Pastor Mindy, in her monthly post, mentioned that the theme for our stewardship campaign for this year is “Go and do likewise.” Part of that is financial support to the work and mission of Grace UCC both locally and through “Our Church’s Wider Mission (OCWM)” which is how we support the United Church of Christ outside the walls of our sanctuary. Our congregation is blessed at the moment to be the church home to both the moderator of the Central Southeast Ohio Association (38 churches in central and southeast Ohio and West Virginia) and the Ohio Conference (300+ churches across all of Ohio, West Virginia, and northern Kentucky) of the United Church of Christ.
I stated in my annual report in January (and I have really been wanting to get this setup for at least 2 years) that this year we would get online giving setup and that day has finally arrived. After talking to folks at other UCC churches to see what they were doing, we finally settled on using the services of tithe.ly. Tithe.ly is a company that only handles online giving for churches. They can handle credit card or ACH (direct transfer from bank accounts) transactions and deal with all the regulations and legal/privacy concerns that go with that. For performing this service, they take $0.30/transaction plus a small percentage (2.9% for credit card transactions or 1% for ACH transactions). This is on par with or a little below what is charged by other companies (including those like PayPal) for performing this same service and there was no setup fee or ongoing monthly charge for this service. We only pay for what we use. There is also an option to “cover the fees,” that is, to increase your donation by an amount equal to the fees that will be charged so that the church gets the whole amount that you initially suggested in the form. You can also set up recurrent transactions, so that you can give even if you don’t make it to worship on Sunday morning, or aren’t in town, because the expenses of the church, and the need in the community and the world don’t stop just because you are out of town on vacation.
As I mentioned in the announcement on Sunday, 14 Aug, right now, we have setup “line items” for the general fund, OCWM, and capital funds. Soon, we will also have line items setup for our monthly special offerings, our monthly mission projects (like the music and instruments for the flooded high school in West Virginia), and for memorial gifts. For many of you, this won’t make any difference. If you want to continue to write your check and place it in the offering plate during services on Sunday morning, you can still do that. But, for those who pay all your bills online (like me) or don’t know where your checkbook is (or even, what a checkbook is), maybe you’d prefer to be able to give to the mission of Grace UCC online, too. Now you have that option. If you are concerned that your online contributions won’t be reflected in your end-of-year giving statements (for when you fill out your taxes), don’t be, Sandy gets monthly reports that are imported into ChurchWindows, the program where she keeps track of this, but you can also download your own report if you create a login on the tithe.ly. Finally, there is an app you can install on your Android or iPhone, or you can just go to the tithe.ly website via a web browser, or you can click on the green GIVE button on the front page of our website. The whole point of all of this is to enable those who wish to support the ongoing mission of Grace UCC.
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.