Congregation Sharing Questions & Problems

To ensure your data always syncs correctly, please only edit or change data when your Congregation Sharing Status says “Connected” in the top-left corner.

Please kindly ensure all brothers in your congregation follow this simple instruction. If a brother edits data while the Congregation Sharing Status says Error or Waiting, it may cause Sharing problems and data loss for other brothers.

Sharing Regions

We are not able to setup servers in every country, or even every continent, as it costs considerable time and money to setup and maintain a server.

Please simply select the closest Region to where you live.

  • North America East (located in South Carolina)
  • North America Central (located in Oklahoma)
  • North America West (located in Los Angeles)
  • Europe North (located in Frankfurt)
  • Europe South and Africa (located in Zurich)
  • Asia Pacific (located in Sydney)
  • South America (located in São Paulo)

For security reasons, the only way to change the Sharing Region is to Disable Sharing, and then Re-Setup Congregation Sharing on the new Sharing Region.

  • Note: Only Congregation Administrators should change the Sharing Region. This will affect all other Sharing Members in your Congregation, so you should immediately inform all other users of the new Region. They will then need to Disconnect, and join the new Region. If you continue to use two different regions, your data will not sync!
  1. Click Congregation > Congregation Sharing
  2. Click Disable Sharing
  3. Re-setup Sharing on the new Region, according to Help > Congregation Sharing

Connecting

  1. Verify you have been added as a Shared Member by a Congregation Administrator
  2. Ensure your internet connection is working fine, and you can connect to google.com
  3. Ensure you do not have any Firewall or Antivirus software stopping JW Scheduler from connecting to the internet
  4. If this is the first time connecting, make sure you are clicking Open Congregation from Sharing
  5. Ensure you are selecting the correct Congregation Sharing Region
    • Note: Please ask a Congregation Administrator to double-check which Sharing Region the congregation is in
  6. Ensure you are entering the correct Congregation ID
    • This is a 9 digit number in the format of 123-456-789
  7. Ensure you are entering the correct Congregation Sharing Password
    • Note: Please also ask the Congregation Administrator to double-check they are giving you the Congregation Sharing Password and NOT the Congregation App PIN. They are completely different
  8. Take note of any error messages or reasons why you can’t connect. E.G. Congregation Password incorrect, Congregation does not exist, etc. This will help you work out why you can’t connect
  9. Try closing and re-opening JW Scheduler
  10. Try clicking Disconnect and connecting again
  1. Please verify you are connecting to the correct Sharing Region.
    • Note: If you try and connect to another region, obviously none of your data will exist and you will not see all the Shared Members. The Congregation Administrator chooses the Sharing Region, and then he must tell everyone else.
    • Note: If you need to change Sharing Region, click Disconnect. Then you re-select the Sharing Region.
  2. Ensure you have the correct Congregation ID
  3. Check the Master Log. This will show the any recent history for the congregation, e.g. if a member accidently deleted the congregation.
  1. Ensure your internet connection is working fine, and you can connect to google.com.
  2. Ensure you have selected the correct Congregation Sharing Region and are using the correct Congregation ID
    • Note: Please double-check with your Congregation Administrator that the Sharing Region is correct. Ask him to also double-check that he is telling you the correct Region.
  3. Double-check you are entering the password correctly, e.g. any capital letters, numbers, etc.
  4. Check the Master Log to see if anyone recently changed the password. If they did, please ask them for the new password.
    • Note: Many problems are caused by brothers accidently changing the Congregation Sharing password, therefore locking everyone else out. Please train all brothers not to change this password.
  5. Ask your Congregation Administrator to tell you the password again.
  6. If you still can’t connect, ask a Congregation Administrator to Change the Congregation Sharing Password.
  7. If no Congregation Administrators still have access to your Congregation, then you must Disable Sharing and re-setup.

If your Congregation Sharing was working fine, but is now suddenly asking you for a Sharing Password, this means one of the following things has happened:

  1. Someone in your congregation Changed the Congregation Sharing Password. Please ask them for the new password.
  2. Someone in your congregation Deleted your Congregation from Sharing.
  3. JW Scheduler was updated to a version that requires re-setting up Sharing.
  4. Your Congregation has not been used for over 60 days, and your congregation was automatically deleted from Sharing.

