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Recording releases and new callings...

Posted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 9:17 pm
by dbyram
As a recently called assistant membership clerk I can't seem to find guidance for who is responsible for recording releases and new callings. We had a couple of releases and new callings announced from the pulpit today and I went scrambling for my notepad. Seems to me that the ward clerk sits in on bishopric meetings and knows this information prior to announcement. Should the ward clerk be responsible for this information input into MLS or is it the membership clerk ?

Re: Recording releases and new callings...

Posted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 9:38 pm
by eblood66
dbyram wrote:As a recently called assistant membership clerk I can't seem to find guidance for who is responsible for recording releases and new callings. We had a couple of releases and new callings announced from the pulpit today and I went scrambling for my notepad. Seems to me that the ward clerk sits in on bishopric meetings and knows this information prior to announcement. Should the ward clerk be responsible for this information input into MLS or is it the membership clerk ?

It's up to the bishop (in consultation with the ward clerk) to determine who maintains the callings. Personally as ward clerk I maintain callings myself but there is no specific direction on who should do it.

So talk to your bishop and ward clerk just ask if they want you to do it.

Re: Recording releases and new callings...

Posted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 2:05 pm
by jasonfitt
A clerk should be entering the callings/releases in MLS and keeping it up to date. As the ward clerk, I do it myself, but I can certainly delegate it to an assistant clerk. Being present at bishopric meetings makes it a little easier to maintain, however on occasion a member of the bishopric might set somebody apart and forget to tell me. So, I regularly review the 'Members with Callings' list with them to make sure I didn't miss anybody.

Now, when I was an assistant clerk, the ward clerk had me maintain the callings/releases. It was a challenge because I was not at the bishopric meetings and our bishopric (including the ward clerk) at the time also had the habit of forgetting to tell me. Sometimes I was able to pay attention during the announcements in Sacrament Meeting, but I was often distracted with our small children and didn't always hear. So, I was constantly asking the bishopric if anybody was called/released or set apart.

Re: Recording releases and new callings...

Posted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 2:19 pm
by RossEvans
jasonfitt wrote:Now, when I was an assistant clerk, the ward clerk had me maintain the callings/releases. It was a challenge because I was not at the bishopric meetings and our bishopric (including the ward clerk) at the time also had the habit of forgetting to tell me. Sometimes I was able to pay attention during the announcements in Sacrament Meeting, but I was often distracted with our small children and didn't always hear. So, I was constantly asking the bishopric if anybody was called/released or set apart.


It is useful if the bishopric member conducting the meeting is reading the details of ward business from a scripted form. Ours is kept in a ring binder, which becomes the best source for entering callings and releases. Recording setting-apart events is a whole different problem.

Re: Recording releases and new callings...

Posted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 2:02 pm
by jasonfitt
RossEvans wrote:
jasonfitt wrote:Now, when I was an assistant clerk, the ward clerk had me maintain the callings/releases. It was a challenge because I was not at the bishopric meetings and our bishopric (including the ward clerk) at the time also had the habit of forgetting to tell me. Sometimes I was able to pay attention during the announcements in Sacrament Meeting, but I was often distracted with our small children and didn't always hear. So, I was constantly asking the bishopric if anybody was called/released or set apart.


It is useful if the bishopric member conducting the meeting is reading the details of ward business from a scripted form. Ours is kept in a ring binder, which becomes the best source for entering callings and releases. Recording setting-apart events is a whole different problem.


Something like a binder is a good idea. What we do is use a spreadsheet in Google Docs, which has an app members of the bishopric can download to their mobile devices. Everybody can update it and I use that to then update MLS.

Re: Recording releases and new callings...

Posted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 2:34 pm
by johnshaw
Wouldn't it be nice to have some kind of a workflow app that we could record everything in. Simple, Calling entered in... assigned to Bishopric, 1st or 2nd, release extended to current calling occupant, sustained, set apart --> THEN entered into MLS automatically

Works for SP Also - we already have a workflow in the disciplinary area... sure would be nice to be consistent, avoid all the silly errors (which USUALLY result in either hurt feelings or people wondering if the Bishopric has a clue).

Re: Recording releases and new callings...

Posted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 5:26 pm
by RossEvans
jasonfitt wrote:Something like a binder is a good idea. What we do is use a spreadsheet in Google Docs, which has an app members of the bishopric can download to their mobile devices. Everybody can update it and I use that to then update MLS.

Using Google Docs (Google Drive) would certainly be efficient. But I fear that tracking callings and releases this way would be prohibited by recent policy changes, since that application seems like it is storing "any membership-related data" in the cloud. This is one more case where implementing the new Meetinghouse Technology Policy will limit the productivity of local leaders.

johnshaw wrote:Wouldn't it be nice to have some kind of a workflow app that we could record everything in. Simple, Calling entered in... assigned to Bishopric, 1st or 2nd, release extended to current calling occupant, sustained, set apart --> THEN entered into MLS automatically

That would be handy indeed. Maybe we can hope for it several years from now, after all current MLS functionality is migrated to the web.

Re: Recording releases and new callings...

Posted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 7:30 am
by jasonfitt
RossEvans wrote:
jasonfitt wrote:Something like a binder is a good idea. What we do is use a spreadsheet in Google Docs, which has an app members of the bishopric can download to their mobile devices. Everybody can update it and I use that to then update MLS.

Using Google Docs (Google Drive) would certainly be efficient. But I fear that tracking callings and releases this way would be prohibited by recent policy changes, since that application seems like it is storing "any membership-related data" in the cloud. This is one more case where implementing the new Meetinghouse Technology Policy will limit the productivity of local leaders.


Does storing calling information on the cloud violate that policy since callings are announced in sacrament and basically public knowledge? I guess if it says "any membership-related data" then it probably is. We would have to go back to the binder.

Re: Recording releases and new callings...

Posted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 7:55 am
by RossEvans
jasonfitt wrote:Does storing calling information on the cloud violate that policy since callings are announced in sacrament and basically public knowledge? I guess if it says "any membership-related data" then it probably is. We would have to go back to the binder.

I think you answered your own question. The policy states (my boldface emphasis):

4.8.4 The use of cloud-based services for storing and/or backing up MLS or any membership related data is prohibited.

In my opinion callings are "membership related" because MLS membership data includes this information. That does not necessarily apply to everything else that occurs in Sacrament Meeting, such as speakers.

But my opinion is not authoritative. (FWIW, in our ward we did interpret the policy to rule out storing a file of members without callings on Google Drive, which had been very useful for auxiliary presidencies as well as the bishopric.) Different unit leaders have implemented many different ideas for storing stuff on the cloud, and I think each case must be analyzed on its own to determine compliance. If you need an authoritative opinion, the policy document's Roles and Responsibilities section states that your stake president "understands and enforces" it.

Re: Recording releases and new callings...

Posted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 11:46 am
by jonesrk
johnshaw wrote:Wouldn't it be nice to have some kind of a workflow app that we could record everything in. Simple, Calling entered in... assigned to Bishopric, 1st or 2nd, release extended to current calling occupant, sustained, set apart --> THEN entered into MLS automatically

Works for SP Also - we already have a workflow in the disciplinary area... sure would be nice to be consistent, avoid all the silly errors (which USUALLY result in either hurt feelings or people wondering if the Bishopric has a clue).

We have discussed it, but at this time getting it so you can edit callings via Clerk Resources is a higher priority (one of these years we will actually get there :rolleyes: ).