Every year, all churches across our denomination must complete and submit to their respective annual conferences a series of reporting tables that cover church membership and participation, assets and expenses, and income. These tables are due March 15 every year. So, why should you take the time to submit Tables to the conference each year?
First, the Book of Discipline requires that Tables be completed and submitted each year, and the pastor of each church is responsible to make sure they get done and submitted on time. The global United Methodist Church uses this information to track trends across the denomination, to determine apportionments for each conference, and for other purposes.
Second, the conference uses this information to track trends across the conference, to look at the health of churches, and to calculate the local church apportionments. Errors in your Tables or not submitting your Tables may result in your church being apportioned more than it should be.
Third, individual churches can use their Table histories to track changes in the church.
Tables may be entered directly on the Ezra website (many thanks to the churches who do this!), emailed to Lisa Schultze, or snail mailed to the conference office (Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, 122 West Franklin Avenue, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55404 and mark them Attn: Tables).
There are several advantages to submitting Tables online using the Ezra website. Ezra will check for some common errors and compare this year’s figures with last year’s figures. Submitting your Tables yourself through Ezra also saves conference staff time. Many churches have said this is the fastest and most convenient way to submit their Tables and that it is easy to do. (See section below on how to submit Tables online through Ezra.)
Table training events are offered annually in the fall. Whether you are new to Tables or have been completing them for years, you are likely to learn new things at Table training that might lower your apportionments. Watch the conference events calendar for Table training events.
Some answers to frequently asked questions have been prepared to help you with this task. View Tables FAQs.
Still have questions? Watch this video recording of a recent Table Talk webinar. This training walks you through the steps of completing the Tables. Access training PowerPoint.
Contact: If you have questions or need help, contact Lisa Schultze (612-230-6154).
To access the Tables online:
1. Go to the Ezra website.
2. This brings you to the login screen. Each church has been assigned two logins. The default login is your six-digit GCFA church number, followed by “p” (for pastor) or “o” (for other). The church number generally starts with either “63” or “64”. It can be found on your monthly church statements, your apportionment calculation, or in the Tables section of the Journal.
3. The password is whatever you (or the previous person doing this) selected. You can have Ezra e-mail the password to the e-mail address on record. If this is the personal e-mail of the previous person or if the church has changed e-mail addresses, your reply (with password) will simply disappear into the ether. You can also contact Barb Brower (612-230-6135) to get your password.
4. If you have not updated your contact information, that might be helpful.
Once you have logged in, you will have several options:
1. “Enter Stats” allows you to enter Table data. Select which Table you would like to see. This also shows the previous year’s Table data.
Before entering this section, please select the default year! At the center of the homepage near the top is a drop-down box with the available years. Select the year you would like to view or edit. Once in this section, you can switch between Tables by clicking “Table I,” “Table II,” or “Table III” at the top of the window. Make sure you click the “Save” button before switching Tables or leaving this section or all your work will be for naught!
There are some validations and warnings set up. Validation errors MUST be corrected before the Table can be saved (number of males and females must match the total membership, etc.). Warnings are items you should check on (pastor’s salary within 10 percent of previous year’s salary, etc.).
2. “Submit Church Stats” submits your Tables to the conference. Once Tables have been submitted, you can no longer edit them. If you find errors after you have submitted your Tables, contact Lisa Schultze to get the errors corrected.
3. “Account” allows you to change your login information at will.
4. The “Reports” section has several options available:
a.“Church Stats Report” allows you to print a copy of your submitted Tables. You can also have it show the change from the previous year’s data.
b.“District Summary Stats Report” shows the Table totals for your district.
c.“Conference Summary Stats Report” shows the Table totals for the conference.
d.“Church Stats Spreadsheet” allows you to download Table items that you select to an Excel spreadsheet.
e.“Blank Church Input Form” prints a blank copy of the Tables.
f.“Church Table Directions” lists explanations of the Table lines. These are the comments from the “?”s in “Add/Edit Tables.”
g.“Church User’s Guide” provides simple directions for the church user to enter Table data.
Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church