Ward/Branch Meeting Time Update

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techgy
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Ward/Branch Meeting Time Update

Postby techgy » Wed Dec 03, 2008 11:27 am

As a reminder to Ward/Branch Clerks I offer the following.

If your ward/branch meeting times will be changing in 2009 don't forget to update those times in the following manner;

Update your "Sacrament" and the "Start of the Block" meeting times in the MLS program. Update your Sunday School, Priesthood, Relief Society, Primary and any other meeting times in the LUWS (local unit web site).

A good time to do this would be on the last Sunday of this month.

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Wed Dec 03, 2008 11:34 am

The times can up updated in MLS now. Just use an effective date of Dec 29 so it won't change until after the last Sunday of the year.

In the past it's been necessary to enter an effective date in the future in order for the update process to work properly. Even then it's not gone smoothly. :rolleyes:
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Postby jdlessley » Wed Dec 03, 2008 12:26 pm

RussellHltn wrote:The times can up updated in MLS now. Just use an effective date of Dec 29 so it won't change until after the last Sunday of the year.

In the past it's been necessary to enter an effective date in the future in order for the update process to work properly. Even then it's not gone smoothly. :rolleyes:
In MLS (2.9.1_14554 October 23, 2008 12:30), when I click 'edit' for the unit meeting times I get a pop-up that allows me to edit the times for the 'Block Schedule Start Tme', the 'Sacrament Meetng Start Time', and the 'Next Reminder Date'. For the next reminder date there is a note that says "The reminder date is when MLS will show an Urgent Task reminding you when to update your meeting times." However, there is an item under the System Options>Unit>Meeting Times titled "Date When Time Changes". The date there is the same date that is entered in the edit dialog box for the "Next Reminder Date". So what is that date's function really? Is it just a date on which an urgent action message is displayed or does it actually change the block schedule start time and the sacrament meeting start time for the unit?
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russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Wed Dec 03, 2008 12:38 pm

Good question. I was going by the way MLS has worked in the past. :o

It's possible that with all the updates (and the problems at the beginning of the year) that the way that functions has been changed.
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Postby lajackson » Thu Dec 04, 2008 7:49 am

jdlessley wrote:I get a pop-up that allows me to edit the times for the 'Block Schedule Start Tme', the 'Sacrament Meetng Start Time', and the 'Next Reminder Date'. For the next reminder date there is a note that says "The reminder date is when MLS will show an Urgent Task reminding you when to update your meeting times." However, there is an item under the System Options>Unit>Meeting Times titled "Date When Time Changes". The date there is the same date that is entered in the edit dialog box for the "Next Reminder Date".


Sounds like a bug to me. The popup box does not include an effective start date. It should. It sounds as if the effective start date is being populated with the next reminder date.

I would call the help desk. And for now, in the popup box I would put the effective start date as the next reminder date.

And if you update your times now, you might see them change at LUWS before the end of the year. Perhaps within the week.

But you are correct, the Next Reminder Date is populating the Date When Time Changes field in MLS.

Good catch. Let the fun begin. [grin]

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Postby rmaughan » Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:06 pm

Now that we're past the new year -- does anyone have an update on this? What is the current methodology for making the update to change the meeting times for the new year in MLS?

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Thu Jan 08, 2009 11:52 am

robm wrote:Now that we're past the new year -- does anyone have an update on this? What is the current methodology for making the update to change the meeting times for the new year in MLS?


This has been a confusing issue for years. In part the confusion comes because MLS labels the date differently in two places. There is no "effective date", although that might seem to be a reasonable assumption when you look at the Unit page of System Options and see a date labeled "Date When Time Changes." If there is a bug, I think it is in how this date is labeled, as it is very misleading. I note that several messages in this thread refer to an "effective date," so that label has clearly succeeded in misleading many people.

The MLS help file is even worse, as it says "In the Date When Time Changes field, enter the date when your three-hour block of Sunday meetings changes start time (such as 01 Jan 2006), or click on the calendar icon and select a date." This uses the former field label, and specifically seems to describe an effective date.

But when you click the Edit link from the Unit page of System Options (or click the "Block schedule times need to be set" link from Urgent Tasks, which is the exact same thing), you get a dialog box that calls the date "Next Reminder Date." In addition, there is a highlighted note that says "The reminder date is when MLS will show an Urgent Task reminding you when to update your meeting times." The new label on the date and the helpful note are relatively recent additions to MLS (perhaps version 2.7? I don't recall).

This note accurately describes what the date is. It has nothing to do with when the new meeting times will be effective. Rather, it is simply when MLS will generate an Urgent Task again. Whenever today's date is on or after the Next Reminder Date, there will be an Urgent Task; whenever today's date is before the Next Reminder Date, there will be no Urgent Task to set the schedule times. Also, the LUWS - Updating Unit Information article (which is unfortunately out of date in some regards) on clerk.lds.org says you must set the new date to sometime in the future for the new meeting times to be sent to LUWS. I assume that's true; in any case, if you don't set the new date to some future date, you will continue to have an urgent task, so it is sound advice.

So there is still the question as to how long it takes for any changes to actually show up on the LUWS. That is somewhat of a mystery. Last year there were extraordinary delays (several weeks), but my ward didn't change the time in MLS until Sunday, and it updated on LUWS sometime last night (just 3.5 days later). It would seem to be wise to set your reminder time to just before Christmas, rather than the last Sunday of 2009 or even 1 Jan 2010, as some people do. It seems like it is better to have the change hit LUWS a bit early rather than too late.


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