Presentation on theme: "A step-by-step Guide. Welcome to the statistics gathering process for 2015 where we will report the 2014 statistics. There will be no change to the."— Presentation transcript:
A step-by-step Guide
Welcome to the statistics gathering process for 2015 where we will report the 2014 statistics. There will be no change to the forms from The one major difference will be with the closing of Ezra at 11:59pm on January 26, The reports that are incomplete will be submitted blank to the Bishop and the Cabinet. Please get started early.
We will again be using the EZRA system provided by the General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) that we used in The EZRA system is very user friendly and is fairly easy to navigate. The link for reporting the 2014 statistics will be on the conference website and will be open January 1, 2015, and will close on January 26, All reports are to be in by that deadline. There is no grace period available. Your district office received blank forms for your church with 2013 statistics included in mid-November. If you did not receive a copy and need one you may contact your district secretary.
Please remember that these are not merely numbers but they are a record of activity of Christian people fulfilling their work in the local church. It is the only real snapshot we get of the church in any form or fashion. Please take this endeavor seriously. Be aware that if you use Internet Explorer there can be glitches in getting your reports submitted. This usually involves the warning boxes that occasionally appear when there is a variance from the previous year. The Ezra administrators report the Internet Explorer issue is an IT issue and not a system issue. The administrators for Ezra and your conference statistician recommend that PC users download either Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome. Mac users may use Safari.
Before beginning, make sure to locate your church GCFA# and local church number. These may be found on the pastor’s clergy budget form or your church’s mission share statement. For PC users, please use a ten key pad if possible to enter statistics and not the numbers at the top of your keyboard. If you hit the shift button and accidentally get one of the symbols in the system, they are detrimental to the system. Please use extreme caution.
On January 1, 2015, you will need to go to the Mississippi Annual Conference web-site at There will be an Ezra statistics icon on the page.www.mississippi-umc.org Click on the icon and you will be taken to the log-in page of Ezra. The user names and passwords have been reset. You will use your six-digit GCFA number for your username. This number can be found on your pastor’s clergy budget report or your church’s mission shares statement. The first time that you log in, you will use MS2014 as the password. MS2014
You will arrive at the welcome page after your log-in is successful. Your church name and GCFA# should appear. If this is correct then click next.
If the church name and GCFA# are not correct, contact the conference statistician. Once you click next, then you will need to enter your name, address and phone information. Please give accurate contact information because if there is a discrepancy, it will need to be clarified quickly. When you have provided your contact information, click next.
You will then be prompted to change your password. The password must be six characters in length. We suggest that you use the four-digit local church number (five-digit if you are in the Tupelo or West Jackson Districts) proceeded by two zeroes (one if you are in the Tupelo or West Jackson Districts). When you click next, you will receive a Thank you! message. Simply click Finish.
Next you will arrive at the Ezra stats home page. You will have two options: 1) Print a blank form by clicking Print Blank Report Forms. You may print a completely blank form by clicking the small box next to the “no church information line above the Run Report or you may simply click Run Report. (Your district office has a copy of your blank report if you have not already received it). Download PDF will appear to the left of Run Report. Click Download PDF.
You may click on any of tables 1, 2, or 3. Make sure to click save located on the top and bottom of the table occasionally to make sure your information is saved. If you leave the page without saving, what you have entered will be lost.
The first line of Table 1 cannot be altered. It is the amount reported from your 2013 stats. Any corrections to that number are made on lines 2a through line 8. Lines 2a-4 add to the total professing members, lines 5a-8 subtract from total professing members. 5a is a report of the Charge Conference process to remove members who have not or cannot be located. Their names should be read for two consecutive Charge Conferences then may be removed. These are only reported if there was charge conference action. If there are numbers for which there are no names to match (more or less members reported than exist on the church roll) then these may be added on line 2c or subtracted on line 5c. Never arbitrarily remove someone who is identified even if they cannot be located unless it is done through the Charge Conference process.
Please be aware that the total on line 9 will need to match both Ethnicity (lines 9a-9g) and also Gender (lines 9h-9i). You will not be able to submit your report until these all match. The form has the same design as last year. Instructions for each line can be found by hovering over the question. Line 9 automatically calculates. Be sure that you verify that line 9 is correct and agrees with your membership roll by double checking lines 1 through 8. Lines must equal line 19.
On Table 2, lines will be available on your insurance information page if you have conference insurance on your building and equipment. These values are updated fairly frequently. For private insurance, usually only the amount of coverage is listed which often does not reflect the actual value of the property, buildings and equipment.
Lines 48 through 57 are now the line items used to calculate your conference mission shares for 2016 and Please be extremely careful that these entries are double checked. Please make sure to keep capital improvements and property and casualty insurance payments out of these lines. Insurance is reported on line 57a. Capital expenditures are reported on line 59. You may be asked if the lines are correct multiple times by your district statistician, your conference statistician and by David Stotts.
Lastly, make sure you complete Table 3. This table simply reports the funding sources for the ministries in the previous two tables. They are not tied in any fashion to the amount of mission shares you will pay. The table merely illustrates the total picture of the spiritual journey of the church. Each local church sets a budget every year. That budget is dependent on a funding source. All that is reported is the gifts God provided. Less than 50% of the churches reported income which funds their mission and ministry which were listed on Tables 1 and 2. The conference statistician totaled the known financial expenditures and entered an amount for those who didn’t report lat year. There is not enough time due to the constraints in place this year. Table 3 merely demonstrates how the ministries you listed on Tables 1 and 2 are funded. If they are blank, they will be submitted to the Bishop and Cabinet blank in 2015.
When you know the statistics are both complete and as accurate as you can make them, you may go to the Ezra menu bar and Click, Submit Stats. If you have warnings without explanations you will not be able to submit. This is usually where Internet Explorer folks have their issues. (Internet Explorer often will not let you offer your explanation.) Please go back and fill in explanations. Good explanations may keep you from being contacted by your district or conference statistician.
When the explanation are finished, (if there are any) then you will be asked if you are sure you want to submit, if you are confident in your stats, then click Yes/Submit. If after submitting you find an error(s), please contact your district statistician, the conference statistician or your district secretary. Thank you for your cooperation and faithfulness. I would also like to thank the staff of statisticians, district secretaries, district superintendents, David Stotts and Bishop Swanson. I look forward to speaking with many of you and hearing and seeing your stories in numbers of what your local church has done. Work quickly. You can contact your conference statistician by calling or texting or sending an to Peace and Joy and Love, Rex Wilburn Conference Statistician aka “The Grinch”