Ward Area Book

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topherreynoso
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Re: Ward Area Book

#21

Post by topherreynoso »

Just to be clear, I would only EVER do something like this if it were free and if I were confident in the security of members' data. Thank you, all!
Topher Reynoso
russellhltn
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Re: Ward Area Book

#22

Post by russellhltn »

Perhaps this might help: The Handbook is carefully gone over and correlated at the highest levels of the church. What you see on lds.org is at best correlated at the department head level. So the web page can add restrictions, but only something from the Quorum of the Twelve or Presiding Bishopric can override/change the handbook.

As for the mention of "stake and ward website", the migration to separate tools probably wasn't a big enough change to bother with the updating and correlating process as they didn't think it materially changed anyone's interpretation of it.
Have you searched the Help Center? Try doing a Google search and adding "site:churchofjesuschrist.org/help" to the search criteria.

So we can better help you, please edit your Profile to include your general location.
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topherreynoso
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Re: Ward Area Book

#23

Post by topherreynoso »

Hey guys,

I have not heard anything from anyone yet but I did want to update you on the status of the site. Work has been pretty busy but my goal is to accomplish the following in the next couple of days:

1. Fix the ssl cert.
2. Add the layer of "ward-wide" passwords that never touch the server and are used to encrypt all member data.
3. Make the code an open project on github so you can see exactly what the server does with information and can verify its security or notify me of possible vulnerabilities.

That should ensure that the site is both secure and that any church data that ever touches the server is always encrypted in a way that not even the server admin has access to it.
Topher Reynoso
Gary_Miller
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Re: Ward Area Book

#24

Post by Gary_Miller »

topherreynoso wrote:We found that it is much easier to share all of this information we gather about members and investigators in what we call our "Ward Area Book." Any visits or attempts to contact families are recorded in the area book by any member of the ward council. This way you can look up a family or investigator and see a running story of interactions with the ward. Additionally, it is a way to return and report without having to spend all of the ward council meeting time reviewing reports.
It seems to me that this is what HT and VT is suppose to be doing.
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topherreynoso
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Re: Ward Area Book

#25

Post by topherreynoso »

Ideally, yes the HT and VT take care of the needs of a family and this doesn't exclude that. If a ward council wants a report on a particular family, we would prefer to utilize the HT and VT and then it would just be the responsibility of the ward council member to report the result of that assignment to the rest of the ward council through the ward area book. However, HT and VT sometimes can't meet all of a family's needs, sometimes the bishop or the ward council are needed, sometimes people go through times that require more than a HT or VT visit. This is quite common work for ward councils to be involved in as families'/individuals' needs and well-being are meant to be the focus of the ward council.
Topher Reynoso
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showseason
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Re: Ward Area Book

#26

Post by showseason »

Our ward council tracks newly baptized members for at least 12 months by assigning ward council organizations to visit monthly, each group visiting weekly. A couple with young lady and young boy could be assigned to be contacted by the EQ, RS, YW, Pri. A single older sister could be visited by RS, VT, HT, HP. A single dad with young children could be visited by EQ, YW, Pri, HT.
It can take up a lot of time in WC meetings so it is up to WC members to convey visit info to myself (Ward Clerk) and the bishop. In WC we then discuss the issues involved with these visits. These visits do not take the place of HT and VT.
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topherreynoso
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Re: Ward Area Book

#27

Post by topherreynoso »

Alright so here are the big updates on where http://www.ldsareabook.org is at:

1. SSL cert is resolved and valid
2. The code for this site is now 100% public. You can see all of it on Github at https://github.com/topherreynoso/LDS-Area-Book. That means that if you decide you would rather fork the project and run a whole website of your own with what I've built, have at it. I'm happy to answer questions about this process, just contact me.
3. I have removed all references to MLS or the directory on lds.org.
4. I have added the ward wide password which is chosen by the administrator of each area book. This password is used to encrypt all member data and is never stored anywhere on the server. That means that only other ward council members with whom you share the ward password will have access to any of the decrypted data. Not even a server admin, like myself, would be able to decrypt this data without each individual area book password. That also means though, that should you lose your area book password, there is no way to recover it and all data is lost.

I am still interested in hearing any thoughts on features, requests for other features, questions about security, bugs, or the like. Thanks, guys!
Topher Reynoso
chrisperra
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Re: Ward Area Book

#28

Post by chrisperra »

Topher,

I have come across your github, how does it get set up. I tried to figure it out, but I'm having no luck with getting it running. If you could provide some guidance, this would be extremely helpful in our ward.

Chris Perra
Assistant WML
Sioux Falls 1st Ward, South Dakota
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showseason
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Re: Ward Area Book

#29

Post by showseason »

chrisperra wrote:Topher,
I have come across your github, how does it get set up. I tried to figure it out, but I'm having no luck with getting it running. If you could provide some guidance, this would be extremely helpful in our ward.
Chris Perra
Same here, need help.
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topherreynoso
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Re: Ward Area Book

#30

Post by topherreynoso »

I just got off the phone with Brent Beachem over at the Church's ICS Risk and Security Department. He and his team were very kind and contacted me as a result of this forum discussion. They have indicated that the site is not in violation of their policy. The only issue they had with it previously was it's use of LDS account credentials for membership and leadership verification. Since all of that was removed previously and the site is open for any member to use and there is no connection between users and their LDS account credentials, http://www.ldsareabook.org is fine for use. Just to be clear, the Church does not in any way endorse the site, it just isn't violating the policy. I also can't say that any other site is approved, we did not really discuss that, but at the least they made it clear that this particular site is not in violation of any policy.

I will continue to make this code public, however, and you are free to roll your own website, but feel free to use the service for free at http://www.ldsareabook.org

Chris and showseason,

I would be happy to help you get your own site up and running with the code. Could you give me an idea of what your experience is, have you set up a ruby on rails application before? Are you familiar with Heroku or another hosting service or do you have your own server? Feel free to contact me directly and I can point you in the right direction if you have never done any of that before and I am also happy to help you figure out specific issues if you are familiar with running a rails app but are running into some problem.
Topher Reynoso
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