Statistical Reporting for 2020 is READY and AVAILABLE!
UPDATE: Conference Financial information for each local church has been updated and included now your EZRA tables.
The GCFA/Western North Carolina Conference statistical system will open on January 2, 2021 and be available for input of 2020 information. All statistical information must be entered and complete by Monday, February 1, 2021. 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@2020!. 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.
A few comments to remember for the 2020 reporting year:
- GCFA has 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.
- Information should be gathered from the appropriate persons and sources, verified for accuracy. We will ask once again that the Pastor-in-charge, the Lay Leader and the Treasurer electronically sign and verify they have reviewed and do attest to the accuracy of the information in all three tables to the best of their knowledge.
- 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 2020. These will not appear until the Tables are printed. This upload is expected to take place by January 15, 2021. 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. No changes should be made to these amounts once these have been populated.
- Line numbering is preserved from 2019 into 2020 for this quadrennium reporting. It is hoped we have made the format simpler and easier to use.
- 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 2020, only for those weeks of actual in person services. See additional instructions for live streaming / on line counting in WNCC Online Counting Instructions.
- Notice the new requirements for line 21 for community ministries.
- You will notice items for line 16- 16a and 16b. These were just added and will be used by our WNCC Board of Laity.
- It is important that all church tangible property (land, buildings and equipment) be included in Table II, question 24. We have noted that parsonage and parsonage-related assets may not have been included in this line in the past by several of our churches. Please verify that these have been and continue to be reported in question 24.
- Payroll Protection Program loans of the 2020 CARES Act should be reported on line 27 IF NOT FORGIVEN (regardless if forgiveness application has been submitted). Forgiven or Unforgiven PPP loans should be reported as well on line 54c.
- 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 2022. If changes are noted following submission, please make your district and conference office aware of the changes.
- THERE ARE NO SUPPLEMENT PAGES TO INCLUDE THIS YEAR. However, 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
Resources for Vital Congregations
GBHEM Leadership Resources
A Disciple’s Path; A Guide for United Methodist
RESOURCES TO CONNECT WITH THE COMMUNITY:
The Appalachian District Church Vitality Team has been prayerfully seeking ways to help support you and the ministries of your local congregation during this COVID-19 pandemic. Together they have diligently researched and connected with others throughout the conference and our denomination to identify resources and offer them to you. We hope they will be helpful to you and bless you greatly in leading your churches and communities through this unprecedented time. We are very grateful to the District Vitality Team and other contributors for their great work on this resource.
This faithful team has created three documents, two of which you are receiving today. They include:
- Family Home Worship – designed to help families establish a regular worship space within their homes as well as a time where they can worship together.
- Tech Strategies – to help guide you in selecting effective tools and resources within your budget to best communicate in the digital world.
We believe these resources will be of great benefit to you. Also know that the District Vitality Team is available to answer any questions you might have in regards to the documents attached. If you have questions, you may email Rev. Howard Fleming at firstname.lastname@example.org.