Chris is back at work, I'm in a busy season at the Nook running a big contest and ordering kits and I'm up to my elbows in a Quickutz design team project, and the kids are running to and fro doing school and friends. Scouts and piano start back up in the next week too. It would seem that we are officially all back online.
The most excited news that I have is that Chris and I both have new callings at church. I suppose I should explain that for those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about.
Callings: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (aka Mormons) runs strictly on a lay ministry. This means that none of our bishops or Sunday school teachers or missionaries or anyone else gets paid to serve in the capacities to which they are called. To fill these positions, those in authority pray about who God wants to serve in which area.
This means the prophet prays about the apostles, they both pray about the general area authorities (people who manage the larger areas of the church, an area might cover a few states or a specific country), the apostles and area authorities pray together to decide who should be the Stake President (person over a smaller area, usually covering fewer than 5,000 members) and the Stake Presidency prays over who should be leading the individual wards/branches with in their area. (A ward has about 250-500 members, a branch is much smaller). A bishop leads the individual wards and a branch president leads a branch (my dad is a branch president right now). These men are responsible for the spiritual care of the people in their wards, and also making sure that any extenuating temporal needs are being cared for as well.
Our church functions in an orderly fashion, based on this revelation from God, through prayer, contemplation, and a confirmation of the spirit that the right person is serving in the right position. Your average church member will have many callings in his or her life. You do not have to accept a calling when it is given. It is encouraged that a person prays and contemplates for himself whether this is where God wants Him. We believe in personal revelation, in taking time to listen for the voice of the Spirit, and in letting the Lord direct your life. We believe that He is directly involved in our lives, that He loves us, and that we can ask for guidance and receive it.
Most people are happy to serve in different capacities. and I have found that by serving in various capacities I am blessed in two ways. I have an opportunity to serve others, and I have an opportunity to learn. In the past, I’ve taught classes, organized camp for our young women, served in the nursery, led music and choirs, and helped in compassionate service areas.
Chris and I are so excited to be able to be involved in our ward here! I have two callings, serving as a Sunday School teacher for 12-14 year olds, as well as being involved with our Young Women’s organization. I get to help them work on Personal Progress, which I am totally excited for!
Chris will be serving as the ward clerk. A ward clerk has a large and time consuming responsibility, and also many great opportunities. He is over finances, member records, and a sort of general manger, right hand man to the bishop in many capacities. He does have other people under him helping in all these areas. While it does involve a significant sacrifice of time, it comes with a lot of blessings. I’m thrilled that Chris will get to spend so much time with such good, Christ loving men. They will be a support to him. He will also get to learn a lot about how the church functions, and be part in some very neat spiritual experiences as things crop up that need his attention.
Chris and I keep getting condolences and apologies due to the time consuming nature of his calling paired with my responsibilities, but we are so excited to have the opportunity to serve, be involved and learn and grow that we aren’t worried. Work is a blessing. Service is a blessing. We feel blessed, not burdened!
If you have any questions about my faith, feel free to ask. I can do a Q&A in an upcoming post. If you want reading material to answer some questions check this out. It is a simple and concise overview of my basic beliefs. Those of you who have read my blog a lot know that I’m not shy about sharing my faith, but this is the first time I’ve invited questions, so if you have one, I will answer it.