I mentioned that our ward church congregation got all split up before the summer. It was a pretty big shift and change for all of us. Our ward was enveloped into three different wards, and then so many people were in and out during the blasted-hot-desert summer that it’s been a little tricky for us to all feel like a cohesive group. Change is hard. I got released from one Relief Society calling and called into another: Relief Society Activities Committee leader. Because of that and also because I love getting to know more people, we came up with one way to help women bond in a new ward.
We have a whole committee to work together, and we also have a member of the Relief Society Presidency who helps coordinate activities.
And just for the record, anyone out there reading this who wants to be part of the Relief Society in your area, come join us! Everyone is welcome, whether you are a member or not. Relief Society is such an amazing organization of women. I know sometimes from the outside looking in, some feel as if they wouldn’t fit. I wrote a whole post answering a couple questions about that. But Oh how I hope we can make everyone feel welcome!
We had an “end of school brunch” before summer hit. We have scheduled trips to the temple and we are starting some small group activities. But it is a work in progress to help bond a new church congregation. There is so much beauty in the process, but oh, how I want these women to feel so much love and inclusion. How I want to feel it too! We need each other!
Last month, we worked together to do something similar to what we did in our old ward: a “Friendship Night.”
We invited the older young women as well, since we want them to be introduced to the beauty of Relief Society, and they have the opportunity to have a “ministering assignment” when they turn fourteen.
A Ward Friendship Night
My neighbors were were so nice to let us use their big room for our gathering.
Trivia gathering activity
We started out with a prayer and some trivia. I had gathered some little-known-tidbits about the women as well as the girls and everyone tried to guess who the “tidbit” was about as everyone arrived.
I know “friendshipping” isn’t really a word. At least my computer doesn’t think it is. But it really should be. The art of “friending” is so very important. Anyway, we had set up the chairs in pairs facing each other.
My new friend who is in the RS presidency over activities called out a question and we gave the women/girls across from each other 45 seconds to answer that question, getting to know each other.
I loved the energy in that room so filled up with friendships being forged.
A short message
After 45 minutes (trying to get everyone a chance to talk to everyone else, which didn’t happen since there wasn’t enough time, and that’s ok!), we had a short little message. My friend shared some beautiful thoughts to reinforce the beauty of ministering. Or “friending” as I like to call it less formally. You see, we have the opportunity to look out for each other, specifically. I am so grateful for the people who have befriended me through ministering over the years. I hope I can befriend all these new women that have the power to teach me so much!
A wrapped-up treat
We had some treats and cards for notes so that ministering partners could grab something to drop off to the new people they get to befriend in our new ward boundaries.
Lots of logistics and planning paid off I was so glad for the opportunity to get to know so many new faces.