Access to ward directories in multiple stakes

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rjamesh
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Access to ward directories in multiple stakes

Postby rjamesh » Tue Jun 10, 2014 4:51 pm

My wife and I have just been called to an 18 month service mission, responsible for employment in 4 stakes. We have a need to frequently send out emails to distribution lists that include various leaders in the wards and stakes for which we have this responsibility. We have quickly noticed that there are gaps and errors in these lists and it is important for us to keep them current. As a member of one of those stakes, I am able to use the lds.org directory to access the leadership info for each unit in our stake. What I lack is the ability to see that info for the other 3 stakes. One option is to just send periodic emails asking for updates though I'd rather be called each time a change is made. I'd like that but it won't likely happen. My preference is to have access to the directories of all 4 stakes. I just don't know if and how that might happen.

I'm all ears. If anyone has dealt with a similar issue and come up with a helpful solution, I'd be grateful. Thanks.

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sbradshaw
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Re: Access to ward directories in multiple stakes

Postby sbradshaw » Mon Jun 30, 2014 11:56 pm

If it's just the main leaders of wards and stakes you need to contact (stake presidencies, bishoprics, executive secretaries, and clerks), there may be a way to get access to the Church Directory of Organizations and Leaders (cdol.lds.org) for your calling. I don't know what the process would be.

If you need to see more than just these leaders for your calling, with the stake presidents' permission you may be able to have an out-of-unit record created for you in each of these stakes' stake MLS, and that record being assigned to a standard MLS calling, which would allow you to see all of the directories through the LDS.org directory tool (and the LDS Tools app).

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Re: Access to ward directories in multiple stakes

Postby russellhltn » Tue Jul 01, 2014 12:11 am

Frankly, I think it's the mission's responsibility to get you the tools you need. As for the stakes, I'd think it would be their responsibility to get you a current list on a periodic basis. Just my personal opinion.

I'm not real keen on the idea that the stakes have to finagle things so missionaries can get what they need.
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sbradshaw
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Re: Access to ward directories in multiple stakes

Postby sbradshaw » Tue Jul 01, 2014 12:13 am

Service missionaries don't always have the same centralized mission leadership that full-time missionaries would (often they are just under the direction of their stake president).

rjamesh
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Re: Access to ward directories in multiple stakes

Postby rjamesh » Tue Jul 01, 2014 7:42 am

Thanks to all for the replies. Since writing the initial post, I have simply been doing the grunt work of updating the list of leaders and emails by using the help of those who do reply most promptly. It's been a slow process but has probably resulted in at least a doubling of the list accuracy. I would plan to send emails on a periodic basis (4-6 weeks maybe) to check for any changes made in leadership or email addresses. The followups should help maintain the lists at a higher degree of accuracy.

That said, I have not thrown in the towel on coming up with a better solution. One ward RS is using a generic email address that the entire presidency accesses (________wardRS@gmail.com). When the leadership changes, emails will still get through. They are very satisfied with this approach so we are going to ask various unit leaders their opinion on it. Yes, we are under the direction of the Stake President with responsibility for the effort. This also happens to be our personal SP and better yet, the other grandfather of our granddaughter. So, we have his ear and he supports the generic email approach. We'll need his visible support if we decide that is the best approach.

I have not yet approached the leadership of the 4 stakes with the idea of dropping our names into each stake as an out of unit member. I assume that we would have to actually be an out of unit member in a specific ward or branch to get that done.

Thanks again to all.

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sbradshaw
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Re: Access to ward directories in multiple stakes

Postby sbradshaw » Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:11 am

rjamesh wrote:I have not yet approached the leadership of the 4 stakes with the idea of dropping our names into each stake as an out of unit member. I assume that we would have to actually be an out of unit member in a specific ward or branch to get that done.


Out-of-unit member records can be created and assigned a calling on the stake-level MLS as well as the ward MLS (any standard calling that is somewhat applicable will pull you into the system for accessing the regular LDS.org tools; just creating the record won't give you the access you need).

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Re: Access to ward directories in multiple stakes

Postby sbradshaw » Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:12 am

rjamesh wrote:One ward RS is using a generic email address that the entire presidency accesses (________wardRS@gmail.com). When the leadership changes, emails will still get through. They are very satisfied with this approach so we are going to ask various unit leaders their opinion on it.


I like this idea. There are two challenges off the top of my head, with using a shared email address, that need to be dealt with: 1) Often people don't check that email account as often, and may forget about it until something has passed. 2) You'd probably want to change the password any time there is a change in the presidency.

Maybe we should start a separate topic on this to see what others have done.

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Re: Access to ward directories in multiple stakes

Postby rjamesh » Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:30 am

Thanks, sbradshaw. I am already preparing myself for the comment "I can barely keep up with my work and personal email addresses and now I'll have to remember to look at another one?"

When I presuppose that reaction, I don't mean to sound critical. I'm actually sort of putting myself in their spot and trying to understand. I guess I won't know until I ask. We have an opportunity soon at a Bishop's Welfare Council for one of the stakes. We have been asked to make a short presentation. Good time to bounce ideas around.

Good point on the password change.

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Re: Access to ward directories in multiple stakes

Postby russellhltn » Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:49 am

sbradshaw wrote:
rjamesh wrote:One ward RS is using a generic email address that the entire presidency accesses (________wardRS@gmail.com). When the leadership changes, emails will still get through. They are very satisfied with this approach so we are going to ask various unit leaders their opinion on it.


I like this idea. There are two challenges off the top of my head, with using a shared email address, that need to be dealt with: 1) Often people don't check that email account as often, and may forget about it until something has passed.

Two things come to mind: One, I've seen certain policy statements that talk about "personal email" vs "Church email" where what can be done with personal email is more restrictive. I'd still consider this "personal email" since it is not under the control of the Church IT department.

As for concern about reading it, there are two approaches: One is to add the account to your mobile device or email reader. You'll see if you've received with no very little additional effort. For example, on Android, you'd see the sign you have mail in the device's notification bar. The other approach is to have the account forward the email to the preferred email account. Any return emails won't be coming from the assigned gmail account, but anyone relying on the generic email will have their messages forwarded to the intended person.
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