Reclaiming

It’s a great moment when a member who has been “removed” due to their request or church discipline decides to rejoin the church. This is “reclaiming”.

How does a church clerk record this in eAdventist? The clerk who has the “removed” record can click the “Change Status/Rebaptize” button and select “Reclaim” (added Oct 18, 2011). This will change the person’s status to “nonmember”. If they are being baptized in a different church, you can click “Change church” to move them to the appropriate church. Now the “baptism” can be recorded the usual way.

“Undo removed” should only be used to fix incorrect “removed” entries.

Better transfer requests

It can be difficult to know exactly who a transfer request applies to when the member’s name is a common one or both “Jr” and “Sr” belong to the same church.

Now transfer requests can include “Suffix” and “Birth date” to positively identify the member. These fields are optional — use them when you need them.

Where did “Mobile phone” and “Work phone” go?

The quick answer is that they haven’t disappeared, they’ve moved up.

Mobile phone numbers are increasingly the best way to contact members. Many clerks have asked for “mobile phone” to be more visible, so they have been moved from the “Personal” tab to the main section at the top of the “Person” screen.

They are still separate from the phone numbers on the “Family Unit” tab to make it clear that “Mobile phone” and “Work phone” belong to the person rather than the family.

Tags vs. Committees

“Tags” are just a flexible way to group people in eAdventist.

A conference might create a “Snowbird” tag to mark members who head south in winter and need their addresses switched. A pastor might create a “Bible study” tag to mark people he is currently studying with. A church secretary might use a “Christmas Sabbath” tag to mark people participating in a special church service.

Use the “Person Search” and “Person Labels” features to quickly find all people with the tag.

“Tags” are like “Committees” in three main ways:

  • A church has its own tags, the conference has its own tags — ¬†they don’t mix
  • Your “tags” are visible to other users in your church or conference office
  • Your “tags” are not visible to other conferences or churches
  • When a tagged person is transferred, your “tags” stay behind

“Tags” are different than “Committees” in most other ways:

  • Anybody in your church or conference office can use and change your “tags”, only the owner of a “committee” can change it
  • Use “tags” in combination with other criteria in “Person Labels”.
  • When a user leaves your office or church, their “committees” are orphaned until the conference clerk deletes them or assigns a new owner. “Tags” don’t have owners.

“Committees” are great for actual committees because the owner can ensure that they are correct. For almost everything else, the flexibility of “tags” is probably a much better fit.

Why the new screens?!#$%?

Why fix what ain’t broken? I’m not a big fan of change that I didn’t ask for either, so we wouldn’t do that to you unless we thought the gain would outweigh the pain.

When you look up a person (or church), you now need to click “Edit this Person” (or “Edit this Organization”) in order to make changes. Nobody likes extra clicks, so why? Two main reasons:

  • Pastors find eAdventist very hard to use because they have “read-only” accounts and browsers show “read-only” fields in gray.
  • Novice clerks accidentally change the names of people and churches, causing headaches for themselves and their conference clerks.

Once we created the separate “show” and “edit” screens to solve these problems, we discovered that the “show” screen was much easier to read and could hold new information and features — like live Google Maps. We actually hated using the old “edit” view when we weren’t actually editing and realized you probably would, too.

We want eAdventist to be as useful as possible for everybody who uses it, so all we ask is that you give yourself a week to get used to the new screens, then let us know if you still find them hindering you. We hope you’ll see them as “presents” rather than “coal”.

Welcome

Welcome to the eAdventist blog, a better way to discover new features, changes and tips. For the last couple of years, we’ve been updating eAdventist’s “plumbing” and haven’t made a lot of changes or added many new features. The internal makeover is almost complete and the payoff is already happening.

Up to now, eAdventist has been focused mainly on the needs of church clerks and conference offices. Over the next few months, we will finally be adding features to make eAdventist more useful and powerful for pastors and churches. Keeping you informed about the changes should make the journey more enjoyable for all.

You can use an RSS reader or Live Bookmarks in your browser to watch our “feed” at https://eadventist.wordpress.com/feed/ and automatically receive new posts.