Introducing Realm

Connecting at First Congregational UCC should be easy. That’s why we’re introducing Realm, a program that allows church members to interact easily with staff and each other, to manage personal information, and to donate and see giving history.

Realm also allows staff members to handle the internal business of the church. It is a private, church-only environment that must be accessed via a password. 

The steps you need to take now

Our administration team will send your invitation to Realm to the email address we have on file.

Think your email record might be out of date? Please contact the church office as soon as possible at (920) 733-7393 or send us a message.

Special note for adults who share an email: Unless you have Gmail, a single email address cannot be associated with more than one individual in Realm. If you think you and your spouse or partner might share an email, please contact the church office to provide an alternate email.

Want to access Realm before it's released to the congregation in September? Please contact the church office at (920) 733-7393 and let us know you would like to be an early adopter!

Realm FAQ

How does Realm work?

  • Profiles: Your profile is your starting point. It contains your contact information, household members, 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. 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, will need to open the email invitation you receive. (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. Log in to Realm through the Realm icon on our website, by opening the app on your phone or tablet, or by navigating to https://onrealm.org/firstcongoappleton.
  3. 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 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.

Can I get training on how to use Realm?

You bet. We plan to release Realm to the congregation in late September. Our Realm Launch Team will offer training and other resources to all at that time.

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 log in using 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, click on the “Realm Invitation Request” box above.) 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.)

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. When adults activate their profiles, other Realm users in the church will be able to see their email address, phone number, mailing address, birthday (month and day), marital status, groups, and household members.

To restrict the information shown to other members of the congregation, adults can change their privacy settings. Look for your name in the upper right corner of your screen (or “More” in the app). Click on the arrow to manage your privacy settings.

Please choose “opt in” to be added to our online directory.

In keeping with our Safe Conduct Policy, privacy settings for children are set to “staff only.” 

Can I make changes to my personal and contact information?

Yes! We encourage everyone to update their profiles. Look for your name in the upper right corner of your screen (or “More” in the app). Click on the arrow to update your 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 change how much email I get from the church and the people on my committees?

Yes! After you have activated your Realm profile, you can change your email settings. Click on the arrow next to your name in the upper-right corner of your profile. Select “Email settings” and choose one of the three options. In the app, go to “More” and “Settings.”

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.

The existing website will have an active link to Realm at the end of June. Since Realm contains personal information, you must log in. The redesigned website, expected to launch in October, will also link to Realm.

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 vial 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.

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