It seems safe to assume that e-Church wasn't something anyone envisioned just 2 months ago. We were still meeting on Sunday mornings at the beginning of March, writing donation cheques, bringing cash offerings, filling out offering envelopes and passing the offering baskets down the pews. The ushers were counting physical people in order to provide attendance data and our faithful volunteer tellers were counting cash and tabulating cheques at the end of the services. Now at the end of April, we are connecting with you via cameras, phones, computers, ipads, TVs and any other device that can access the internet, while still keeping us 2 meters apart from each other.
In light of all these changes, we want to share with you how some of the physical things we used to do together have transitioned online over the last several weeks.
Approximately 1 year ago (April 11, 2019) we received our first e-Transfer donation. Since then, we have received 280 e-transfers. 135 (almost half!) of them have been in the last 45 days! It is wonderful to see how people have adapted in order to continue donating. For some people, this may have been the first time to ever send an e-transfer and may have been well outside their comfort zone, but they faithfully took that step forward. We have also seen an increase in the number of donations coming through Paypal and new registrations for Pre-Authorized Donations.
We are still happy to accept cash and cheque donations, if that is in your comfort zone. We have established some new protocols and procedures in the office to accept them and securely transfer them to our bank. As a contrast to pre-Covid-19, we have deposited about 10% of the number of cheques we used to receive.
How do we know how many people are connecting with us? Since we began live streaming our services on our website, we can see how many devices are connecting to our services. While we can't tell how many actual people might be watching by sharing devices, we can share that we know at least 400 people are connecting to our Sunday morning services and that at least 50 kids and 12 preteens, on average, are connecting to Sunday school through Zoom.
Again, we thank you for joining us in these new formats. We realize this may be something that some congregants never envisioned using and the tech-savviness required isn't something that all generations of our church have navigated. Thank you to all who have faithfully pursued how to get logged in and to those who have assisted others on how to log on. We are so happy you are connecting with us!
We look forward to the time when we can gather in person again, but for now we want to thank you for adapting and commend you for stepping out into current methods of gathering. We encourage you to keep connecting with us!