Churches Offer Digital Offering Plate

Recently Your Alaska Link discovered churches in Anchorage are ahead of the cash curve when it comes to passing the plate and are letting E-banking sites like Paypal help members give a back to the church.

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by Whitney LB Miller

ANCHORAGE - Gone are the days of the traditional brass plate floating through the pews, most modern churchgoers usually find themselves cash free on Sunday.  For one local church in Anchorage, they prefer credit versus cash.

According to Lighthouse Christian Fellowship, credit cards and online payments are as welcome as an 'amen' on a Sunday morning.  "It saves a lot of work in the administrative area in the office," said Dr. Deb Friendly, a church executive. She says paying online is a safer option. 

Faith Community Church in west Anchorage has embraced technology but  still keeps a little something on-hand for the more traditional members. "We do have an option online for electronic giving and that was recently made available probably 2 or 3 years ago," said Sed Charic, Faith Community media coordinator. "We still give out envelopes so people can put cash or checks in there."

It's no secret that in this day and age identity theft is on the rise. With both churches offering a way to donate electronically, some are skeptical. But, fear not, these places of worship say they have your donation under lock and key. 

"It's actually a lot safer because you don't have money floating around in the offering basket." Friendly said. "We don't know everybody who's coming in here, it is a public facility." Lighthouse churchgoers also have the option to tithe by plastic, and can write their credit card numbers on an offering envelope.

For added security the church trains their ushers to keep an eye on sinful behaviors as the offering plate passes through the pews. "They are skillfully trained to watch for theft and once those envelopes are taken away they are put into a safe," Friendly said.

As 'thou shalt not steal' made the list of commandments, churches are embracing technology to remind their congregations;  "thou can giveth; even on a cash free day."
 

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Irving Schwartzgard said on Friday, Nov 2 at 4:30 PM

I'm a Home Baptist,myself: I sit at home and watch the service on TV. When they pass the plate--I change the channel!!!

Heather H said on Tuesday, Nov 6 at 9:53 AM

Nice job Whitney!!! "Thou can giveth; even on a cash free day!" Cute standup and glad you looked at two different churches in Anchorage.

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