Meeting Schedule Assistant

Service Meeting Editor

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The Service Meeting Editor is displayed from the main File menu.
Select Create Service Meeting Report or Open Service Meeting Report.

The dialogue can be resized or maximised. This is useful if you want to have a larger area for seeing the themes, methods or notes. The size and position is remembered by the software for when the editor is next used.

Number of items Starting time Note Opening song and title Closing song and title Concluding prayer Meeting items Date list Not available Embedded Preview Congregation Bible Study SMEditor Image
Monthly Theme Monthly Theme. This is provided each month on the Kingdom Ministry. It is automatically filled in if you are downloading your KM data with the F6 function key.

There are two CSS classes that you can use to customize how the text is displayed on the schedule:
textMonthlyThemeLabel This is applied to the "Monthly Theme:" annotation.
For example, if you wanted to make the text use Small Capitals you could do this:

.textMonthlyThemeLabel
{
   font-variant:small-caps;
}
textMonthlyTheme This is applied to the theme itself.
SMEditor Image This is the list of meeting dates. You can customise how the dates are displayed (have a look at the Service meeting options). Special Events are automatically inserted into the dates list when you create a new schedule.  These are indicated with the small alarm symbol.

Once a date is selected you are then ready to populate or modify the various parts of the meetings assignments. As stated, you can right-click the dates list for more options. These are similar to the menu items of the regular Meeting Schedule Assistant report dialogue:

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Meetings and special events can be inserted or deleted.

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Here you can specify all the details for the Congregation Bible Study. This information will get displayed on the schedule first, followed by a thin horizontal line to separate the Congregation Bible Study meeting from the Service Meeting. The starting time is automatically set to 1 hour before the Service Meeting time. Under normal circumstances you should not need to adjust this time, however you can adjust it if required.

The list of brothers available for the opening prayer is the same as the list of brothers available for closing the meeting in prayer. For the other two drop-lists (CBS Conductor and CBS Reader), you must add brothers into the respective assignments using the Brothers dialogue under Options. You can also manually type in a temporary name not presently on the list.

If you don't want to include the Congregation Bible Study assignments available with the Service Meeting editor, you can disable these features on the Options > Service Meeting dialogue. When the controls are disabled (or the opening song number is left empty) then Meeting Schedule Assistant will omit the details from the schedule for that date. This is handy for when you have the circuit overseer visiting, the Congregation Bible Study moves to another evening, so it will not be required on the night of the Service Meeting. (See: KM 10/08)

Note that while you can switch the Congregation Bible Study, and Public Talk features on and off from the Options menu, these settings will only apply to the current editing session (and to any subsequently saved SMR data file). To set the default behaviour you must use the main screen  options dialogue.

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Include Theocratic Ministry School details
This option affects the visibility of the Theocratic Ministry School information line for the current meeting on the schedule. An example can be found on the service meeting options dialogue.

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The Notes dropdown list contains a selection of commonly used entries. Either use one of these or enter your own text. Any Special Event entry is automatically inserted within the Note area of the schedule, which is placed under the selected week date, like this:

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This is the time when the Service Meeting is introduced with song. The timing for each item on the program is calculated after the 5 minute (for the song) introduction. The default start is 8:00pm (or 20:00 if using 24 hr time). If your Service Meeting starts at another time, adjust the defaults on the options dialogue. This is available from the programs main screen.

There are circumstances when you adjust your specified start (or default) time for a unique instance. For example: When the circuit overseer visits, the meeting will begin with the Theocratic Ministry School for 30 minutes followed immediately by the Service Meeting. Therefore the time needs to be altered to 7:30 (or 19:30 24 hr time). (For further information see: KM 10/08). See note below.

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Use the dropdown list to specify how many service meeting program items there are. The default is 3, but you can adjust it from 0 to 5.

There are times when you would select '0' number of items. For example: when there is a District Convention, Circuit Assembly or Special Assembly Day, the Service Meeting will be cancelled. In this circumstance, you would detail the note section accordingly and set the item count to 0. Remember to review the program parts and assess if any need to be rearranged to be included in the program of another Service Meeting.

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Select the opening and closing songs by using the dropdown lists. The theme of the song is automatically displayed when you choose the song. There are some situations when the song number is not known, for example, during the Circuit Visit week when there is a combined congregation bible study. In this situation you can select the blank entry at the top of the list.

During the Circuit Visit you generally move from the Theocratic Ministry School into the Service Meeting without an opening song. In this situation select the opening song number 0. This will exclude the song row altogether from the schedule and won't add 5 minutes to the starting time.