For 2, 3, or 4, please simply re-setup your Congregation Sharing.

  1. Verify you have been added as a Shared Member by the Congregation Administrator and you are showing up in the list
  2. Ensure your internet connection is working fine and there are no firewalls or anti-virus software stopping JW Scheduler connecting to the internet
  3. If this is the first time connecting, you need to Create a 6-digit Member PIN.
  4. Otherwise, ensure you are entering your Member PIN correctly.
    • Note: This is separate to the JWS – Publisher App Member PIN. If you forgot your Member PIN, ask a Congregation Administrator to Reset your Member PIN. You can then Create a new one

Your Congregation Sharing Member PIN is completely separate and different to your JWS – Publisher App Member PIN.

If you forgot your Member PIN, ask a Congregation Administrator to Reset your Member PIN. When you next connect to Congregation Sharing you will be able to create a new 6-digit Congregation Sharing Member PIN.

  1. For security reasons, if you do not connect to the congregation at least every 60 days, you will Expire and will not be able to connect.
  2. Ask one of your local Congregation Administrators to Remove you from the Shared Member List, then Re-Add you.

Data and Syncing Problems

If you have a problem with Data Syncing, please carefully read and perform EACH STEP in the following headings:

  1. Our data is not syncing correctly
  2. How to fix a data sync problem

Please do not Contact Us unless you have read and followed EACH STEP in both of those sub-headings.

The most common reasons for this happening are:

  1. Members entering new data or changing data when their JW Scheduler does not say Connected (in the top-left corner)
  2. Members not using the same version of JW Scheduler
  3. Members updating the same type of data at the same time
  4. One member is updating a certain data, while another member is viewing that same type of data. In this case, you must “change views” to see the updated data.

To ensure your data always syncs correctly:

  1. Do not enter any new or updated data if your JW Scheduler does not say Connected (top-left). Instead, first fix the problem.
    • Note: This is the most common cause of all sharing problems.
  2. Always ensure all members are using the same version of JW Scheduler. The latest version can be found on the Download page.
  3. Do not allow multiple members to enter the same type of data at the same time, e.g. Field Service Reports.
  4. Do not leave JW Scheduler open for more than 1 hour. Members should try and open JW Scheduler regularly, but should not leave JW Scheduler open when not using.

Fixing data sync problems involves three basic steps:

  1. Verify
  2. Test and
  3. Fix

Please read and follow each step carefully. Please do not Contact Us unless you have performed each of the steps below.

Verify

Please personally verify and check the following:

  1. The Shared Member is using the latest version of JW Scheduler. The latest version can be found on the Download page
  2. The Shared Member is connected to the correct Sharing Region and correct Congregation ID
  3. The Shared Member’s computer says Connected in the top-left.
  4. On the Shared Member List, their Status shows they recently connected.

Once you have Verified everything is OK, proceed to Test.

Test

  1. Make some minor test changes to the data, (e.g. update one of the Meeting Attendance figures) and verify changes made appear in the Local Download Log of the Shared Member. Their data should also change.
  2. Do the opposite test. Ask the Shared Member to make some minor test changes to the data (e.g. update one of the Meeting Attendance figures) and verify changes made appear in both the Server Update Log and in your Local Download Log. Your data should also change.
  3. If changes appear in the Log, but the data doesn’t change, make sure you/they “refresh” the screen, E.G. For Member Information, select another member, then back to that member. For Meeting Attendance Records, select another month, then back to that month. For Field Service Reports, select another Member, then re-click the original Member, etc.
  4. Using Step 1 and Step 2 above, determine if all data is not syncing correctly, or just some types, and whether data is syncing one way, or no ways.

Once you have Tested that everything is OK, proceed to Fix.

Fix

Method 1: Refresh the data that is not syncing.

