology budget is small, so I have a monetary interest in avoiding solutions that are overly expensive. (This in particular means that, while I would love to use open hardware as well, that is not possible largely due to cost.)
In summary, I have tried (and am trying) to find software that is both FLOSS and easily used, or, failing that, proprietary software that is the least likely to leak data.