Statistical Reporting for 2021 is READY and AVAILABLE!
Statistical Reporting for 2021 is READY and AVAILABLE!
To Our Local Church Pastors, Treasurers, and Membership Secretaries:
The Western North Carolina Conference statistical system will open on January 3, 2022, and thus, be available for input of 2021 information. All statistical information must be entered and complete by Monday, January 31, 2022. In order to access the system, you can do so in the following manner:
- Access http://ezra.gcfa.org to connect to the statistical system login screen.
- Usernames have been assigned to each church as in the past. Two usernames are available to each church based on the church’s six-digit GCFA number, appended with the letter “p” for the pastor or with the letter “o” for office or other. For example, if your church’s GCFA number is 242697, the pastor’s username would be 242697p and the office or other username would be 242697o. The initial password for each username is stats@2021!. Upon access, you will be asked to change the password before moving forward. (Other information will be requested; simply follow the prompts for the contact information to be included.) Once completed, you will be taken to the Statistics Home page.
Once you have accessed the system, a Church User’s Guide (updated to highlight some of the changes in the program) and Instructions for each of the lines of the Tables can be found on the Reports page. Additionally, a comparison of the forms from the previous quadrennium and this quadrennium is also included here. There is also a FAQ document located for some of your questions, as well as a summary listing of common expenses and the line to which they should be assigned.
Let me share a few things that may pre-empt some questions.
- First of all and MOST IMPORTANTLY, Bishop Carter and I want to reduce the challenging stress the Pandemic has caused our clergy and churches. To that end, we have greatly reduced the questions asked for 2021. Specifically, we are seeking what is absolutely essential for our connectional structures. We are only asking for reporting on Table I, Membership, worship, and some participation; and Table II, expenses tied to the apportionment calculations as well as property values. There is no Table III report even though it will show up in the drop down. Just ignore. The instructions were not altered for 2021, including the FAQ, so ignore those not appearing in the tables.
- We asked that all information be collected for all church types – Chartered, Mission, New Church Starts (Unchartered) or Satellites. Radio buttons are included on the Church Info page to indicate your status if other than Chartered. Satellites or campuses of existing chartered churches which do not have their own GCFA number – whether designated as new starts or not – should be included in the reporting of the lead or main church.
- All information reported should reconcile to information held by the church – whether membership, attendance, or financial records. If computerized membership records are maintained, the information provided should reconcile to that listing. Financial records should be able to be reconciled to those year-end financial statements completed and audited at the local church.
- Certain items such as pension and health benefit payments, conference and district apportionments, Special Sunday offerings, and General and Conference Advance specials will be prepopulated from our Conference reports based on your remittances over the course of the year 2021. These will not appear until the Tables are printed. This upload is expected to take place by January 15, 2022. You will be notified via the message board on the welcome screen of Ezra when this has occurred. Please don’t submit prior to this upload being accomplished. Make no changes to these amounts.
- Notice Table I, lines 2a and 2b- Professions of Faith are segmented between “Through Confirmation” and “Other than Through Confirmation.”
- Line 7a has been added for “On-Line Worship Attendance.” Please do not include any on-line attendance on line 7. Line 7 should only include in person attendance and for 2021 , only for those weeks of actual in person services. See additional instructions for live streaming / online counting in WNCC Online Counting Instructions.
- Line 7b is a new line for 2021 and offers an opportunity to report other online and digital formatted events. This is a total participation number, not an averaging. And it may include same individuals who participated multiple times.
- It is important that all church tangible property (land, buildings, and equipment) be included in Table II, question 24, including parsonages and cemeteries.
- Payroll Protection Program loans of the 2020 CARES Act should be reported on line 27 IF NOT FORGIVEN (regardless of if forgiveness application has been submitted). If forgiven, no need to list for 2021.
- The system is designed to review for certain variances and validations once the “Save” button has been pushed. Should any variances or validations be noted in read, it is critical to include comments regarding the propriety of the variance or review the information for its accuracy to clear the variance or validation error. Submissions will not be considered complete unless these variances or validations are cleared or contained comments/explanations.
- You will be required to enter a valid EIN before submitting.
- Please take extra care for the accuracy of the information provided. This information will be utilized to calculate and apportion the conference and district budgets for 2023. If changes are noted following submission, please make your district and conference office aware of the changes.
- Once completed, you must return to your church’s dashboard at wnccumc.org, click “Submittable Forms” and then select “Year End Signature Page.” We must have the Pastor in charge, Lay Leader, and church treasurer sign off indicating they have reviewed the entire EZRA submission.
If you have any questions regarding the system and its input, please do not hesitate to contact your District Administrator (the treasure trove of information) or myself at the Conference Treasury Services office.
R. Mark King
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