Introducing Realm

What is Realm?

Realm brings our church community online. You can manage your personal and contact information, donate, see your giving history, and connect easily with others in the congregation—all from a computer or mobile device. A private environment only for our church, Realm requires each user to log in with an email address and a password.

Realm also allows staff members to handle the internal business of the church.

Joining Realm

The launch began Sunday, September 17, at 12:00 PM. Reminder emails were sent on November 3. Here’s what to do:

Step 1: Watch Your Email and Activate your Profile

If you have an email address on file with the church, you should have received an email message from First Congregational UCC inviting you to join Realm, our online community. Open the email and follow the instructions to create your password. Then watch for a verification email, and follow the instructions to activate your profile.

If you do not receive an email invitation and know that you have a valid email address on file with the church, please check your spam/junk folder. If the email invitation isn’t there, or if you haven’t given the church an email address, contact the office at realminfo@firstcongoappleton.org or 733-7393 during business hours.

Step 2: Log in to Realm

After you have activated your profile, you can log in to Realm from this page. Click the Realm login button and enter your email address and the password you created.

Step 3: Check Your Contact Information and Privacy Settings

After you have logged in, click on the arrow next to your name in the upper right corner of your profile screen. Select “My Profile” to check the information about you and your privacy settings. Click on “Edit Profile” to change your contact information.

To see your privacy settings, click on “Manage Privacy.” We urge everyone over 18 to choose “Everyone in our church.” Other Realm users in the church will be able to see your email and home address, phone number, birthday (month and day, not year), marital status, and the names of members of your household. If you prefer to keep certain information private, you can choose one of the other options.

Parents: To comply with our Safe Conduct Policy, privacy settings of children under 18 are set to “Only the Church Staff” and should not be changed.

Step 4: Change Your Email Settings

Click on the arrow next to your name in the upper right corner of your profile screen. Select “Email Settings.” Select “All posts and replies.”

Step 5: Upload a Photo of Yourself

In a church as large as ours, connecting a name with a face helps us get to know each other. Please add a headshot that shows your face clearly. To upload a photo from your computer, click on the circle containing your initials.

Step 6: Explore!

Click on the choices in the left column to see news, your giving history, ministry groups that you belong to or may want to join, our church directory, and more! In the coming months, ministry teams and small groups will migrate to Realm.

Step 7: If You Use a Smartphone or Tablet, Get the Realm App

After you have activated your profile, you can use Realm on your smartphone or tablet. To download app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store, search for “Connect – Our Church Community” from ACS Technologies.

You can also scan a QR code with a QR reader on your mobile device. The app will download and install automatically. For the QR code, scroll down through the FAQ.

Realm FAQ

How does Realm work?

  • Profiles: Your profile is your starting point. It contains your contact information, household members, email preferences, giving history, groups you belong to, and more.
  • Giving: You can pledge, contribute, and see your giving history through your profile.
  • Groups: Realm’s “Groups” feature simplifies interacting with others in the church, including committees and small group ministries. When you activate your profile, you are automatically part of a group called First Congregational UCC. Throughout 2017, committees, small groups, and classes will be added.  

How do I get started with Realm?

If you have an email address on file with the church, you have a profile waiting to be activated. To activate your profile and get started with Realm, you will need to open the email invitation you receive on September 17 after 12:00 PM. (The sender is “First Congregational UCC” and the subject line “Join your church family.”)  Follow these steps to activate your profile: 

  1. Open the email and create a password. You will then be sent a verification email.
  2. Open the verification email and click on the link to verify your account. Your profile is activated!
  3. To log in to Realm click on the Realm icon on our website, then click on the Realm login button.
  4. Enter your email address and the password you created.

I didn't receive an email invitation. What do I do?

If you did not receive an email invitation and you know you have a valid email address on file with the church, first please check your spam/junk folder. If the email invitation isn’t there, please contact the church office.

If you did not receive an email invitation and you don’t have an email address on file with the church, you will need to give the church office your email address. Why? Each profile is linked to a separate email address; multiple profiles in one household can’t be linked to a single address.

Contact us by sending an email or by calling the church office during business hours at (920) 733-7393.

How do I get to Realm on my computer?

You must first respond to the invitation email and activate your profile. After you have activated your profile, go to Realm by clicking on the Realm icon on the church website. Then click on the login button and enter your email address and password.

Is there a mobile app for smartphones and tablets? 

Yes. To use the app, you must first respond to the invitation email and activate your profile. (If you did not receive an email, contact the church office.) To download the iOS or Android app, search for “Realm Connect.” (The full name of the app is “Connect – Our Church Community” from ACS Technologies.)

