ARP News Update

ARP Churches Weather the Storm
Hurricane Isaac churned and churned, but our Louisiana churches are still standing!  Dean Rydbeck, pastor of Hope Presbyterian Church in Opelousas, LA, says a few members were without power for a short time, but overall there has been no significant damage in Opelousas.  Seth Yi, pastor of Calhoun (LA) Presbyterian Church, reports that no one in the Calhoun area even lost power.

Dr. Ron Bell Memorial Service
A memorial service for Dr. Ron Bell is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012, at 11 a.m. at the Bradley Memorial Methodist Church, 106 Lincoln Street, Dickson City, PA, 18519.  In addition, to Ruling Elders John A. Domin and Robert Mehne of Faith ARP Church,  three ministers of the Northeast Presbytery, Rev. Fredrick Carr, Rev. David Johnston and Rev. Ronald Pritts, will participate in the service.  A luncheon will be provide by the women of the Faith ARP Church in the church basement following the service.

Electronic Tithes and Offerings
Why your church should use them

By Steve Contino
Let’s face it; many people today don’t carry checkbooks or significant amounts of cash. It’s not convenient or secure. So, when the offering plate comes around for tithes or funds are needed for ministries, building fund, etc., it may not be as full as it was in the past. This doesn’t mean people are giving less or don’t want to give. They just may not have the cash or a check in their pockets.

So what’s the solution? The solution is to provide as many convenient giving choices as possible.

Today, most churches have a Web site, which allows members to keep up with church events, and those looking for new churches to find information about your church.

Website Giving
A quick and easy way to start taking electronic contributions is to use your Web site. No one can know when God will touch someone’s heart to give. If someone is visiting your Web site and reads or sees something that inspires them to give, it would be easy for them to click a button, choose how they want to give, and hit send.

In today’s fast-paced world, if the ability to give is not available through the Web site, there’s a good chance that when they leave your site, you will not see that check on Sunday or receive it in the mail. Many people pay their home bills online and don’t write checks.

Automated Tithing
However, taking contributions through the church Web page is not the only electronic service available. Some churches have members who don’t feel comfortable or trust the internet. Those members may opt for automatic payments, and fill out a one-time authorization form.

Someone in the church office would set them up on the payment system and the member never has to worry about forgetting to bring their tithe on Sunday. There are churches in the Charlotte, NC, area with multi-million dollar budgets that have reported receiving in excess of 60 percent of their giving electronically. This is a growing trend.

Electronic Giving Benefits
There are many benefits to both the church and the giver when electronic giving options are available. They allow your church to budget better, because you will be more aware of the cash flow. Even before you receive the contributions, you will know who has signed up for automated giving and what the total of the contributions will be. Consistent cash flow to cover church expenses is important.

With electronic automated giving, it won’t matter if the person giving is out of town on business, on vacation, or just can’t make church that Sunday. They will still be giving. Electronic payments remove the risk of lost checks, theft and accounting errors. And it saves time, which allows you to use church employees or volunteers for other tasks.

>To read the rest of this article, see next week’s ARP News Update.

Steve Contino is clerk of Session at Rogers Memorial ARP Church, Rock Hill, SC. He is also COO of EasyDraft – Innovative Payment Solutions.