Note: When you select song 0 the program will automatically adjust the Service Meeting starting time by 30 minutes. Selecting any other song number will revert it back to the default time.

Meeting Schedule Assistant includes provision for listing the name of a brother to conclude the meeting with prayer, however bear in mind he would not introduce the song as this is the task of the brother conducting the final portion of the program. (See: KM 10/07 p.7)

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Use the dropdown list to select the brother to be assigned for the concluding prayer. This list of brothers includes only those who are available for general SM parts and is filtered to exclude who are not available. You can also enter your own text, which is useful for situations when you want to enter the name of a brother not included in the brother data file.

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This section contains the columns associated with the Service Meeting program items. The number of items (rows) can be changed by using the No. of Items dropdown list (see above). Use one of the predefined, commonly used entries or double-click to go into edit mode and enter your own text. The Brother list behaves like the Concluding Prayer list and only displays those brothers who are available for the date specified. Whilst the Time (in min) will accept any text, you should only put in a numerical value for the cell end time calculations to operate automatically as intended!

Circuit Visit

During the circuit overseer visit the schedule of the meeting will change. Often this is as follows (but check the letter from the circuit overseer defining the details):

  • You will have an opening prayer, but will not select a CBS chairman or CBS reader.

  • You will then have the 30 minutes TMS.

  • You will set the opening SM song number to 0.

  • You will list the appropriate SM items. Note: You should add two more items to the list.

  • The first extra item will be for the middle song and will be five minutes long. If you know the song number that you are going to use then you can type this as the theme:

    $S[123] (where 123 is the relevant song number.

  • The second extra item will be for the circuit overseers service talk.

SMEditor Image Right-click the list of items to show a popup menu. This allows you to cut / copy / paste text and insert or delete specific meeting items.

You can also add and edit demonstration information for the selected assignment from here. Click the link for more details.

 

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Meeting Schedule Assistant includes a handy preview of what the Service Meeting schedule will look like while you are populating the editor. The preview will always show your current settings. It is recommended you enlarge the size of the editor (or maximize it) so that the preview is of a decent viewable size. For example:

The preview is updated as soon as you click on one of the scheduled meeting dates. It will also automatically scroll the preview so that the current date is visible. You can update the preview on demand by clicking Refresh or pressing F5.

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Theocratic Ministry School Assignments
It is possible to include Theocratic Ministry School information on the schedule. This can be done in one of two ways:

1. Automatically extracting details from the software application TMS Explorer. This menu item is disabled when you are using this mode.

2. Manually providing details. These are supplied in a text file called TMSManual_Data.INI which is kept in the user application data folder. You are free to use a text editor to keep this file up to date (click here for more details). Or, as a more elegant solution, you may use this popup editor to add / update the school assignments for the current date.

Announcements
The current service meeting will be displayed on an announcements sheet. This is associated with the Announcements Preview dialogue. Once this option is clicked, you can perform such tasks as: choose from default and preloaded information the items you would like to have on the sheet; customize information and add details; and print or save it as HTML.

The Announcements sheet data gets saved within the SMR file itself so you don't have to worry about data retrieval from multiple sources when opening the files.

Download Schedule Information
Download the schedule details from the internet for the current service meeting. There is a setting on the Options dialogue that determines which details are downloaded. Full information about the download feature are available here. This data on the website is updated on a monthly basis by nominated volunteers as and when they receive their Kingdom Ministry. Please ensure that Meeting Schedule Assistant is permitted to use the internet if you have any firewall installed.

Export
Saves the schedule as a HTML file using the current settings. These can be opened with word processor programs like Microsoft Word for further alteration.

Save
Save As File...
Saves the schedule and announcement sheet data as a SMR file so that it can be opened at a later date from the programs main File menu.  It displays a file dialogue for you to specify the name and location of the SMR file. Once saved, the name of the file is displayed at the very top of the editor. You are also prompted to update assignment history. You are encouraged to click yes to this question so that you can use the assignment history facility.

Note: "Save As File" will always show a file dialogue whereas "Save" will only show one when saving a brand new schedule for the very first time.

Print Preview
Displays the schedule in Internet Explorer print preview. From there you can adjust the page setup, print margins and print the schedule.

Send to Microsoft Outlook
You can send the Service Meeting assignments across to your Microsoft Outlook calendar.
Click here for full details about this facility.

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Assignment History
Use this setting to toggle the visibility of the assignment history facility. The Assignment History facility is described below.

Refresh
Have you made changes to the current meeting details and want to update the schedule preview without clicking on a different meeting date?  Then click this menu item. Alternatively you can press F5 at anytime to refresh the preview.