You can also scan this QR code with a QR reader on your mobile device. The app will download and install automatically.

Help! I’m not getting any email from the church and my committees!

After you have activated your Realm profile, you need to change your email settings for Realm. Click on the arrow next to your name in the upper right corner of your profile. Select “Email Settings.” Select “All posts and replies.” In the app, go to “More” and “Settings.”

What about privacy? Who can see my personal and contact information? Who can see my children’s personal information?

Realm is a private, password-protected system for members of our church community only.

To check your privacy settings, Depending on the privacy settings you choose, other Realm users in the church will be able to see your email address, phone number, mailing address, birthday (month and day), marital status, groups, and household members.

To check your privacy settings, click on the arrow next to your name in the upper right corner of your screen (or “More” in the app). Then click on “Manage Privacy.” We urge everyone over 18 to choose “Everyone in our church.” Other Realm users in the church will be able to see your email and home address, phone number, birthday (month and day, not year), marital status, and the names of members of your household. If you prefer to keep certain information private, you can choose one of the other options.

To comply with our Safe Conduct Policy, privacy settings for children and youth under 18 are set to “Only the church staff.” Parents, please do not change these settings for your children.

Can I make changes to my personal and contact information?

Yes! We encourage everyone to update their profiles. To see your personal and contact information, click on the arrow next to your name in the upper right corner of your screen (or “More” in the app). Select “My Profile” to check the information about you. Click on “Edit Profile” to change any of this information.

Should I upload a photo to my profile?

Yes, please! In a church as large as ours, it’s helpful to connect names and faces. Headshots are best! To upload a photo from your computer, click on the circle containing your initials.

Can I register my children for CYF programs and classes in Realm?

Yes. Watch for communication from the CYF office with instructions for how to register for classes and events.

Does Realm replace the church website?

No. The church website is the church’s public and welcoming online presence to people who may be unfamiliar with our church. The website will continue to provide key information about church programs.

You can log in to Realm by clicking on the Realm icon above on this page.

Can I make a pledge or donate to the church online? Can I see what I’ve given?

Yes. You can donate through the church website, the Realm website, and Realm app. To see your giving history, you must log into Realm.

How will Ministry Teams and committees use Realm? Will it replace Basecamp?

Ministry Teams and committees using Basecamp will move to Realm. It operates similarly to Basecamp: You can send messages to members of your group and post files and photos. Posting is as simple as clicking on the pen icon, writing a message, and clicking “Post.” You can also create a photo post by clicking on the camera.

Committee chairs will be set up as “Group Leaders” in Realm. Group leaders have these additional privileges: 

  • Creating events: Leaders can create a date-specific meeting, gathering, or event by clicking on the calendar. These are automatically added to the Realm church calendar.
  • Adding and removing group members: Leaders keep their committee rosters up to date. To add and remove group members, go to “Participants” and “Manage Roster.” 

How will small group ministries use Realm?

Small groups using email for communication are encouraged to use Realm as their platform for their communication. To have your group set up on Realm, contact the church office. 

I’m a small group leader, and I communicate with my group via email. Why would I want to use Realm instead of email?

Realm offers several advantages for small group leaders: 

  • Realm has a dedicated space for your group, so all the messages, responses, and uploaded files are stored together. No more searching your email inbox for past communication!
  • Your ministry expands: People in the congregation can easily find and join your group.
  • Every message and all replies go to everyone in the group. No more out-of-date email mailing lists or “Reply All” requirements.

I’m sold! As the leader of a small group, how do I set up my group on Realm?  

Contact Carolyn Frederick in the church office to have your group set up on Realm. She will designate the leader(s). To add and remove group members, go to “Participants” and “Manage Roster.” 

As a leader of a small group, how do I post on Realm?

Posting is as simple as clicking on the pen icon, writing a message, and clicking “Post.” You can also create a photo post (click on the camera) and a date-specific meeting, gathering, or event (click on the calendar). Events are automatically added to the Realm church calendar.

Although only leaders can create events, any group member can post messages and photos.

As a leader of a small group, what should I post on Realm?

Your group will likely communicate on Realm the way it has via email. It’s our hope that eventually all small groups will shift from email to Realm.

What you post depends on you and your group. Some leaders may want to post questions, Bible verses, photos, and links to prompt reflection and discussion among the group. Leaders of task-oriented groups may prefer who’s-bringing-what types of posts. As you consider what to post, think about your long-time group members and what might make newer members feel welcome.

Above all, be yourself! Add a photo of yourself and encourage others in your group to do so.

Why did the church buy Realm?

The church purchased Realm in early 2017 to replace a database program that was no longer being supported.

Share this