Early December 2019 Updates [8.8]


Release Notes

Shepherd's Staff 2020 Version (8.8), release 20191205 and 20191207


  • Change: Church Directory reports have been modified so that the left-hand margin is wider, to support stapling/binding for distribution. (Tech note: Margin had been 0.6”; now it is 0.85”.)

  • Completed: Purge button in the Membership Archive is now hooked up.

  • Completed: ELCA annual report now available.

  • Completed: United Methodist annual report is now available. 

  • Completed: The Attachments feature (from version 8.7) is now available on the household and person record (button with a paperclip icon, in the toolbar to the left of the household/person photo).

  • Completed: Automated tasks in the Task Manager are now hooked up.

  • Feature: New sorting option for the Attendance Behavior report that groups by Sunday School grade, but does not do page breaks (i.e. prints continuous), to save paper/space.

  • Feature: New option when printing Person Records: “For everyone in this person’s household”

  • Feature: Can now group the Attendance by Weekly Pattern report by Household.

  • Feature: The Attendance by Weekly Pattern report now sub-groups by household when you choose to group by Ministry Group or Person Assigned.

  • Feature: The Attendance “By person/week” grid and report now includes age, e-mail address (personal, else household), and cell phone.

  • Feature: School grade column has been added to the Individuals grid.

  • Feature: There is a new variation of the Attendance Weekly Pattern report that prints similar to the old Weekly Attendance Pattern report in version 8.6, which prints vertically down the page, instead of horizontally (and also includes all five attendance types, if a person attended that type for the given year). The report pop-up has two radio buttons; Horizontal prints the current report; Vertical prints the new report. See the screenshot, below:


  • Data: Person records deleted prior to version 8.8 do not have an Archival DateTime filled in (because that field is new). This can cause those deleted records to be considered in some places (such as household person counts in the Households tree). In this service pack, there is a new automated process that fills in these missing ArchivalDateTime values (using the current date/time). To apply this fix, you may need to set your database version back and restart Shepherd’s Staff.


  • Fixed: If you saved a Church Directory and selected no symbols when you returned to it, it checked all the boxes (i.e. it included all symbols).

  • Fixed: Error when generating the United Methodist report for fields where you assign activity/training classes.

  • Fixed: When printing Household records for the contents of the grid, and including person detail, subsequent household record page headers were showing the name of the prior household.

  • Fixed: When using a Dynamic subgroup that contains contributors within a Combined subgroup, the end result only included the first contributor for joint envelopes.

  • Fixed: Subgroups fields – ‘'Offering - days since last'’ has been renamed to “Offering: Days since last”, to make it consistent with the other “since last” fields.

  • Fixed: Report Writer was printing the home e-mail address in the place of the personal and work e-mail addresses.

    • (Note: To apply this change, you may need to set your database version back to 8.7, and restart Shepherd’s Staff.)

  • Fixed: Captions for the three new user-defined Household and Person checkboxes, on the Other tab, were not getting set.

  • Fixed: The wrong contributor address was printing on Contribution “Fund Statements”.

  • Fixed: Run-time error 444, “Method not applicable in this context”, (occurring with one customer database; could not duplicate here with the demo database) when entering a Special Description in an offering batch, after which Contributions would shut down. Error is now trapped (so there is no shutdown), and a message appears telling the user to look for a damaged offering with a sequence of 0 in another batch (which is what generates the error).

  • Fixed: The “Change” box on the List Tools window, which allows for mass changes to Activity Participation, was not appearing when the window first opened.


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