Change in Recording Sacrament Meeting Attendance

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russellhltn
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Change in Recording Sacrament Meeting Attendance

#1

Post by russellhltn »

Starting January 1, 2020, clerks are to record weekly Sacrament Meeting Attendance in LCR.

The number is to be recorded each week, not just the last month of the quarter. The attendance for the quarterly report will be calculated automatically.

There is no change in how the count is to be conducted (count everyone present - member or not. Do not count anyone not present.)

Details can be found in a letter from the Presiding Bishopric dated November 1 in the Official Communication Library
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cchang
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Re: Change in Recording Sacrament Meeting Attendance

#2

Post by cchang »

I love this new change for tracking sacrament attendance online in LCR. I was hoping they would do this attendance tracker for all the other organizational units also such as relief society and Elders Quorum. How have other wards been keeping track of attendance for the other organizations to update the quarterly report?
drepouille
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Re: Change in Recording Sacrament Meeting Attendance

#3

Post by drepouille »

You can't just do a simple head count in Relief Society or Elders Quorum, since you are not allowed to count visitors and non-members in those counts. Your count would also not include members of your ward serving in Primary or stake positions. For that reason, I just ask each organization to give me a count of those ward members whom they consider to be "active" for the quarterly report.
Dana Repouille, Plattsmouth, Nebraska
russellhltn
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Re: Change in Recording Sacrament Meeting Attendance

#4

Post by russellhltn »

As I recall, the attendance for other meetings are not just numbers, but include how many have missed all the meetings in a quarter. Having to go on-line to record that much detail each week would be more hassle than helpful. Plus, I doubt if the church wants to be recording that level of detail about it's membership on-line. There are legal ramifications to doing so. As for how it gets done, I'd assume it's a secretary or assistant secretary using a report printed from LCR.

I found this new process puzzling. With all the changes happening, why did this get priority? I'm suspecting the church will be changing how the average is calculated. A simple average is significantly impacted by outliers. (Single meetings that have an unusually high or low attendance.) The church may be switching to calculating the median or tossing outlier values in a quest to find a number that more accurately represents the "normal" attendance. This is all far harder to calculate and they may have choose to have the computer do it. Since this impacts the ward's budget, it's pretty important.

I have other theories, such as the church wanting to have a better understanding of the week-to-week variation in attendance. But my "calculation" theory seems the most likely.
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eblood66
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Re: Change in Recording Sacrament Meeting Attendance

#5

Post by eblood66 »

russellhltn wrote:I'm suspecting the church will be changing how the average is calculated.
According to the letter the average on the quarterly report will be calculated using the numbers from the entire quarter rather than just the last month of the quarter. So there is at least one immediate change.

For most normal residential wards, averaging over the entire quarter will moderate most outliers. There is generally a limit to how far the outliers are off the average so more samples will keep them from mattering as much.

But for certain specialty wards like student wards, I can definitely see them applying some custom rules.
russellhltn
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Re: Change in Recording Sacrament Meeting Attendance

#6

Post by russellhltn »

eblood66 wrote:For most normal residential wards, averaging over the entire quarter will moderate most outliers. There is generally a limit to how far the outliers are off the average so more samples will keep them from mattering as much.
I'm thinking about special situations such as a farewell causing a big turn out, or a bad weather/road closure that decimates the turn out.

For those not familiar, the median is the number where half of the meetings are above and half are below. It doesn't care about how high or how low. So for the events I mentioned, it will just be one meeting above/below and nothing more. Taken across a 11-12 week quarter, the effects would be minimal.

The only place I remember seeing median used in public is for housing prices. That way the sale of a mega-star's mansion doesn't skew the average by hundreds of thousands. It's just another sale above the median.

I agree student wards can be challenging. If nothing else, this will give CHQ a detailed view into that to see what should be done.
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drepouille
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Re: Change in Recording Sacrament Meeting Attendance

#7

Post by drepouille »

Although I am not crazy about counting attendance every Sunday, I am glad that we are counting all 12 months. March and September are good months to count, but June and December counts are usually not representative of the true activity level of a unit.
Dana Repouille, Plattsmouth, Nebraska
jpier1
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Re: Change in Recording Sacrament Meeting Attendance

#8

Post by jpier1 »

Where in the menu is the Sacrament Attendance entered now?
jdlessley
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Re: Change in Recording Sacrament Meeting Attendance

#9

Post by jdlessley »

On Monday it was found at LCR > Reports > Sacrament Attendance. But today it appears it has been pulled for now since it is no longer there this evening.
JD Lessley
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russellhltn
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Re: Change in Recording Sacrament Meeting Attendance

#10

Post by russellhltn »

jdlessley wrote:LCR > Reports > Sacrament Attendance
That is the location listed in the announcement. However, since the new policy isn't effective until January 1st, it may have been removed to prevent early adoption.

According to my calendar, January 5th would be the first day of actual usage.
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