03.15.2021 Update [8.8]


Shepherd's Staff 2020 Version (8.8), release 20210315

* Scheduled to release Tuesday, March 15, 2021.



  • We have updated the age group ranges on the PC(USA) annual report to the new requirements.
  • The Membership Dashboard, Behavior tab, now displays “Communed or gave” statistics.
  • On the Person record, Church section, the Attendance button now launches a redesigned attendance summary window. The new design shows summary info for all years, rather than just for this year and the prior year. The attendance pattern is removed from the window (it would not fit well within the new design) and is less critical to see in this context than whether the person has attended at all. The attendance pattern is still available in the Attendance module, for those who wish to delve deeper into the person's attendance habits.
  • There is a new “medical/allergies” report in Membership.
  • In the Individuals grid, there is a new column on the far right for “Date added”, which is the date the person record was inserted into the database.


  • Improvement: When editing an Event the audit log entry now records the number of enrollees before and after the edit, to assist with troubleshooting changes that have occurred.
  • The Basic and Advanced batch entry windows can be left open so that you can check the info in Membership without exiting the batch.
  • In the Advanced attendance batch entry, there is a new Who filter for “everyone except removed”.


  • The Contributions Dashboard is now available. Please be aware of the following new categories:
    • An “Active” contributor/envelope is someone who is not removed and not marked as “Inactive” in the church Participation on their person record. Member status is irrelevant (i.e. they can be a non-member and be an “active” giver). For shared/joint envelopes, either giver being “active” makes that envelope “active”.
    • A “Removed” contributor/envelope is one in which all givers are marked as removed on their person record. For shared envelopes, if one giver is removed and the other is not, that envelope is still “Active” (see the above definition).
    • An “Inactive” contributor/envelope is one in which all givers are marked as “Inactive” on their person record and are not removed. For shared envelopes, either given being active makes that envelope “Active” (see the above definition).


  • The Calendar report has a new option for “Blank with holidays” that includes standard and user-defined holidays.
  • The Calendar report once again has a “One week” format


  • In Report Writer and Mail Merge, a new field has been added for the contributor envelope “Skip renumbering?” field.


  • Main Menu rewrite: The Main Menu has been rewritten in C#/.NET, featuring a new streamlined login process.
  • For the Print Preview window, there is a new option under the Utilities menu for "Print preview default zoom level". This setting saves with the user settings/preferences and applies to all report previews for the current user. (This does not apply to VB6 Crystal Reports in modules not yet converted to .NET.)
    • Notes: This may change, but the current zoom levels are as follows: "Full page" (showing everything, fully zoomed out; in the past this was the default for all print preview windows); Zoom 1, Zoom 2, Zoom 3, Zoom 4, and "Full width”.


Tip: To quickly move columns in a data grid, without a lot of clicking and dragging:

  1. Start the normal column-moving process by clicking in the column heading.
  2. Drag the column in the direction you want until the mouse cursor moves off the data grid; at that point the column stops moving.
  3. While continuing to hold down the mouse button, use the right or left arrow keys on the keyboard to scroll the grid columns until the destination appears.
  4. While still holding down the mouse button, move the cursor back over the data grid at the desired position, and then let up on the mouse button to complete the move process.

In short: Initiate a column move until the cursor goes off the data grid, use the arrow keys to scroll the grid columns to the desired location, move the cursor back over the grid and then let up on the mouse button. (I suggest we add this info to the data grid Help article.)




  • Added visual feedback (cursor change) when loading the PCA, PC(USA), and ELCA reports.
  • Three-line addresses (such as those with a street address, a “care of” line, and a room number, such as encountered with nursing homes) were not getting fully displayed at the top of the Household/Person record window.

    Tip: Don’t forget that, as is standard across Windows applications, you can click on any of the text in that upper section, use the short-cut CTRL-A to highlight it all text, then CTRL-C to copy it, and then CTRL-V to paste it into another program.

  • In the Church Directory, if you saved a List or Subgroup with a user report, and then came back in, the name of the List or Subgroup did not appear just above the “Who” selection, as it does in other reports.
  • On the Person record window, if a person has a preferred name it now shows in parentheses after the first name at the top of the record.


  • When printing a blank Calendar in Scheduler, the on-screen note “*Removed people are automatically excluded” was incorrectly appearing.
  • Several readability improvements were made to the reports for the Events grid.


  • To clarify the purpose of the reports under the Reports tab (which is for special reports that cannot readily be generated by printing from a data grid), the caption of the tab in each rewritten module has been changed from “Reports” to “Other Reports”.



