New Year, New Way to Connect
When I first arrived at St. Paul’s in September 2020, we were deep in the thick of pre-vaccine COVID times. How was I supposed to get to know this new community when I couldn’t really meet any of you?
With a little help from the Holy Spirit, we made it work! You met me on Zoom, or on the phone, or socially distanced in the Memorial Garden. You went out of your way to introduce yourselves and connect, even as we also tried to stay distant and keep each other safe.
Now that we’re able to do more things face-to-face (or mask-to-mask, as the case may be), we can still use technology to get better acquainted and better connected. All that to say:
St. Paul’s has a new, online, interactive directory!
It’s called Breeze. I know new technology is scary, but don’t worry. This will be easy, I promise. There’s no need to download anything, and if you can use Facebook, you can use this new system. One might even say it will be… a breeze.
You received an automated email at the end of November inviting you to Breeze (which went out by accident, sorry!), and some of you have already signed in and used it. If you can’t find that email and would like another invitation, fill out the form at that link above to request it.
Why the change?
With Breeze, each member will have your own username and password. This is actually the most important reason we upgraded from the old system of posting a PDF directory on the website under a shared password. These days, that’s not responsible stewardship of our parishioners’ personal information. Lists like this are easy to steal and sell to unscrupulous marketing companies.
Also, we used to use an outdated program called PowerChurch, which was expensive but not particularly usable in 2023. If you’d like to hear a rant about its clunkiness, ask Rev. Helena, Angelo, Nancy, or anyone else who’s worked on the office computers in the past 10 years!
Now, our new system Breeze integrates with QuickBooks and takes online payments, which makes tracking pledges much easier for our treasurer—and for you.
The one sticking point
There is only one problem with Breeze: it’s only as good as the data we put into it. And the data we imported from our old system was sorely out of date and disorganized.
When you look yourself up, you may notice that your child is listed as your spouse, or the address we have on file from you has been out of date for three years. Or maybe your name is even spelled wrong! We need your help cleaning up your own entry so that our information is as up-to-date as possible.
What should I do first?
Look someone up!
Click the People tab at the top of the webpage.
Type a name into the search bar on the left, then type “enter” to search. Or scroll down until you find the person you’re looking for, and click on them. If you’d like to see a photo of me and John wearing fun Christmas sweaters, try looking up my profile.
Now you can see the person’s email address, phone number, and mailing address. You can also see other members of their household.
Now, try looking up yourself and your family members. What updating does your profile need? If you can upload a photo to help people get to know you, that would be a wonderful act of hospitality.
Check on your pledge!
Click the My Profile tab at the top of the webpage.
Click the Giving icon on the left of the webpage.
This page has two types of giving you can track: Giving (which is non-pledge donations) and Pledges. You can click between those two little tabs to look at details for each, and even export an Excel spreadsheet. Your pledges should be up to date as of the last week or two!
If you like learning from videos, here’s an introductory one from Breeze about your new account.
A very special thanks is due to our Treasurer Angelo Troiano, who worked hard to transition us from our old system and get us started on Breeze!
Questions? Concerns? Please reach out to me, or to Angelo. We’re still learning the system alongside you. It can do lots more than just act as a directory, and we’re excited to see how our use of Breeze can continue to grow as we use it.