Show Conflicting Assisgnments
This will highlight all brothers on your schedule whom you have assigned to both the Congregation Bible Study conductor/reader roles, Bible Highlights and/or Service Meeting item role on the same evening. By default they will be highlighted in red:

Conflict highlight

You can change the colour of the highlight by modifying the CSS file that you are using (look for the conflict class). Click on the link to read more about CSS (cascade style sheets). The conflict check will keep on working until you toggle if off or close the editor.

Quick Summary of Assignments
This displays two options on a sub menu:

Quick Summary of Assignments sub menu

Select the required sorting option and a summary will be presented in a list. It should help you toshare the load with your allocation of assignments.

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Customize Lists
Displays this dialogue:

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This allows you to add your own default text into the Note, Theme, Method, Filter and Assignment lists (the assignment lists are used on the Demonstrations editor). For example, sometimes there is a series of items on the Service Meeting with a repeated theme, such as 'Conducting Progressive Bible Studies - (Part One)'. In this situation you could consider adding a new theme into the dropdown list, and when the series is completed, you can remove it from the list. You must close this dialogue with OK for your changes to be confirmed.

There are special variables that you can use in themes. See here for full details.

Settings
Displays the HTML Settings dialogue.  This allows you to customize how the schedule looks and what information is displayed. For example, you can create personalised copies with brothers assignments highlighted. Click on the link for full details.

Include Congregation Bible Study details
Toggle on and off the Congregation Bible Study details section on the Service Meeting schedule editor. Changing this setting will only affect the open schedule. Please use the Service Meeting settings dialogue to change the default behaviour. More details are provided in that topic.

Include Public Talk details (from Announcement Sheets)
Toggle on and off the Public Talk details section on the Service Meeting schedule editor. Changing this setting will only affect the open schedule. Please use the Service Meeting settings dialogue to change the default behaviour. More details are provided in that topic.

Page Breaks
Shows a popup menu where you can adjust the page break setting (this affects how the schedule is printed). Changing this setting will only affect the open schedule. Please use the Service Meeting settings dialogue to change the default behaviour. More details are provided in that topic.

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This displays a list of the brothers who are not available for the specified date. Brother availability is managed from the Brothers dialogue. Brothers who are not available are excluded from the dropdown names list of the service meeting editor.

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While the preview pane is a good way to keep track of who you have already assigned for previous weeks on the schedule, there is also a popup type dialogue box that will show a list of who has been used for the various assignments over the course of time.

The assignment counts can be useful when assignments need to be allocated on a rotational basis. For example, this applies to assignments for the congregation bible study and closing in prayer. Using the counts you can evenly share out these assignments.

Using this feature will also assist to prevent back to back assignments. Each name can be expanded to show the dates when they were previously assigned. For service meetings, the method and theme is also displayed:

Assignment history - showing extra details

This is very useful as it can help you vary a brother's assignments.

Filtering
Use the filtering facility to limit the details displayed. For example, you could limit the list to show only discussions. The drop list is initially empty but you can customize it.

There is one additional benefit in using the assignment history feature! It displays all names that have previously been used within the last 12 months (unless they are not available on the chosen date). These names will include those that you manually typed in. For example, you may have assigned an exemplary brother to close the meeting in prayer by typing his name into the edit box. Such a name will never show in the drop list but will show in subsequent assignment history for re-use.

When you save a service meeting schedule you will be prompted to update the Assignment History feature. This history is utilized by a floating dialogue. You can resize the dialogue to make it fit anywhere suitable on the editing screen. The contents displayed will change as you click on different parts of the service meeting editor to display the most recent dates for each brother.

This feature will be become more useful as the history of each list is built. Clicking on any name will cause them to be selected for that assignment in the editor. You may continue to use the normal drop-lists on the editor if you so desire.

SMEditor ImageYou can toggle the dialogue on or off by clicking Assignment History on the View menu. This setting is remembered by the software and stays in affect until you alter it.

 

This is not designed to be used as some kind of automatic assignment facility but will aid with balanced rotation in your selection of brothers. Assignment history is retained for 12 months; any data held which is older than this will is automatically purged when the editor is displayed. This keeps the file to a manageable size.

Right-click on any name for more options Delete from assignment history
Right-click any name on the assignment history window to delete it from the list. It gets deleted from the history data file and the operation can't be reversed.

Under normal circumstances you would not need to remove a name fromt he list. The assignment history gets purged from time to time anyway so names that have not been used for a while would eventually go. But there are occasions when you might want to remove them (like if someone leaves the congregation).