Realm is our new church management software. We believe it will:
transform the ways our staff and leaders are able to do the faithful work of the church,
give our committees and small groups the opportunity to connect over a secure platform, and
provide everyone unprecedented access to a dynamic church directory and online giving with just a few clicks.
We’re sending you this email today because we’re about to activate your Realm account.
If you’ve ever activated an online account before, the activation process for Realm will be simple and straightforward. You’ll be asked to follow a link, create a password, and wait for one more confirmation email, then you’re done! If this sounds unfamiliar, we’ve made a video to walk you through the process. You can watch it (and learn more) in the FAQs below. While there will be more to say about how to use Realm in the coming weeks and months, we’re taking our first leap into Realm as we begin our giving campaign in just a few days.
Your Giving Committee has chosen Realm as our primary means of collecting pledges for the 2019 church year.
Once you have activated your Realm account, with just a few clicks, you can submit your 2019 pledge to the church office. You won’t have to worry about finding a pledge card, bringing it to church, or dropping it in the mail. Simply open your laptop or smart phone, and in just a few minutes, you can submit your pledge from anywhere in the world.
Keep an eye on your inbox over the next day for an activation email from “South Church Andover.”
While waiting for the email, take a moment to read through the FAQ below. Some of the information below is also available on our website at southchurch.com/giving. We’ll also be available after church over the next month to help you navigate Realm (and make your pledge!) And, of course, we’ll always be available by email and phone. Thank you for taking this journey with us, and for your grace and patience as we learn together.
With love and hope,
South Church Staff and Leaders
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Realm?
Realm is an online, church management software company. They work with thousands of churches around the country to help congregations connect and work together. Realm is 100% online. This means that you can access your account, and any other information we store on Realm, wherever you have an internet connection. Just navigate your browser to onrealm.org.
Is Realm Secure?
Yes. There are a few levels of security built in. The first is the most obvious: The login. Only people who have an account can access Realm, and only your church staff can create accounts for people. From a technology perspective, you can read more about Realm and the security protocols by following this link: https://legal.acst.com/data-security-measures
Who can see my information?
As mentioned above, only people who have a South Church account can log in and see any information. Of those who have an account, there are various layers of privacy. By default, all church members can see what you would expect in a directory: Name, Picture (if you upload one), Address, Email Addresses, and Family Members. One of the benefits of Realm is that you have the power to change what other people can see. The options for who can see information are: Everyone, Staff, and/or Group Leaders. (Group leaders are a function we are not using yet but may in the future for committees and small groups.) At a minimum, staff will always be able to see basic contact information.
As far as giving history, that information is much more restricted. Only you and Joanne, our financial administrator, can see that information. If you are connected to a spouse or partner in Realm, you’ll have a few more options about seeing one anothers giving history - but you won’t be required to share.
I don’t feel comfortable with technology - will I be able to figure it out?
We think so! With a little bit of help and some patience, we think anyone can learn how to use the basic features of Realm. If you’ve ever used email or bought something online, you can definitely use Realm. If you would like someone to sit with you and go through it, let the church office know and we'll help.
What if I never want to use Realm?
For the time being, that will be okay! We still have our PDF and printed directories and we’ll still have physical pledge cards available. However, to get the maximum benefits of Realm, we hope to use it more and more as the years go by. As this is all a work in progress, we’re not putting any dates or hard deadlines out there, but we think it’s good to know that we’re in a long-term transition as we adjust to a more modern world. However, we don’t want anyone to feel left behind as we go. We think we can figure it out together, with the understanding that grace abounds.
When can I start using Realm? How do I register/activate my account?
Within the next day, keep an eye on your email. You’ll get a message from “South Church Andover” inviting you to join our online community. If you follow the link, you’ll be prompted to create a password for your account. After receiving one more email to confirm your registration - you’ll be ready to sign in!
(NOTE: You cannot use Internet Explorer as your browser to complete the registration. Any other browser - Safari, Chrome, Firefox - will work. Chances are you’re not using it, but if you’re worried about that, reach out to Pastor Alex.)
How do I access Realm after I register?
You can access Realm from a browser by navigating to onrealm.org. From there, enter your log-in information. You can also access Realm from our mobile app. Once in the app, open the side menu by clicking the button in the top left corner. Scroll down until you find “Realm.”
How do I pledge with Realm?
Pledging with Realm is incredibly easy once you activate your account.
If you are not logged in, sign into your account with your email and self-created password.
On the left-hand side, click on “Community.”
Under the Community menu, Select “Giving“
On the middle portion of the page, click the button that says “Pledge.”
Fill out the information on the page. Click “SavePledge” to send your pledge to the church office. If you’d like to set up online giving to fulfill your pledge, click “SaveandSetUpOnlineGift.” The system will save you pledge and then take you to a new screen to securely enter your payment information.
If you’d like to watch a short video walking you through it, watch this video:
I don’t feel comfortable pledging online - can I still get a pledge card?
Yes! If you don’t do things online, we’ll still have some pledge cards available at the church. Some folks who have let us know they don’t do things online will get one by mail. If you didn’t, you’ll be able to pick one up over the coming weeks. However, if possible, we hope you’ll give Realm a try!
I’ve found information that is incorrect - what do I do?
We’re sorry something is wrong. We’re making changes every day to keep Realm up to date, so thank you for understanding as we figure it out together. That being said: If you find a mistake on your profile - you can likely change it! That’s one of the benefits of Realm. When you get a new phone number, you can just update your profile. Click on your name in the top right corner, then click on “My Profile.” Select “Edit Profile” and you’ll be able to update both your personal and contact information whenever you want.
If you find a mistake with your giving history, reach out to Joanne, our financial administrator. If you find a mistake with something you don’t know how to change, contact the church office.
Is Realm the same as the the new mobile app?
No - Realm and our mobile app are two different things. The quick way to think about them is: Realm is our internal facing software, it helps us connect with one another and do the work of the church. Our mobile app is our outward facing software, it’s primarily a faith formation tool that is accessible to anyone in the world. You can use the mobile app to access and sign-in to realm, but they are two distinct programs. Hope that helps a bit.
What if I have other questions that you didn’t answer?
That’s great. Don’t hesitate to reach out to the church office so we can help.