  • Note: This should be done if there is only a few things that haven’t synced properly.
  1. Change the data that is not showing up correctly, and then change it back. This will cause the data timestamp to be updated, and all Shared Members will receive this data again.
    • E.G. Change the member name and then change it back.
    • E.G. Change the CLM assignment to someone else, then assign it back.

Method 2: Delete and re-open Congregation

  • Note: This should be done by the member that has many data-sync problems or is missing lots of data.
  1. The member having problems should click Congregation > Delete Congregation. He should not tick Remove the Congregation from Sharing
  2. They should then close JW Scheduler and re-open
  3. They should then click Open Congregation from Sharing and reconnect to the congregation.

Method 3 – Re-setup Congregation Sharing

  • Note: This should only be done if many members are experiencing many sync problems.
  1. A Congregation Administrator, or the member with the most up-to-date data, should click Congregation > Congregation Sharing > Disable Sharing
  2. OPTIONAL: If no one has up-to-date data, a Congregation Administrator could Restore from Backup after clicking Disable Sharing.
  3. He should the re-Enable Congregation Sharing, and choose a new Congregation Sharing password.
  4. All other members should click Congregation > Congregation Sharing > Disconnect when they first open JW Scheduler.
  5. They should then re-connect to Congregation Sharing using the new Congregation Sharing Password.

Data and Syncing Questions

It can take about 30 seconds for changes to be sent to the JW Scheduler transfer servers and synced with other members.

However please note that some changes do not immediately update the User Interface. Sometimes you must either refresh the view or close and re-open JW Scheduler to see any new changes.

Congregation Sharing does not support multiple people adding/update the same type of data at the same time.

Generally having multiple people connect at the same time won’t be a problem, but it depends on what they are doing:

  • If multiple brothers are only viewing data, there will be no problems.
  • If multiple brothers are editing different data types, there also shouldn’t be a problem. For example, the COBE is scheduling the Life and Ministry COBE parts, while the Secretary is entering Field Service Reports.
  • However, if two people are adding or editing the same information at the same time problems will likely occur.

Additionally, some changes do not immediately update the User Interface. Sometimes you must either refresh the view or close and re-open JW Scheduler to see any new changes.

No, once the data has synced, it should be immediately available. However some changes do not immediately update the User Interface, so you might need to refresh the view to see the changes.

E.G. For Meeting Attendance Records, select another month, then back to that month. For Field Service Reports, select another Member, then re-click that Member, etc.

No. Congregation Sharing is for sharing your data with other elders only. There is no “backup” made on the servers.

Please make sure you regularly make a local Backup of your data. It would be wise to save these backups off-site in case your computer crashes or is stolen.

Members

Any member who has Congregation Sharing – Edit access is considered a Congregation Sharing Administrator. We strongly recommend your congregation has at least 2 Congregation Administrators. Otherwise you might get locked out of your congregation.

In the Shared Members list, select the person you want to make a Congregation Administrator, and set their Congregation Sharing access to Edit. Click Save.

If a member has not connected for 90 days, they will expire.

If a member has expired, a Congregation Administrator should first Remove them from the Shared Members list, then if required, Re-Add them.

This means multiple elders have separately created a JW Scheduler congregation. You cannot merge multiple JW Scheduler congregations. Instead, only one elder should create a New Congregation and all other elders should Open Congregation from Sharing to connect to that congregation.

To fix this problem, one elder will need to Delete his Congregation and then Open the other congregation from Sharing.

Disconnecting

This will Disconnect you from the Sharing Server, so you will no longer receive any data changes, and any changes you make will not be Shared with other members.

You should generally not click Disconnect, except when diagnosing problems or moving to another congregation.

Even if an appointed brother clicks Disconnect, his User Access does not change, so he still will only have access to parts of the program that the Congregation Administrator’s have decided.

On the Congregation Sharing page, a Congregation Sharing Administrator can click Disable Sharing. This will immediately and permanently remove all Congregation Sharing Transactions, Logs and records from the Sharing Server. You can later re-enable Congregation Sharing.

This will affect all other Shared Members, so you should only select this if:

  1. You want to Reset your Congregation Sharing to fix any problems.
  2. Everyone in your congregation stops using JW Scheduler.
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