September 20, 2015

Automatically adding your Jethro Roster/Rota assignments to your calendar

Do you find yourself coping your church roster assignments into your electronic calendar each month? Wouldn't it be handy if you could just subscribe to a feed for your roster assignments so that your calendar updated itself automatically?

This is a feature I have been working on in Jethro with Tom Barrett. Jethro can now publish your roster assignments as an iCal feed. Common electronic calendars can subscribe to this, so that your roster assignments update themselves in your calendar whenever the roster is updated.

This post will show you how to set it up. The latest version of Jethro supports this feature. If your church uses Jethro, you should check with your church administrator as to whether your church has this version. Easy Jethro now has this feature. CCIW uses Easy Jethro, and so I will use this as an example here.

Step 1. Log in to your Jethro member account.

For CCIW this is at

If your e-mail address is listed in Jethro (e.g. you get sent newsletters by e-mail) but have never used Jethro before, then you will need to create an account. Enter your e-mail address and click Create New Account. It will send you a link where you can set your password.

If Jethro doesn't know your e-mail address, maybe contact a staff member at your church to let them know so they can set it up for you.

Step 2. Check your Subscription settings

Once logged in you should see your roster assignments on the right, along with a new Subscribe link.

Click Subscribe to see your settings.

Step 3. Enable iCal

Clicking the Subscribe link will show whether you have this feature enabled, and if enabled, your unique URL for your roster assignments.
If you have not used this feature before it will be disabled. Click Enable iCal Feed to enable it. This will generate a unique URL you can use to subscribe to your roster assignments.

This URL is just for your roster assignments. Don't share it with anyone else.

Step 4. Subscribe your calendar to this URL

Did you just click the link to see what will happen? Possibly not what you expected (unless you tapped the link on your iPhone I think).

You need to check with your calendar software on the correct method to subscribe to an iCal calendar. Maybe Google this for the correct instructions. If you get stuck, leave a comment here and I can probably provide some tips. Some pointers:
  • Android. Log in to Google Calendars on the web. Click the drop down to the right of Other Calendars. Choose Add by URL. Enter your iCal link from Jethro there. If you want to see this calendar on your device, go to Settings in Calendar on the device, tap this calendar, and enable Sync.
  • iPhone/iPad. Probably just tap the iCal link in Safari on your iPhone or iPad. It will ask you if you want to subscribe.
  • Outlook on your desktop. You need to go into account settings and add an internet calendar. Paste the URL from Jethro and click Subscribe. Note that if you click the iCal link on your PC, it will offer to open it in Outlook. This is not the same as subscribing, as if you do it this way, Outlook won't periodically check for updates to your roster.

Step 5. Oh no! I published my calendar URL on the internets by mistake!

If you want to disable this feature, or simply change the URL, go back to the Manage Roster iCal Feed page, and click either Generate New URL, or Disable iCal feed.

The time seems wrong for my band or gardening roster? If the roster is tied to a particular service, the iCal feed lists the start time as the start time of the service. If the roster is not tied to a service, the iCal feed will show a whole day event on the day you are rostered. Sorry if band practice is on the previous Thursday for Sunday's service.

But I'm not rostered on anything? Have you thought about helping out at your church?

But I don't go to a church? It's great to meet together with other people that God loves. Maybe drop in on your local church one day and ask about it?