Frequently Asked Questions about 2020 Statistical Reports
The COVID-19 pandemic will certainly impact the 2020 Statistical Reports. Many numbers may differ significantly from past years’ reports. Churches are asked to make their best faith effort in completing the report as accurately as possible to reflect 2020. We have put together this FAQ to address some issues that are specific to 2020:
How do we report worship attendance for 2020?
As in previous years, Line 7 asks for the average for in-person worship. For 2020, report the average based on the number of weeks your church conducted in-person worship (including outdoor worship) and then report in Line 7.1 the number of weeks that were included in this average.
Line 7a has been used to collect information about online worship attendance. Use this line to report your best estimate of the average number of people participating in online worship services provided by your church. In 7a.1 report the number of weeks included in this average.
for guidance on counting on-line worship from GCFA (General Council on Finance and Administration)
Do I count small groups and classes if they met online?
Yes, give it your best faith effort to accurately report the number of participants in these classes and groups combining both in-person and online meetings.
How will the reduced use of the building by outside groups affect mission shares?
Data about building use is collected for the sole purpose of estimating the costs that a church incurs to allow outside groups to use its building. This estimate of expenses due to outside groups is subtracted from the mission share base (mission share base includes salaries and benefits, program and operating expenses) before the mission share calculation is done.
The year 2020 will show a significant decline in outside groups using the building; all reporting should reflect the actual use and expenses for 2020 as accurately as possible. However, for the 2022 mission share calculation the Cabinet and Committee on Finance and Administration have agreed that the outside use deduction for 2020 will be based on the hours and space reported in the 2019 statistical tables. Because the mission shares are based on a 3-year rolling average, this decision will also impact 2023 and 2024 mission shares.
How do we report spending funded by the Paycheck Protection Program?
All spending should be reported on the appropriate lines on Table II regardless of the source of funding. This reporting should be actual spending rounded only to the nearest dollar (not budgeted amounts or estimates).
If the church received funding from the Paycheck Protection Program, the amount received and spent should be reported on Line 52h. If funding from the Paycheck Protection Program has not been forgiven, the amount owed as a loan should be reported on Table II, Line 27 – Other debt.
Treatment of the Paycheck Protection Program with respect to the mission share calculation will be decided at the next Council on Finance and Administration meeting on Jan. 20, 2021; however, it is not expected that Line 52h on Table III or Line 27 on Table II will impact the mission share calculation for 2022.
What if I need to explain a number or offer additional input?
When you submit your report, there is an opportunity to add additional comments. Please feel free to use that space to offer any information you believe is relevant.
To access the online statistical system, go to the General Council on Finance & Administration website: http://ezra.gcfa.org
If you need username/password
Username: Two usernames are provided for each church – one for the pastor and one for staff/lay person to share. The usernames for each church have changed due to the redistricting; use the Username List to find your church’s usernames. Please note that the list is sorted by district – be sure you are looking in your new district!
Password: The password for all usernames has been set to: duefeb14
The password is case sensitive so all letters must be lowercase. You will be required to change this password upon logging in.
Contact Conference Statistician, Joy Mueller, at JoyEMueller@comcast.net
In addition, Joy has created a series of instructional videos on how to use the Ezra system.
Find them here
Statistical reports are due on Feb 14