Eliminating no contact letter

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wrigjef
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Eliminating no contact letter

Postby wrigjef » Wed Nov 22, 2017 5:27 pm

To avoid a no contact list but also clean up our records we are about to send out a letter basically asking what the very inactive wants to do with their membership. We will present 3 options, have them select and we will include a stamped and addressed ep return envelope. The 3 options are
1 frequent contact with home and visiting teachers assigned
2 infrequent but periodic contact with no home or visiting teachers assigned
3 name removal with a description of the process

We want to be kind and loving in this letter because obviously we want them to select the first option and show up at church some day.

My first thought was to start the letter tying it in with the topic of gifts, testify of how much membership in the church is a gift and a gift worth sharing.

Any other advice?

sarahtyhurst
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Re: Eliminating no contact letter

Postby sarahtyhurst » Thu Nov 23, 2017 2:44 pm

Respect people when they say they want no contact. You need to keep no contact as an option.

russellhltn
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Re: Eliminating no contact letter

Postby russellhltn » Thu Nov 23, 2017 3:09 pm

We've discussed that in other threads. I personally do not believe in such an option. Show me another group that allows you to claim membership, but allows you to select never being contacted. So far, no one has found an example.

An exception might be the Procrastinator's Club. They kick you out if you send in an application.
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wrigjef
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Re: Eliminating no contact letter

Postby wrigjef » Thu Nov 23, 2017 3:23 pm

Church policy says we should not have no contact lists. Logic says if we don't have a nocontact list, we shouldn't have no contacts. I've been read several General Conference talks looking for guidance in the last couple of days. One thing is crystal clear. We have all been given the right to chose, our free agency to make our own decisions but there are times when we are required to make a decision. These brothers and sisters decided at one point to be members of the Church. They have been allowed to decide what that means as opposed to following the example and direction set by Jesus Christ. It is with complete respect that we are encouraging them to come back to church or at the very least accept an infrequent (possibly even annual) well meaning contact (this is the option where they chose to remain on the records but be unassigned).

devinjohnchristiansen
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Re: Eliminating no contact letter

Postby devinjohnchristiansen » Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:53 pm

Just a thought from someone who would prefer a no contact option:

There are many reasons individuals choose to no longer attend. Many of us who have left have been asked by our families to maintain some level of relationship with the church to help ease THEIR minds. The no contact option allows us to maintain that dignity for them while allowing us to utilize our agency and attempt to “leave the church, AND leave it alone.” The simple truth of removing a no contact option also puts those who could benefit from it in the awkward position of telling “well meaning” contractors that we understand their attempt at contact is really unwanted. It also puts us under duress and sends a clear message: capitulate to the kingdom or leave.

Think about this for a second: some of us have both feet out the door but want to stay on the front porch for the sake of those inside, even though being on that porch is utterly painful. Now the organization is demanding us in the porch choose to either come in, or get off the property. Stop hiding behind the actuarial demands of the church audit committee and think about the souls involved for a moment. And while you’re at it, go back and read some of these comments in this thread. Even if it was not intended, there is a real arrogant stream in some of these comments that remind me of the elitist inciptitude that drove me out.

Finally, speaking as someone who has been a Ward Clerk, you’re really telling me maintaining a do not contact list is that difficult? It’s not the “other category on the finance tab folks. It’s literally a sub list under the membership files. It takes a few minutes. Is the few minutes lost so valuable? Also, would it not be a good idea to maintain files somewhere so someone doesn’t replicate temple work?

Seriously folks. This either/or mentality is the reason people are leaving. Christ forgave his killers. You can forgive and give us 5 minutes on a sub file.

emckirdy
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Re: Eliminating no contact letter

Postby emckirdy » Fri Nov 24, 2017 11:07 am

Devin -- and please know I'm saying this in the spirit of friendship -- given your valuable perspective, it might help if you could address the obvious irony.

I hope we (in the church) all understand that a person's faith journey is valid even if it leads a person out of the LDS Church, and that some of these folks may have excellent socio-political reasons for wanting to remain on the records of the church. However, one of the great criticisms of the church by former members is that the church inflates its membership numbers by including people who are inactive.

The original post here sought to address that by realistically stating that we can do more to clean up our record-keeping. Now you're saying that we should have provisions to keep exmormons on file. How would you suggest the church improve its record-keeping in light of these conflicting goals?

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wrigjef
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Re: Eliminating no contact letter

Postby wrigjef » Fri Nov 24, 2017 12:00 pm

I'm trying my best to follow the direction given by modern day prophets and the handbook. If our leaders wanted us to maintain a no contact list, they would provide a tool to do so. They would also not tell us specifically not to make any annotation or record, that a person is a no contact, that moves from ward to ward with the person. I completely understand Devins point of view and if his point could persuade prophets to change policy, I would certainly obey. It would be some, but not allot of, effort to maintain a no contact list outside of the system. The comparison with the other category in the financial system is invalid because the other category is authorized, inside the system and there are specific instructions from our leaders on how to use it. I sincerely want to do the right thing for my very inactive brothers and sisters but I also want to be obedient to my inspired leaders.
The system does allow for someone to be unassigned if they chose. In reality if a person is unassigned and used their agency to decide not to come to church, how often do you actually think they'd be contacted? My guess is that they might get an invitation to a ward Christmas party.

russellhltn
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Re: Eliminating no contact letter

Postby russellhltn » Fri Nov 24, 2017 12:54 pm

Realistically, the church is not structured for a "no contact" option. We've been told not to record that anywhere on the membership record, so it would have to be a supplemental note. But bishops are replaced about every 5 years. Elder's Quorum and Relief Society leadership about as often. That note is going to be lost. Furthermore, the unit is going to want to have some kind of contact from time to time to assure that the person is still there so the records can be forwarded when they move on.

If the hope is to advocate to create such a option, this forum is a poor place to do it. We're all just members of local units - there's no one here with policy-making abilities.

No Home Teachers/Visiting Teachers is realistically the closest option.
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