Here at Church of the Palms we carry on the practice from early years of the Christian church when people were encouraged to bring "offerings for the poor" to their celebration of the Lord's Supper.
Such monetary gifts offered, and then left on the communion railing (often referred to as a "rail offering"), are placed in a special fund for use in providing assistance to those in the community, as well as those in our own congregation facing extraordinary financial challenges.
This fund is referred to as the Pastor's benevolence fund, to highlight the role and responsibility of your pastor to be sensitive and equipped to respond, to the needs of all people. Most of the time we assist people with urgent needs meeting utility, rent, or medical bills, as well as other requests for food and occasionally transportation.
Know the gifts you leave at the rail, or specifically designate to go towards the Pastor's discretionary fund, are always used with care and the best intentions of Church of the Palms.