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New Albany, MS 38652
Location 218B S Denton RD
New Albany, MS 38652
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Tuesday       8:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. 
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Thursday      8:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. 
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Resources: How to Connect with Your Congregation and Engage Your Community

March 18 2020


Congregational Care

 

Older members seem more at risk- Reach out regularly

We have been hearing through media accounts that older people are more susceptible to the COVID-19 virus. Be sure that you are taking extra care to keep in contact with older members. Just as you develop a plan for worship alternatives, a strategy for pastoral care is important in these days. This does not have to fall totally on the pastor and staff, but laity who have the gifts can be recruited to call and check in on a list of older members on a regular basis. It’s not hard to imagine that fear of going out to even the grocery store may put some people in need of basic food supplies. Just because other programming may be affected by the virus precautions, your church needs to continue—and maybe even strengthen—these basic caring connections through this crisis.

Send messages of Hope, Encouragement, and Impact

It seems clear that church life is going to be affected by this crisis. As you communicate with your congregation, be a voice of hope and encouragement – we will get through this. Knowing that one of the main reasons people give to any charitable organization is “belief in the mission,” try to celebrate in your communications that the church continues to make an impact. Tell stories of people your congregation has helped, of lives that they have nurtured and shaped by their giving. You can share stories of impact that have resulted through connectional giving – lives that have been touched across your conference and around the world, thanks to the part of their offerings that are used beyond the boundaries of your community. 

Be conscious of the income impact on members 

For some of your members, the present Coronavirus crisis will not affect their incomes. Some will be offered the opportunity to work at home, which well be a savings opportunity. Not everyone, though, will be in that situation. Some will see their income seriously affected by the social distancing that is attempting to slow the spread of the disease. Things like traveling, going out to dinner, cutbacks in entertainment, reduced hours, or overtime all carry potential hardships for people who were already just getting by. Make sure your church is conveying this sensitivity in all its communications.

 

Online Worship

Leading Small Groups Online

Here are a few ways to continue to meet with your church groups remotely while in-person meetings may be canceled due to heath concerns or other reasons,
  • Your study groups may not be meeting in person during this time but you can suggest they meet virtually.
  • There are multiple free video conferencing options that groups can use to meet such Zoom Meetings, Google Hangouts, and Skye.  These platforms enable screen sharing , meaning one person can share their screen while the study is playing and the group can still watch together with discussion to follow.
  • Alternatively, you can ask the group members to watch on their own beforehand and then use video conferencing, WhatsApp, or Facebook Messenger as a platform for your group discussions. 
  • Check out https://www.rightnowmedia.org/ for Bible Study and Small Group resources.

Online Giving

  1. In lieu of passing the offering plates in the service, have offering plates at all exits so that people may give to God as they leave the service. Be sure to have your counters practice safety before, during and after counting those funds.
  2. Those who are not able to attend church or feel that they should not for many reasons may be encouraged to give in one of these ways:
    1. Encourage mailing the check to the church office.
    2. If you have electronic giving in place, prepare a new announcement to remind your people of this.
    3. Quickly work to establish electronic giving if you have not done so. Check with your local bank or vendors that you know can help with this.

Ways to set- up Online Giving

My # 1 choice setting up Bill pay with your Bank –The donor uses the bank’s ‘Bill Pay’ feature to designate the church as the payee and schedules a one time or recurring transfer of funds to the church for a certain amount. What most people do not realize is that the bank actually sends the church a check by mail and the church then has to process it just like any other check it receives during the week. If the check is misplaced or lost, the donor is still out of funds as the bank will deduct the amount from his/her account regardless of whether the check is cashed or not unless the donor notifies the bank of the loss of check in a timely manner.
 
My # 2 choice Credit Cards – The popularity of credit cards from the donor’s perspective is obvious. The donor does not incur any additional cost of using it to make a donation to the church. In fact, he/she may receive added benefits such as airline miles, cash-back or some other form of rewards. The cost to the church ranges between 2 and 5% depending on the type of card, card issuing company and the pricing scheme of the payment processor.
 
Accepting Credit Card payment
To see a list of some options for Online Giving go to https://givingfees.com/#church
 
Here are some of the fees
Stripe (non profit)
Monthly Fee   $0
Debit/Credit Card Rate         2.20% + $0.30/transaction
ACH Processing Rate           0.80% + $0/transaction
 
Paypal (non-profit)
Monthly Fee   $0
Debit/Credit Card Rate         2.20% + $0.30/transaction
 
Tithe.ly
Monthly Fee   $0
Debit/Credit Card Rate         2.90% + $0.30/transaction
ACH Processing Rate2         1.00% + $0.30/transaction
 
VANCO
for churches with less than $20k/month in donations
Monthly Fee  $10     
Debit/Credit Card Rate          2.75% + $0.45/transaction
ACH Processing Rate2         1.00% + $0.45/transaction
 
VANCO
for churches with between $20k-$40k/month in donations
Monthly Fee   $49
Debit/Credit Card Rate         2.35% + $0.35/transaction
ACH Processing Rate           0.80% + $0.35/transaction
 
My First choice is PayPalwhich has nonprofit rates.
Why:
Most people recognize PayPal and are comfortable using it.
No set up or monthly fees for churches
Reasonable transaction rates
You receive an email at the time of every donation with complete information about the Donor
You can “withdraw” from PayPal in batches, for ease in tracking and accounting rather than trying to match the transaction from your bank account to an individual.
Ease of setting up a donate bottom
 
To get started first set up a PayPal account
What you need to know to sign up
Churches would sign up here
Then create the “code” for the donate button
 
Bank Transfer (ACH) – If the church negotiates an arrangement with the bank to process donations from its members electronically, it is considered an ACH transaction. In this case, the donor has to provide the church with their bank account and routing information, amount to be withdrawn from his/her account and preferred date of withdrawal. Such transactions are fully automated and electronic. A major drawback of this arrangement is that the safety and security of the donors bank information is not guaranteed. The church staff may not want to assume liability and take on added risk of keeping such information safe. 

https://www.resourceumc.org/en/content/taking-your-worship-online-a-guide-for-beginners-and-everyone-else