And why does my life have to be harder because of it?
OUUC staff introduced Realm software to the congregation a little over a year ago. It was a big change for us. Big changes are not easy – and they are not always popular. Some church members jumped onboard right way. Others have slowly become acquainted. And some haven’t just haven’t been interested. Those reactions were expected.
And here we are still – asking church members to sign up for Realm.
Why are we doing this? We do this because we want to provide services to you, our members. We want OUUC to function efficiently. We want members and friends to be fully engaged and connected. We want you to have the information you want and need available to you.
But why change to this software? Realm handles many of the functions that have previously been handled by a number of software solutions. Your church staff has been juggling these software solutions for years. Did you ever report a change in your email address? When you did that, church staff took that change of information and started the process of updating records. First, the church database. Then the church directory. Then the various email lists (no, not just one). And, depending on the involvement you had in church committees, classes, and programs there may have been additional updates to do as well. Yes, an email update is a small task. But small tasks add up in a church of over 300 members and numerous attendees and participants. We looked for a software solution that would integrate many of the services we provide to you. That solution is Realm.
Realm software is used by a number of UU congregations. Your church staff communicates with the staff of other churches. Guess what? We are not alone in our challenge to transition to a new method to manage church data and our programming needs.
There is a tension created by the need for churches to embrace modern technological solutions while still meeting the needs of members who can’t, or choose not to, participate. We understand that. It’s a cultural change. It’s a change from having a few church staff and/or volunteers doing the management tasks to a system where everyone participates (by signing up, updating their own information, and by using the communication tools the software provides). Although we encourage you to activate your Realm account we know that some will not. We will continue to offer other methods to provide information as time as resources allow. Can we meet every need? No.
Realm software has improved church management in many ways. We still have much to learn. Realm is not just to make things easier for staff though. Realm offers YOU a number of things: the ability to login to ONE account, update your contact information, view a church directory, sign up for classes and events, see your giving records and pledge fulfillment status, set up online payment plans, and communicate with your groups. It’s on the screens you normally use – your PC, tablet, or phone – and available whenever you need it.
Still not sure? 220 church members have activated their Realm accounts. 52 families have set up automatic payment plans. We have 82 active groups many of which are using Realm to communicate. It’s working for some. We would like it to work for more of you.
Church life isn’t only about being in the church office or in the sanctuary on Sunday mornings. It’s about connecting – wherever and whenever throughout the week.
So, if you want to join the Realm community and If you want to be in the church directory, please sign up. We would be happy to send you an invitation to join Realm. Need help signing up? We’ll help!
Want to know more? More information is available here. Or contact Darlene Sarkela or Pat Sonnenstuhl.
Log in to your Realm account: onrealm.org/OUUC.