Non-attenders on Quarterly Report

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aebrown
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Non-attenders on Quarterly Report

Postby aebrown » Tue May 10, 2011 12:38 pm

I'm trying to find official documentation that explains the correct way to count people on the Quarterly Report who do not attend priesthood and auxiliary meetings. I'm surprised how difficult it is to find this.

Both the Handbook (Handbook 1, 13.5.1) and the MLS Software Manual (page 20) simply say to "count each person who attended at least once during the last month of the quarter."

But the unofficial wiki article Quarterly Report says to "provide the number who attended at least one Sunday that month - to Relief Society, Priesthood, Young Women, or Primary, from among those counted in the total - or would have except they were serving in a capacity that prevented it."

It's that last clause that I seek official documentation for. It makes perfect sense, and is the long-standing practice of our stake and every other stake that I know of, to count attendance for those who are not physically present at these auxiliary meetings if they are serving in a calling that prevents their attendance. That could include stake presidency members, high councilors, full-time missionaries, those serving in leadership callings in other units, etc. It also could include those who may be out of town for the entire reporting month, but faithfully attend their meetings in another unit.

Referring to proper recording of sacrament meeting attendance, the MLS Software Manual on page 20 explicitly says "Do not count any members not in attendance, such as members serving missions, on other Church assignments, or attending other wards." That's interesting because that's pretty much the list of people who we do count as attending quorum and auxiliary meetings. One might infer that those situations were mentioned as not applying to sacrament meeting precisely because they do apply to the other meetings. But that's a rather weak link.

By no means am I suggesting that we should discontinue the common practice of counting such people. But does anyone know of a current official source that documents this practice?
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nutterb
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Non-attenders on Quarterly Report

Postby nutterb » Tue May 10, 2011 1:20 pm

I don't have a good answer for this, other than to apply interpretation.

In Handbook 1, 13.5.3, it reads that the quarterly report can be used to [quote removed]. My interpretation of the attendance report is that it is intended to identify those individuals who are not attending meetings with the assumption that these individuals may need special attention. Thus, marking individuals who serve in Primary as absent distorts the data--now quorum and auxiliary leaders have to spend time filtering a layer of why people aren't attending meetings. Presumably, those who are fulfilling callings are in need of a little less shepherding*.

I can't recall any official documentation for why we do that. It just seems like the natural interpretation toward making the report useful.



* The validity of this assumption is one I question, but I'm not sure any change of this assumption could improve the value of the report either.

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Postby davesudweeks » Tue May 10, 2011 8:22 pm

I'm not in front of our MLS computer right now, but if I recall correctly, the Quarterly Report provides additional information as well for each data stream: (i.e. Young Women - if you click on their link, you will see a list of the Young Women who could "potentially" be counted along with a paragraph at the top instructing how to count them. These attendance numbers are linked to names of people who should be in attendance.

Sacrament Attendance is only a "nose count" that includes investigators, visitors, etc. and is not tied to any membership list by name (at least as I understand).

You would probably not like to hear this, but I know of wards who schedule things such as the Primary Program for the last month of the Quarter because of the Sacrament Meeting Attendance boost. :p

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Postby aebrown » Tue May 10, 2011 8:33 pm

davesudweeks wrote:I'm not in front of our MLS computer right now, but if I recall correctly, the Quarterly Report provides additional information as well for each data stream: (i.e. Young Women - if you click on their link, you will see a list of the Young Women who could "potentially" be counted along with a paragraph at the top instructing how to count them. These attendance numbers are linked to names of people who should be in attendance.


Your recollection is close, but not quite correct. Yes, there is a link to the list of members in various categories, and there is an explanatory paragraph -- but the paragraph explains only the base number (who is considered a Young Man, Young Single Adult, Prospective Elder, etc.). It says nothing about how to count attendance.

davesudweeks wrote:Sacrament Attendance is only a "nose count" that includes investigators, visitors, etc. and is not tied to any membership list by name (at least as I understand).


Correct, but not the subject of this thread.

davesudweeks wrote:You would probably not like to hear this, but I know of wards who schedule things such as the Primary Program for the last month of the Quarter because of the Sacrament Meeting Attendance boost. :p


I'll pretend I didn't hear that.
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Postby russellhltn » Tue May 10, 2011 11:54 pm

aebrown wrote:It's that last clause that I seek official documentation for.


The printed class roll has the instructions you're looking for.

For example, the Relief Society roll says: "The Relief Society secretary records weekly Sunday Relief Society meeting attendance. Those who are unable to attend Sunday Relief Society meeting because of a Church assignment are to be recorded as attending (including full-time missionaries from the ward or branch."

At first glance, putting it there is a bit odd, but it does put the instructions in the hands of the secretaries. I think the other manuals have had that part simplified out of them.

Now, the question is, should a clerk be counted as attending his meetings when he chooses to work on the computer during Sunday School and/or Priesthood? ;)
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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Wed May 11, 2011 5:39 am

RussellHltn wrote:The printed class roll has the instructions you're looking for.

For example, the Relief Society roll says: "The Relief Society secretary records weekly Sunday Relief Society meeting attendance. Those who are unable to attend Sunday Relief Society meeting because of a Church assignment are to be recorded as attending (including full-time missionaries from the ward or branch."

At first glance, putting it there is a bit odd, but it does put the instructions in the hands of the secretaries. I think the other manuals have had that part simplified out of them.


Thank you for finding this. I knew I had seen it printed somewhere, but I just couldn't locate it. I have updated the wiki's Quarterly Report article with the reference so that it will be easier to find for others who may have the same question.

RussellHltn wrote:Now, the question is, should a clerk be counted as attending his meetings when he chooses to work on the computer during Sunday School and/or Priesthood? ;)


I know you asked the question tongue-in-cheek, but the answer is of course no. The clarification mentions those who are "unable to attend", not those who choose to miss their meetings just to save some time.
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