How to keep track of "do not contact" members?

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pantegra
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How to keep track of "do not contact" members?

Postby pantegra » Sat Sep 22, 2012 3:41 pm

I am wondering how other clerks are dealing with members who want to be on a "Do not Contact" list. According to the wiki we should not modify any part of the membership record to indicate this. https://tech.lds.org/wiki/Do_not_contact We cannot change their name, address and such but would it be right that in MLS we create a custom position called "DO NOT CONTACT" and assign them to this position?

This could be a totally half baked idea. From a data point of view it does mess things up as it shows people having callings and doing work when they really are not assigned to a calling. And that the nature of religion is that we should contact those who are not coming to church on a regular basis. But we also need to honor the wishes of the individual.

As a clerk I need to figure out a way to balance this out.

Thanks for your help and thoughts.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Sat Sep 22, 2012 4:07 pm

That note in the wiki was placed there at the same time an official notice was sent from the Membership Department on this topic. You may find it helpful to review the discussion thread at the time: This weekend's tip: No "DNC" on membership records.

As I said in the thread, as I read the message, the point is not for us to figure out clever ways to designate a member as "DO NOT CONTACT" in any way; the point is that we are not to apply that label to people.

That said, there are some suggestions in that thread that seem to propose ways to minister to the needs of such members without completely ignoring them (which is sadly very often the result of labeling them as "Do Not Contact").
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Postby lajackson » Sat Sep 22, 2012 4:15 pm

pantegra wrote:. . . but would it be right that in MLS we create a custom position . . .


I would not use MLS in any way to do this. I would leave it up to priesthood leaders, usually the bishop, to determine how best to meet the needs of these members.

In the specific case you thoughtfully propose, the member would not actually have a calling, but any lists that were prepared relating to callings would contain a flag that would not be appropriate.

I think the ward council is in the best position to be aware of the status of each member of the ward, and that when leaders are aware, and home and visiting teachers are properly assigned, the needs of these members can be met with deference and care, even if the decision of priesthood leaders is not to visit or to leave them alone for a season.

If a member were to inform a clerk that they did not want any contact from the Church, I would ask the member to speak with the bishop about the matter. I would then expect the clerk to follow the bishop's instructions. I do not believe it is up to the clerk to figure this out. I think it would be better to let priesthood leaders take the lead in these cases.

richardcscott
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Postby richardcscott » Sun Dec 02, 2012 1:20 pm

I have a similar problem to the original poster. We have a large ward and a number of members that have requested/demanded no contact. This list of DNC has a wide range of aggression, we have one member that has threatened the bishop with a restraining order if he receives any contact from the Church (including mail) to others that will just yell and scream if somebody shows up at their door (like an un-expecting VT sister).

Here are the problems I'm facing...

1. When sending out one of the several yearly mailers to the entire ward (Ward Conferences, Christmas mailers, etc) I use MLS to generate the mailing labels. The problem is how track / remove the labels from the list of the DNC.

2. Home / Visiting teacher assignments.

The difficult in tracking these thing is if it's not "in the computer" it inevitably gets lost, out of sync, missed, etc.

I'd be interested to hear the process flow that others are following to manage these challenges???

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Postby russellhltn » Sun Dec 02, 2012 1:57 pm

richardcscott wrote:I have a similar problem to the original poster. We have a large ward and a number of members that have requested/demanded no contact. This list of DNC has a wide range of aggression, we have one member that has threatened the bishop with a restraining order if he receives any contact from the Church (including mail) to others that will just yell and scream if somebody shows up at their door (like an un-expecting VT sister).


I realize this is the antithesis of two years of many a leader's life, but there is a procedure in Handbook 1 for removing names from the records. Personally, I'd inform the most strident members about the procedure and tell them that if they don't exercise that option, then they should expect to be contacted from time to time. As far as I'm aware, no one has the right to simultaneously claim membership but being free of any contact.

As for the others, I think there needs to be some kind of appropriate "institutional memory" of the member's needs and not just drop a slip of paper on a new HT/VT companionship.
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Re: How to keep track of "do not contact" members?

Postby jpjones~ogr » Sat Dec 29, 2012 1:30 pm

My current unit somewhat identifies members that have specified they don't want to be contacted by creating home teaching and visiting teaching routes with just those members on them. The special routes tend to be assigned to the Bishop and Relief Society President, which seems to eliminate confusion. And key leaders and auxiliary members maintain a personal understanding of limits to contacting these special families. My knowledge of and involvement with these families and their records is very limited because the leaders and auxiliaries manage the information.

I've found that the only the most vehement tend to eventually act to remove their names from the records of the Church. This is always a sad event because it strips them of their standing. However, as long as they remain in the ward our leaders maintain contact (as much as allowed) and maintain an personal knowledge of their status.

I've learned that each new Bishop rapidly becomes aware of members desiring no official contact, as well as options regarding their membership. I've spent very little effort reminding Bishops of such options, and have learned that they aggressively avoid suggesting name removal to these special members.

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Re: How to keep track of "do not contact" members?

Postby ChadLarsen » Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:00 pm

We encourage the wards in our stake to do as was suggested with HT/VT routes and adding DNCs to these routes. As a former EQ Pres I assigned those names/families to myself. That seems to work pretty well. It also requires some communication to ward leaders as new callings are issued and should probably be a brief topic of discussion in ward council as needed (Quarterly or semi-annually, etc).

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Re:

Postby davesudweeks » Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:17 pm

russellhltn wrote:Personally, I'd inform the most strident members about the procedure and tell them that if they don't exercise that option, then they should expect to be contacted from time to time. As far as I'm aware, no one has the right to simultaneously claim membership but being free of any contact.


And herein lies much of the problem. In my area, where people of other faiths "shop for a church," they tend to believe that attendance = membership and lack of attendance = lack of membership. I know first hand that asking someone who is already antagonistic to the church (and may have not had any contact with the church for many, many years) to write a letter to cancel their membership when they already believe they are not a member only serves to increase the antagonism. It is not a situation where they claim membership but don't want contact - it is a situation they claim no membership and don't understand why they aren't left alone as requested (and are told they won't be left alone without following a formal process to cancel a membership they believe doesn't exist).

Our past bishop refused to take "dnc" off their address due to the experience some HT's and VT's were exposed to. I am no longer the clerk but we have assigned those we know desire no contact to a separate HT list so at least they won't be accidentally assigned to someone.

nwilcox
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Re: How to keep track of "do not contact" members?

Postby nwilcox » Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:11 pm

In our ward we use a spread sheet to track members on the "DNC" list. The presidencies of the Relief Society, High Priest, and Elders Quorum have access to this spread sheet. On the spread sheet we enter, when contact made, who made contact, and brief summary of the contact. The worksheet is updated on a continual basis. Ward Clerk and Exec Sec are also familiar with spreadsheet and they assist in training new presidencies in order to maintain continuity. Spreadsheet is reviewed at least annually in Ward Council to determine if another contact should be made or other possible actions.


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