Image

from the desk of
David Stotts
Conference Treasurer and Benefits Officer
769.243.7020 david@mississippi-umc.org

Click here to begin your work on the 2018 Statistical Reports.

With the coming of the New Year, so comes the statistical reporting process. We will again be using the EZRA system provided by the General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) that we used in 2017. I think you will find the EZRA system very user friendly and is relatively easy to navigate. The link for reporting the 2018 statistics will be on the conference website and will be available at 1:00 a.m. January 1, 2019, and will close at 11:00 p.m. January 28, 2019. All reports must be in by that deadline. Any statistical reports not completed will be reported as not timely filed to Bishop Swanson and the cabinet.

You may click here to find a church guide for Ezra statistics prepared by the General Council on Finance and Administration. 

Instructions for Local Church

The log in will be on the conference website beginning January 1, 2019. 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 mission shares statement. The first time that you log in, you will use MS2018 as the password. You will then be prompted to change your password.

The new password that you create must be six characters in length. We highly 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).

The form has a new design this year. The numbering is different and there are new lines and a new design to the clergy compensation section of Table two plus some new total lines. Instructions for each line can be found by hovering over the question mark. Line 1 is entered for you and this number CANNOT be changed. Lines 4, 5 and 6 automatically calculate. Be sure that you verify that line 4 is correct and agrees with your membership roll by double checking lines 1 through 3. Additionally, the total on line 4 should equal the total of 5 and the total of line 6. Line 7a is added for those who stream their worship on line. TV and radio is not included as actual audience size and cannot be measured with certainty.

Confirmation enrollees are moved to line 12 after Christian formations groups. Lines 21a and 21b are new additions. Line 24 was added for our use within the Mississippi Conference to include those who have had significant contact with the church but not accounted for in other places. 

Lines 41a through 47 are the line items used to calculate your conference mission shares for 2019. Please note that 41a-42c offers a breakdown not used before. This allows each clergy to have their compensation separated for audit purposes. Please be certain that these entries are thoroughly checked. You may be asked if the lines are correct multiple times by your district statistician, your conference statistician and by David Stotts.

Please be sure to complete Table three. 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 and how the ministries are funded. Each local church sets a budget every year. That budget is dependent on a funding source. All that is reported in Table three is where God provided funds for the ministries of your local church budget.

In closing,

The statistics you report are not merely numbers but they are a record of activity of Christian people fulfilling the ministry of Christ 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.

I would like to thank the staff of statisticians, district secretaries, district superintendents, David Stotts and Bishop Swanson for their assistance in gathering this data, and a special thank you to our pastors and staff for your cooperation and faithfulness. I look forward to speaking with many of you and hearing your glory sightings in your stories and seeing them in your numbers. You can contact me by calling 662.983.0574 or sending an email to confstat@mississippi-umc.org.

Peace, joy and love,

Rex Wilburn
Conference Statistician, aka “The Grinch”


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