Believe it or not, it’s time to start talking about 2020! Our Official Board will meet later this month to put together a Budget and Ballot for our November Business Meeting. (That meeting, by the way, will be after church on Sunday, November 10th, so mark your calendar!) As we begin to think about next year, I want to give you an update on a couple of things we’ve been working on this year.
We’ve been talking about getting a new website for awhile now. We’ve raised the money we need to get it started. Thank you to everyone who has donated money, ideas, or time in prayer to help get this rolling. I’m happy to report that we have sent our initial content to a web developer, and over the next few weeks they will begin to build a “rough draft” of a website for us. Once they have put this together, we will work with them to tweak it into something that best represents our church. If you have pictures of our ministries that you think would go nicely on the website, please get them to me, and I will pass them on. We are working with Birdeye, a company out of Mansfield, Ohio. Birdeye is the web designer for the Brethren Church’s website, brethrenchurch.org.
Our new site will have the same domain name as our old website, which is newparisfirst.com. But it will be much more attractive, and easier to update, than was our old site, which was setup more than seven years ago. The church’s various ministries will of course be highlighted, and our church calendar will be integrated into the site. One new feature we will have is the ability to listen to previous church services. This will be great for those that miss church and want to hear the sermon, or for web visitors that want to know what a Sunday at First Brethren is like. You will be able to listen to either the entire service, or just the sermon, through a streaming audio player embedded in the webpage.
I am also working to give our church the capability to receive online giving through a company called Vanco Payments. Through online giving, you will be able to give your tithe or special offering, even if you aren’t able to make it to church. You would even be able to set up recurring transactions, if you wish. Our online giving feature will be imbedded in the new website, though we hope to be able to roll out online giving even before the new website is up and running. I realize some people will always prefer to put money in the plate, and our purpose in beginning online giving isn’t to replace our offering time. But online giving will provide people in our church the ability to continue to worship through giving even if they are out of town, or are sick, at the touch of a button. Studies show that churches that integrate online giving into their Stewardship Strategy see more consistent, and increased giving to allow them to do more and better ministry.
This has been a year where we’ve made a lot of changes to how we as a church communicate, share and use information, and incorporate new systems into the life of our church. Thank you for your patience and help. I am confident that in 2020 and beyond, we will see the benefit that will come from our investment of time, energy, and resources.
In Christ’s Service,