PowerChurch Software Newsletter - Spring 2012
Welcome to another issue of the PowerChurch Software newsletter. It has been a bit of a wild ride around here the first few months of the year, but everything is getting back to business as usual now. The first couple of months of the year are always busy and extra hectic and 2012 was no exception. We hope you all had a smooth 2011 year end and are on your way to a great 2012.
Since PowerChurch Plus Version 8.5 was released back in 2002, there have been external utilities included in the PowerChurch Plus installation. These programs take existing PowerChurch Plus features and bring them outside of the program so that you can add them to the Task Scheduler in Windows, allowing automation of certain processes and maintenance. Below are details of each of the different automation options you have in the program. For more information about using the Task Scheduler in your version of Windows, visit
Reindexing Data Files (Versions 8.5 and higher). The PCIndex.exe program will reindex your data files. Many error messages and strange occurrences can be resolved in PowerChurch Plus by reindexing the data files. What better way to keep your system running smoothly than to automate the ever important preventive maintenance?
Send Task Reminder E-mails (Versions 10 and higher). The PCTask.exe program sends e-mails to those assigned tasks in upcoming events. There are configurable options under File > Preferences > Events Setup for which e-mail account to use, whether to combine all notifications into a single e-mail, and how far in advance to send e-mail notifications.
Google Sync (Versions 11 and higher). The PCGSync.exe program takes your Events Calendar in PowerChurch Plus and syncs it up to your Google Calendar online. You can set up the Google Calendar account information in PowerChurch Plus under File > Preferences > Events Setup.
OneBody Sync (Versions 11 and higher). OneBody is an online church directory and social networking site. The sync program included in PowerChurch Plus saves your selection criteria as to which people's data should be uploaded to your OneBody site. You must first set up your sync selections and enter the account information under Utilities > OneBody Sync Settings. Adding the OneBodySync.exe program to the Task Scheduler keeps that OneBody site up to date without any manual processes on your part. For more information about OneBody, visit www.powerchurch.com/onebody.
Backups (Version 11.5). PCBackup.exe allows you to automate the backup process. No matter how frequently you create backups in the system, it never seems frequent enough. Adding this program to the Task Scheduler ensures that you will have regular backups being created. The configuration options for automated backups are found under File > Preferences > System Setup Options on the Backup tab. There you specify the location you would like to save the backup, and also how the e-mail notifications work. You can choose to send an e-mail notification each time a backup completes or only if there is a problem with the backup process.
Near the end of 2011, a Maintenance Release update for Version 11.5 of PowerChurch Plus added the ability to e-file state and federal W2s. Several states now require that W2 and W3 information is filed electronically. One can only assume that more states will follow in the future because it is more cost effective for them. In states where it is not currently required, the e-file process can still greatly improve the year end processes. The cost involved with e-filing is similar to that of purchasing forms and mailing them. For organizations with only two or three employees, it can actually provide a savings, because you pay only for the services you use. No more purchasing a pack of twenty W2 forms when you only need two!
For more information about the PowerChurch E-file service, visit powerchurch.nelcoportal.com/Content/Filing_Information.
Diane & Rick Harrell - Fostering independence and planting trees in Africa
We know that your work extends beyond what happens at your desk. For each of you who enters data, collects membership information, manages contributions or plans events, there is a personal story to tell. After speaking with many of you, we were inspired to share some of your stories with others.
Name: Diane & Rick Harrell
Title: Office Manager, Brookside Free Methodist Church
Passion: Reaching across the street and across the world
Why PowerChurch: It keeps daily tasks from becoming a chore
"People regularly walk in right off the street as if they've been drawn here. Often they don't know about God, but He leads them here. It's amazing to see His hand at work."
What's also amazing is the journey Diane Harrell and her pastor husband Rick have witnessed taking place at their church in Redlands, California. Like other small churches, they have limited resources, but that also means that they must focus those resources on the programs and ministries that matter to them the most. For Diane and Rick, a key group are the unreached youth in Redlands, who have had tough lives, are dealing with unplanned pregnancies or family issues, and might need counseling or some other form of mentoring.
"Often, they just need some attention and love. Some of our youth have done outreach and we mentor them on leadership and caring for themselves and others. But right now, they aren't participating too much in missions. They are our mission at the moment."
Using PowerChurch Plus, Diane is able to create the kinds of reports that allow her and others to view what contributions come in, where resources are needed and used and when they are able to take on the next challenge or program. "I love the reports! They're simple to create and like the contributions, everything I need is right there and easy to review and work from."
Over the last decade, Brookside has participated in some monumentally successful mission work abroad as well, namely, their reforestation projects in Madagascar and Ethiopia. Many villages in those countries have wiped out the tree populations, causing devastating erosion and loss of other vegetation and wildlife. "Our mission is to teach them why cutting down all the trees is detrimental to their lives and the land and we show them how to plant trees, how to designate certain areas for use and certain areas to be left alone. The results have been life-changing."
In Madagascar, trained workers were sent along with Brookside members and after only a few months, the villagers were planting trees, had resumed shrimping enterprises and began seeing amazing growth agriculturally and in the lives of the community. In Ethiopia, the church found that they not only could plant trees substantially less expensively than the government, but they saved whole villages.
Diane's voice takes on a new level of enthusiasm when talking about the work Brookside has accomplished: "We are not a large church, but our impact, with God's help, has been broad and deep."
PowerChurch Plus has been a part of Brookside's operations toolkit for over three years, allowing them to save time and other valuable resources. "Retrieving membership data is terrific and I'm not that computer savvy," says Diane. "And this year, we created a new directory using the software and it's just terrific. I was so impressed with how easy it was. Our members love it. PowerChurch Plus is an asset."
Brookside's next mission will be equipping a team to go to Joplin, Missouri to assist tornado victims and provide direct aid. Whether it is stateside or across an ocean, we look forward to hearing about what they'll do next.
You make a difference all over the world. PowerChurch makes it easier. Read previous installments of Making a Difference at www.powerchurch.com/stories/.
The Support Forum on our web site is a very active online community of our users and Tech Support staff members. There you can browse through thousands of questions and answers, or post your own.
Q. For some reason, when I am printing my mailing labels from Family Mailing List, the Name and address start to print right on the upper edge of the label. If I have to set up a Custom label, how do I do that?
A. This Knowledge Base article will help. www.powerchurch.com/support/86/1/customizing-mailing-label-formats
Q. Is there a way to change the font on the checks to make it a little darker?
A. The instructions on how to do that are contained in this Knowledge Base article:
Q. Can we reassign new offering envelope numbers to this year and still have last year's contribution information?
A. All of the previous giving information will follow over to the new number. If you need to make any changes to the previous year's giving it will have to be done using the new number.
PowerChurch Online, PCPlus V 9, PCPlus V 8.5, PCPlus V 8, PCPlus V 7, PCPlus V 6/6.1/6.2, PCPlus V 11/11.1, PCPlus V 11.5/11.55, PCPlus V 10/10.4
PowerChurch Plus and the Windows Task Scheduler, PowerChurch E-File, Diane & Rick Harrell
Last updated: 04/24/2015