  • When printing directly onto envelopes, and including the church return address, the church address line was appearing below the city/state/postal code line.
  • The “sort/group by” options were not being included when saving a user-defined favorite of either the Church Directory or Church Phone Book reports.
  • Some of the pop-up definitions for questions on the PC(USA) report were missing or incorrect.
  • The pie chart option has been removed. The graphs on the Membership Dashboard, Behavior tab, allowed you to display pie charts, which are meaningless with those figures because the slices (subsections) are not a part of the whole, but rather standalone calculations.
  • When selecting attendance events in the Lutheran and Presbyterian annual reports, the pop-up window title read, “Select Funds”. It now reads “Select one or more items…”. (The window reads the same when selecting funds since it is a shared form.)
  • In the PCA and PC(USA) annual reports, if your church membership exceeded 999 people, the report would generate the following error: “Input string was not in the correct format.”
  • When printing the Funerals register report, the “Birth place” could get truncated with longer, real-world values (such as 80 characters).
  • When printing the Funerals register report, it was not including “Death place” on the report.
    • Note: Death place has also been added as a column to the Funerals grid.
  • If you made a change to a Person record that made the blue save icon appears, and then you clicked Save, the “Last edited” date/time was not getting updated.
  • If you made a change to a Household record that made the blue save icon appears, and then you clicked Save, the “Last edited” date/time was not getting updated.
  • If you clicked on the “Export membership information” report, it hid the Print button as it should, but when you clicked on a different report, the Print button stayed hidden.
  • The Church Directory by Household report Symbols window was not allowing you to clear a symbol.
  • In the Church Directory, the report Type was not being loaded from a saved user report, and instead was defaulting to “Standard Style A”.
  • In the Activity/Skill/Training popup window on the Church folder of the Person record, if you typed in certain search characters (such as “1/1/1”, or just a backslash by itself), you would receive an error: “Cannot perform ‘Like’ operation on System.Int32 and System.String.”
  • The WELS annual report’s section for Removed By, which specifies “other Christian”, was not including the options for “Release LCMS” or “Release WELS” (both of which added in the new Edition Selection process), or for “Non-Lutheran”.


  • When adding enrollees to an event in Attendance, deceased and archived people were appearing in the list of possible names; they are now excluded. 


  • When you added a Vendor who is an Employee, Member or Other Person, and clicked the checkbox to pull in information from a person within Membership, the window that lets you pick a person had an issue with its search box not working.


  • If linking a contact to someone in Membership and filled in user-defined fields on the Other tab of the contact record and saved the information, that data would appear in the Contacts grid, but would not appear if you edited the record.  Furthermore, if you made a change to the contact, it would erase the Other information.  (This problem did not occur with manually added contacts.)
  • When an event had more than one room assigned, those other rooms did not appear on the Room Usage report.
  • When printing a blank Calendar in Scheduler, the on-screen note “*Removed people are automatically excluded” was incorrectly appearing.
  • When printing a blank Calendar in Scheduler, the settings from other variations could be included (e.g. holidays and some anniversary information).
  • When printing events from the Scheduler Events grid and grouping by date, some of the events were grouping under the wrong date, and also did not appear in the grouping tree on the left.
  • Scheduler maintenance records were tied to user security access for inventory, by mistake.
  • When using the Repeat Event utility it was not putting the correct Begin and End times on the new events.
  • When printing the Events List report in Scheduler, if two events occurred on the same date and time, the first one with inventory assigned, and the second with no inventory assigned, the first event would not appear on the report, and the inventory for it would be listed under the second event.
  • The Rooms Usage report was printing duplicate event dates for a room if more than one room was assigned to that event.
  • The Rooms Usage report date range was defaulting to today through one year ago, instead of today through one year in the future.
  • When you saved a report under “My reports”, the report’s Format setting was not being saved and loaded.
  • On the Reports tab, the reset button next to the font scale was not working (i.e. it did not reset the font and scale to the default settings).
  • The Calendar report was not saving your event type selections. (Be aware that saving no event types will result in all being selected when you load your favorite since it is logically impossible to print a calendar and not include any event types because you would end up with nothing on the calendar because all events would be excluded.)
  • When adding a future event in Scheduler, the focus was not returning to that new event in the Events grid.
  • The printed calendar of events had the wrong date for Thanksgiving, Labor Day (1st Monday in September), Fathers’ Day (3rd Sunday in June).


  • When printing labels for a single household and including a label for anyone in the household with an active personal alternate address, it sometimes did not print one or more of the personal alternate labels.
    • Tester note: To duplicate, set up a household with a child who is currently away at school; choose household labels; check the box to include anyone with an active personal alternate address; under Who pick just that single household; preview the labels (the child label may or may not be included); print labels for all households (i.e. pick “everyone” under Who); preview labels; pick that same single household again and preview; the child’s label is not included.
  • When printing household labels, and grouping by household name, and choosing to include a label for anyone in the household with an active personal Away address (e.g. kids at college), those labels were not sorting with the household, but rather appeared in a different location in the label run.


  • In Dynamic subgroups, when working with a date field, and using the “special date” buttons, it was sometimes confusing how the buttons filled in the second date. (If the second date was already filled in, the date buttons only changed the first date; now they change the date that you clicked on.)
  • When using the “Touchpoint: next date” field in the criteria, the following error would appear when you tried to use that subgroup: “No value given for one or more required parameters.”
  • Same problem as above, but with the following completed touchpoint fields: “Touchpoint date”, “Most-recent touchpoint date”, and “Touchpoint: first date”.
  • In Subgroups, the problem with searching on “Last update” for households and people has been resolved (by the Membership fix that took care of those dates not getting updated when you made a change).
    • Note: Remember that “date add” and “last update” and “date archived” are date and TIME fields. However, Subgroups only searches on a date component (and 99% of all date fields have no time component). Therefore, searching for a date that has a time component requires you to use >, not =. This is because a date-only search has an internal time of “00:00:00”. If you add a record today at exactly 1:30 pm, it has a time component of “13:30:00”. However, a search on today will not return that record being added because subgroups date searches are only on the date portion and is looking for a “00:00:00” match. Instead, use > yesterday.


  • The WebTools “sync is required” icon in the toolbar was not always getting reset after syncing with WebTools.
  • The following error could occur in data grids: “The provider could not determine the String value.”
  • Fix that resolves the issue with WebTools flags not getting reset to false in the church database after running sync, causing the red "sync required" icon to continually appear in the toolbar: