Church Position(callings) histories

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
mkgmoore
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Church Position(callings) histories

Postby mkgmoore » Sun Jul 03, 2011 1:44 pm

Is there a plan on having a history of positions a member serves in. While searching through the threads I did not find this so sorry if I duplicate anything. I am a new Bishop and one thing I have run into is that I am unaware of all the members past calling histories. I have called a few people in to extend a calling only to find out that that is what they had before their current calling and they "don't want to do that again". I understand their delema but it would be really nice if MLS could track this so that I as a bishop sould look back at this.
Thanks

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:03 pm

The CDOL does have tracking, but it has a very limited history. It probably won't help your current situation. What you need is an advisor with some "institutional memory ".
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

jonesrk
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Postby jonesrk » Sun Jul 03, 2011 4:07 pm

RussellHltn wrote:The CDOL does have tracking, but it has a very limited history. It probably won't help your current situation. What you need is an advisor with some "institutional memory ".

Currently CDOL only tracks Stake Presidency, Stake Clerks and assistants, Stake Executive Secretary, Patriarch, Bishop, and District/Branch equivalents. More recently with the increased visibility of Ward/Branch counselors/clerks they have started to have their history tracked.

Tracking all callings has been discussed, but I haven't heard anything about it for a while.
Ryan Jones
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Stake Technology Specialist - Software / Stake Assistant Clerk
Former Ward Clerk

rpyne
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Postby rpyne » Sun Jul 03, 2011 5:20 pm

I definitely vote for this need. One of the big challenges I faced when I was a stake clerk was finding out the calling history of those being recommended as a new bishop. The information is asked for on the bishop recommendation and more often than not the only way to get it is to ask the candidate, making it obvious that they are being considered when it is supposed to be confidential.

kisaac
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Run and archive yearly "members with callings" report.

Postby kisaac » Thu Jul 07, 2011 4:09 am

mkgmoore wrote: I understand their delema but it would be really nice if MLS could track this so that I as a bishop could look back at this.


RussellHltn wrote:What you need is an advisor with some "institutional memory ".

But until that good "institutional memory" is found, or MLS or CDOL really becomes usable for this... A workaround may be to run a "members with callings" report annually, (Ward Conference?) and save these in a binder, or print to PDF (cutePDF) and archive in your computer.

If sorted by name, the report would require a name lookup on your present list to see a "date sustained," and then access the annual report previous to that time to discover the past calling. Repeat this procedure using the sustained date for each subsequent previous calling, for as far back as your reports go. If you really wanted to be fancy, run it twice at each interval you decide... once sorted by name for easy name look-up, (to track a member's positions) and again, but sorted by calling this time, allowing you to follow the same procedure, but to track the holders of a position- "Who was mission leader before ___________, and before him, and before him, etc.")

The "date sustained" column from each report would show you which previous report year must be accessed, so you would have a pretty good indication of when callings were changed, so you need not look at every year.

I know I've wished for this for Home Teaching assignments...."you gave me them two years ago, but I'll go again...."

edit: Not without problems, one being your report frequency. Running them more often, bi-annually, or monthly would help this, but increase the effort to do it.

jlspa51
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Postby jlspa51 » Thu Jul 07, 2011 6:59 am

I've found that a good excel document does the trick. I kept one at our last ward for about 15 years. I could tell you who held what calling and when, who spoke at Sacrament Meeting and when and what the subject of the meeting was and what the hymns were and who said the prayers. It came in real handy for Bishoprics I served in and then when I was Bishop also. Lots of memorabilia also. Didn't really take alot of time. Start one now, no time like the present.

rpyne
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Postby rpyne » Fri Jul 08, 2011 12:39 am

All of these suggestions are good, but pretty much useless in a Ward/Stake that has a 30+% annual turnover.

nutterb
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Location: Shaker Heights, OH, USA

Postby nutterb » Fri Jul 08, 2011 6:11 am

I have an Access (2003) database I use to track callings as well as a few other things. Unfortunately, even after compressing and zipping, it comes out to 8.5 MB, which exceeds the 5.0 MB limit for zip files. But if you want to take a look, send me a PM with your e-mail and I'll forward it to you.

Some caveats
  • the callings history is only useful from the time you start entering data. Obviously, there's no way to enter data that don't exist.
  • If you have a lot of turnover, you will want to occasionally empty the membership table and repopulate with the membership export from MLS. You'll retain all the data collected on callings (and speakers) for members who have left your unit, but only the people in the membership table will show up on reports.
  • I disabled the password for convenience, but this works best if you import the membership export into the membership table. Thus, the database really needs to be password protected.
  • Not being the greatest database programmer, I couldn't get the tables to match on Individual ID, so I matched on Full Name. This could (or rather, will) create problems if you have two people in your ward with the exact same full name.

Our ward has about 30 - 35% annual turnover and I've been using this database for about a year, so we'll see how well it holds up in the long run. On the bright side, the auxiliaries have loved being able to look at previous callings while considering recommendations.
I'm sure there are other hangups and snags, but I find this preferable

nutterb
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Location: Shaker Heights, OH, USA

Postby nutterb » Fri Aug 19, 2011 5:27 am

I just managed to reduce the size of this to make it a little more manageable. I can attach it now. Yay me!

If you import your Membership.csv into the database, this will be ready to go. You should also password protect the database since you're using the Membership file. I've disabled the password in the attached version.
Attachments
WardTracking - Blank.zip
(2.02 MiB) Downloaded 123 times

elguapo4538
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Postby elguapo4538 » Sun Jan 29, 2012 10:13 am

I vote for this as well. I think they should have a special marker for primary pianists as they are in high demand and this way they could not hide.


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