Is the Ward Clerk the Ward CTO (Chief Technology Officer)

Use this forum to discuss issues that are not found in any of the other clerk and stake technology specialist forums.
russellhltn
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#11

Post by russellhltn »

KenRichins wrote:It would clarify the assignment of that clerk, just like finance or membership does with their standard callings

That gets back to another thread asking for an "assignment" field to be added to standard callings.

Part of the issue is there is no "technology specialist" calling at the ward level in the handbook. Typically you won't find any standard listing that's not in the handbook.
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johnshaw
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#12

Post by johnshaw »

So is it agreed that there is a reason to believe that the clerks at the ward level have a responsibility over technology? I would submit that we are all 'responding' to the continuing development of the online tools without priesthood direction from the General level. I just reviewed the wiki site for the ward clerk and do not see anything related to technology, and the Handbook references the Stake Technology Specialist in that role. Clearly the online tools being developed require that someone in the Bishopric or administrative staff be assigned this role or complete these tasks. I hope we will see something coming out soon helping to specify this as a specific responsibility.
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#13

Post by russellhltn »

JohnShaw wrote:So is it agreed that there is a reason to believe that the clerks at the ward level have a responsibility over technology?

It's a logical place for it, but I don't know as I'd call that a "reason".
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kisaac
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#14

Post by kisaac »

JohnShaw wrote:So is it agreed that there is a reason to believe that the clerks at the ward level have a responsibility over technology?
No. While it may be preferred by some bishops to have "technical" clerks, should the handbook or CHQ require it?
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aebrown
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#15

Post by aebrown »

JohnShaw wrote:So is it agreed that there is a reason to believe that the clerks at the ward level have a responsibility over technology? I would submit that we are all 'responding' to the continuing development of the online tools without priesthood direction from the General level. I just reviewed the wiki site for the ward clerk and do not see anything related to technology, and the Handbook references the Stake Technology Specialist in that role. Clearly the online tools being developed require that someone in the Bishopric or administrative staff be assigned this role or complete these tasks. I hope we will see something coming out soon helping to specify this as a specific responsibility.
I don't agree with your framing of this subject. I don't think the clerks at the ward level have any responsibility over technology, as the Church defines it. That remains a stake responsibility. Although there may be cases where the stake technology specialist may delegate some of that responsibility to ward clerks, it remains his. These areas include everything dealing with technology in the meetinghouse: networks, computers (including software on them), satellite, sound/video.

Clearly some good points have been made about responsibilities clerks have as users of technology. They use the ward computer and online tools to fulfill their responsibilities. They need to have some capability to use technology in order to fulfill their Handbook responsibilities (Handbook 1, 13.2 and 13.4.2) to be record keepers, teachers, and administrators. Since so much record keeping is done using technical tools, the need for clerks to have technical skills is ever increasing. So it is definitely wise to make sure that ward clerks have a sufficient level of technical skill in order to fulfill their callings, just as you make sure that a Sunday School president has teaching skills, or a ward music chairman has musical skills. But I find no support in the handbooks or any other place to support the claim that clerks at the ward level have responsibility for technology as a specific category separate from their clear responsibility for recordkeeping, teaching, and administration.
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johnshaw
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#16

Post by johnshaw »

aebrown, this was very helpful to clear things up in my mind, thank you.
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Jonahhex
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#17

Post by Jonahhex »

Roles and Responsibilities for Meetinghouse Internet

Personally I would prefer to talk with a STS over a clerk if able. Many times clerks take it upon themselves to rewire the network and end up creating more work. Most STSs have the technical skills to resolve issues at their stake/ward buildings and should be in the loop even before calling the GSC.
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johnshaw
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#18

Post by johnshaw »

I guess the issues I am trying to find clarity around are not related to building Internet, Wireless Networks, computers systems. It has been demonstrated that this responsibility is given to the STS. Let me lay out what I think about when I think of Technology as it relates to every-day use of members of the church:

Technology Use in our Stake

Meetinghouse Internet USE Cases: (these seem to all fall into the STS role)
1. Ward and Branch Leaders (email, scheduling, communicating with leaders, members, the stake, leader.lds.org, etc)
2. MLS record keeping transmissions to SLC
3. Family History Centers
4. Leadership Training (Leadership Training Library, WWLT, General Conference Address) viewing online media
5. Gospel Teaching (Mormon Messages, I’m a Mormon, Curriculum supplements, Media Library @ lds.org)
6. Video Conferencing (High Council, Bishop’s Welfare, Bishopric Training, Stake Priesthood, Special Events)
7. Stake Conference Webcasts (broadcasting from building(s) and receiving at buildings(s)

But, there are other uses of Technology in our church duties:

Member and leader use of Internet Tools/Applications:
1. Lesson Scheduler (implementation and use)
2. Calendaring events (keeping the data current, how does a member consume the data, email notifications, building reservations, etc...)
3. Directory (pictures, privacy, individual phones, household phones)
4. Maps (confirming locations, consuming the data by members)
5. Newsletter (implementation and use by members)
6. My Study Notebook - The Cloud app that keeps your scripture markings synchronized across platforms and devices
7. The corresponding mobile apps, unique mobile apps, etc....

This last group is where I struggle. I see that the adoption and use of these online tools and applications will benefit the members of the church. With the default permissions for all these apps when they launch it serves to move ownership of the content or use of these apps in a local unit to the Bishopric or Branch Presidency, shouldn't someone in that group be the 'lead' when it comes to 'technology' (as defined by the second list). I believe a local unit takes on the responsibility of training members, if we decide to use them as a primary source? Who leads that effort. It is murky, but also seems to fall into the clerk office (following the line of reasoning that the STS is an Stake Assistant Clerk), wouldn't it make sense that a local TS would be a Ward Assistant Clerk as well?
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#19

Post by russellhltn »

The Handbook is silent on a number of topics as to what should be assigned to whom in the bishopric. I read it as the bishop is free to organize his "group" as he deems appropriate for the ward's needs and the talents, abilities, personality and availability of the team members. Ultimately it's up to the local leaders to decide what works.

There are a number of reasons why a clerk would be a good choice for this: This is a fairly "mechanical" administrative process (as opposed to one requiring spiritual leadership). It reduces the burden of the bishop and his counselors. The clerks have access to most of the apps and privileged access to the data. If the problem is found to the be the data, they are the ones to go about correcting it and they have close ties to the bishopric to take care of issues that require their help in resolving. But I wouldn't go so far as to suggest it's a policy of some kind.

While some wards may wish to do so, I'm unaware of any church computer literacy campaign modeled after the RS literacy project. So I'm not sure to what extent there needs to be a position to help the general membership with their computer issues.
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johnshaw
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#20

Post by johnshaw »

Russell,

You are absolutely correct. I hope to see a little more clarity in the future, until then, Stakes and wards will do what they feel is right. There are always localized situations, my own stake is divided nearly equally between some very white-collarish working people, and rural land owners and tillers of the soil. One group tends to be heavier users of technology than some of the others in these areas. What is the right approach in one part of my stake isn't always the right approach in another.

We've had a few discussions related to what you've termed 'computer literacy' as we have pondered the role of technology in the church, and found that there is some very positive reasons to introduce members to technology, video conferencing, online doc sharing, etc... there is feeling on the High Council that there may be an opportunity to upgrade some skills, potentially helping the under-employed. This was not thought to be a program to be implemented, only that it would naturally follow (in some) that exposure to and use of technology related to church callings might have a varied number of positive results.
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