Statistician's Corner

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Welcome to the 2017 annual statistical return.

It's that time again, and I'm looking forward to hearing about the life of each of our churches as expressed in our annual statistics!  These assist our Bishop and Cabinet in planning for pastoral ministry across the conference, as well as providing a fascinating historical perspective.  This isn't only for chartered churches - we also want to collect statistics from new church starts. These can be very helpful in future to understand how churches grow and develop.

I would encourage you to check out the web site provided by GCFA - www.umdata.org - to explore the conference (and other conferences!) further.  Your help in providing us with the raw information is greatly appreciated.

For full details, check out our Guide to Statistics 2017.

Here are some of the highlights for the 2017 reports:

  • Deadline. The due date for annual reports, in accordance with the Book of Discipline, is January 30, 2018. With the agreement of the Bishop and the Cabinet, we will accept 2017 returns until Thursday, February 15, 2018. We hope that this will allow you time to fully close your church accounts for 2017 before entering data, as well as giving us time to respond to your requests for help while not delaying final data entry.
  • Data entry will be enabled on December 27, 2017.  In the meantime, you can start to collect data using the available blank report form.  If this causes any problems (travel, etc.) please let us know.
  • New! Changes for the 2017-2020 quadrennium. There have been some significant changes in the forms for the new quadrennium starting in 2017.  Check out our special page for details.
  • Frequently asked questions updated!  Please take a moment to review our Frequently Asked Questions section, which has been revised this year.  You may find your particular question has already been answered!
  • Electronic entry only. As in previous years, we request that all churches complete the statistical return online using the Ezra system.  You can obtain your initial access information for Ezra from our Getting Started page!   However, we recognize that online entry may not be possible in all churches – please contact me as early as possible if this poses difficulties for your church.
  • Vital Signs integration. If your church has been entering weekly data through Vital Signs this year (highly recommended!), you will find some of this information inserted in the statistical return automatically. You will be able to verify and correct these entries, if necessary.
  • Webinars. Once again this year, we will be holding a series of webinars in January and early February to answer your questions about statistics  We encourage you to take advantage of these and other web resources to assist with your return. Dates for the first set of webinars in January will be available in late December. Join a live web meeting to see the data entry mechanism in use and get your particular questions answered.

Pastors, as I’m sure you are aware, the final submission of the annual reports is your responsibility but I encourage you to involve others in your congregation in the preparation of the information. Sharing the stories told by the statistics, and perhaps especially the comparisons with prior years, may yield some interesting insights. Please ensure that all involved have a copy of these documents to help them.

Finally, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me if you have any questions. My contact details are below:

Adrian Pell
Conference Statistician
Email: statistics@calnevumc.org
Phone: (530) 863-0254
Skype: adrian.r.pell

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