Day 5: Giving Thanks For Change
Lots of change is in the air! We changed to the Fall Season. We changed our clocks back an hour last night. And, we experienced a “mighty change” in my local Latter-day Saint community with the creation of a new Ward. The city I live in has experienced a growth spurt over the past two years. Mr. Mo and I contributed to this growth . We built and moved into our new home 11 months ago today [wow! has it already been 11 months?!].
Due to having so many active LDS families moving into all of these new homes our congregation sizes have overflowed. Thus, it was time to create a new Ward.
Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are assigned in geographical areas to “Wards” (congregations), and then a collection of Wards are grouped into a larger geographical area called a “Stake”. We also have a lay clergy (unpaid) – created from members of each congregation who receive a “call to serve” in many different capacities. For example, a bishop of a Ward typically serves for 5 years, and then he is released and a new bishop is called to serve. The leader of a Stake who oversees all of the bishops is called a “Stake President”. He typically serves for nine years.
Today, all of the members of the 12th Ward (mine) and the 14th Ward were combined into one super-sized meeting to partake of the Lord’s Sacrament and then learn the details about “the big change” from our Stake President. Rumors and speculations have been flying since last Sunday when the combined meeting was announced, so the tension and anticipation was running high.
Basically, a section of homes were carved out of both the 12th and 14th ward boundaries to create the new 15th Ward.
Our house “made the cut” so to speak. So, we will say farewell to the 12th Ward, and now be members of the brand new 15th Ward.
Boundary changes and “Ward Splits” are never easy. There’s always a lot of tender feelings because people naturally become very close to the members of their individual Ward families, and no one ever wants to see their “family” broken up.
But, we really aren’t “losing” our family, we are simply gaining more!
A Time To Every Purpose
In the combined meeting, the new bishop and his two counselors for the 15th Ward were announced. They received a sustaining vote by the congregation, and each man took a turn speaking to us and sharing their testimonies of Christ. It was nice to get to know them a little. I was impressed with their humility and love for the Lord. We can tell that they are very good men who will serve with all their hearts and accomplish great things. The bishopric from the 12th and 14th Wards also spoke, and the Spirit of God was strong.
In conclusion, our Stake President addressed us. He said a lot of encouraging and inspiring words. But the thing that caught my attention was his reminder that Change is part of God’s plan. He referenced Ecclesiastes Chapter 3, and invited us to look it up, and we would find a passage that fit today’s event.
So, I did. And, I think he meant this one:
“there is a time to break down, and a time to build up.”
Today, two Wards were “broken down” in order to “build up” a third!
What a marvelous blessing it is to have so much growth! What a blessing to have so many opportunities to meet more good people and make new forever friendships! I will be forever grateful for my dear “12th Ward family”. The time we got to spend together is treasured. They have made us feel so welcome here. I am looking forward to being a part of “building up” our new 15th Ward, and helping it grow and thrive and be a “welcomer”.
We will now have four Wards sharing one church building, instead of three. This means that each Ward’s 3-hour Sunday meeting schedule will need to be staggered in creative ways!
- 12th Ward 8:30 -11:30 am
- 13th Ward 10:30 am – 1:30 PM
- 14th Ward 12:30 – 3:30 PM
- 15th Ward 2:30 – 5:30 PM
I may be the only member of the new 15th Ward who is super excited for that late 2:30 PM slot!! My membership in the Tabernacle Choir is my full-time church calling, and it often prevents me from attending my own Ward. On Sunday morning I leave my house by about 6:15 am to head to the Tabernacle for rehearsal and perform the live broadcast of Music & The Spoken Word, then depending on rehearsal time after the broadcast I typically do not return home until between 11 am – 12 PM. So, a 2:30 PM Ward time means I will be able to attend church meetings with my own congregation! And, I might even have time for a short nap so I can stay awake!
Change is a necessary part of our mortal experience. We cannot grow without change. Just as the hands on the clock keep turning, and the seasons keep turning, we have an opportunity to “turn our hearts” toward our Savior and keep our eyes focused on Him, who holds all the answers and reasons for every change.
Today, I am thankful for Change. – MoSop
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven”