fast offerings

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lehrschallbrian
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fast offerings

Postby lehrschallbrian » Sun Mar 31, 2013 6:31 am

I was recently called as Young Men's Secretary. My ward has not been collecting fast offerings and the Bishop has asked that I oversee the process of starting this again. How do I begin to go about setting up this process? Thanks for the help.

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aebrown
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Re: fast offerings

Postby aebrown » Sun Mar 31, 2013 6:46 am

Different wards will have variations on the process, but the basics are these:
  1. Divide the ward up into routes. It can be helpful to use maps.lds.org to see a map of your ward. Precisely how you do this will depend on the number of people you will have collecting (just deacons in some wards, deacons and fathers/leaders in others, teachers and priests help out in others, etc.) and the geography of your ward. Clearly identify each route with a name or number. You may want to draw the route boundaries on a printout of the map.
  2. Assemble your supplies. You'll want to have one Fast Offering Envelope per household and one Fast Offering Pouch per route (and some extras of both supplies). [Note that you won't be able to follow those links unless you are a clerk or other ward or stake leader, but they might be helpful to your ward clerk.]
  3. Label each Fast Offering Envelope and put the envelopes for a route in the corresponding pouch.
  4. Decide on the time fast offerings will be collected (might be before or after your meeting block.
  5. Decide how you will assign particular routes to particular collectors (some wards rotate assignments; some wards make standard assignments based on geography) and how to adjust to collectors being unable to fill their assignments in a particular month.
  6. Communicate clearly to the collectors the procedure: when and where to pick up their assigned pouch, how to go out (two by two), what to say, safety procedures, when and where to return the collected offerings, and how to report any issues that came up during the collection.
  7. Get started and learn from your experience and make adjustments to your process based on what you learn.

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Re: fast offerings

Postby Gary_Miller » Sun Mar 31, 2013 7:19 am

Get your Deacon Quorum Presidency involved in the process you may just be surprised on what these Young Men are capable of doing. They can use the ward finance clerk as a resource for obtaining the envelopes and pouch. Our Deacon Quorum Presidency set up the whole process with a little advice from the Clerks and Bishopric member the Deacons Quorum.

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Re: fast offerings

Postby gregwanderson » Sun Mar 31, 2013 12:50 pm

Many members do not realize that it is inappropriate for the Aaronic Priesthood to collect any donations that are not fast offerings. After all, the donation slips used for door-to-door fast offering collections list the other categories (like tithing). Since you are just starting the door-to-door collection system, a gentle reminder in sacrament meeting wouldn't seem awkward. Tell the members to expect the young men to drop by and remind them to only give them fast offerings.

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Re: fast offerings

Postby RossEvans » Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:09 am

You should clarify with the bishop what his guidelines are for selecting households to visit each month.

Some wards aim to knock at every family's door every month, which is daunting but feasible if the size of the ward roster is small enough relative to the size of the Aaronic Priesthood. We did that in my previous ward, even though it was spread out over a large area. This was possible because we had a large number of deacons, teachers and priests available, along with adult drivers, but only about 200 families.

But other units may have several hundred families and a small Aaronic Priesthood. In that case, the immediate questions that arise are how to select the subset of the ward to be visited, and who does that selection.

In our large ward, the bishopric's criteria for prioritizing visits is driven by MLS membership data, so the routes are created by an assistant clerk. He also uses mapping tools (not the maps on lds.org) to organize and print the routes. The YM organization is responsible for assigning and staffing them. A major output of that process is a short return-and-report form filled out by the priesthood assigned to each route, which reports any comments ("moved" etc.) back to the clerks and bishopric.

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Re: fast offerings

Postby allenjpl » Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:56 am

mrrad wrote:Many members do not realize that it is inappropriate for the Aaronic Priesthood to collect any donations that are not fast offerings. After all, the donation slips used for door-to-door fast offering collections list the other categories (like tithing). Since you are just starting the door-to-door collection system, a gentle reminder in sacrament meeting wouldn't seem awkward. Tell the members to expect the young men to drop by and remind them to only give them fast offerings.


Although true, I'd still hesitate before discouraging anyone from contributing anything. Yes, the deacons, teachers, and priests should only be collecting fast offerings. But since they don't look inside to verify that only fast offerings were contributed, there is no real way to prevent it from occurring. It's one of those no-harm, no foul issues.

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Re: fast offerings

Postby russellhltn » Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:15 pm

allenjpl wrote:Although true, I'd still hesitate before discouraging anyone from contributing anything. Yes, the deacons, teachers, and priests should only be collecting fast offerings. But since they don't look inside to verify that only fast offerings were contributed, there is no real way to prevent it from occurring. It's one of those no-harm, no foul issues.


But when the envelope is processed, it should come to light - and trigger some training for the member(s) involved.
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gregwanderson
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Re: fast offerings

Postby gregwanderson » Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:32 pm

It happens regularly in our ward that some fast offering envelopes come back with tithing enclosed. It might be embarrassing at this point (since it's gone on so long) to tell certain individuals that this kind of donation is not appropriate.

The general rule (which all members ought to know) is that donations should only be given to the Bishop or one of his counselors. Fast offerings are the only exception. Let them know this now, right when the new fast offering collection program is starting.

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Re: fast offerings

Postby russellhltn » Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:40 pm

mrrad wrote:It might be embarrassing at this point (since it's gone on so long) to tell certain individuals that this kind of donation is not appropriate.


Assuming they attend sacrament, an announcement over the pulpit on Sunday should help. If this is a shut-in, then I'd suggest making sure they have a supply of envelopes and slips so they can be mailed in.
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sbradshaw
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Re: fast offerings

Postby sbradshaw » Sat May 30, 2015 9:43 pm

Does anyone have any insights into the purpose of sending priesthood holders to collect fast offerings? My ward has sometimes collected fast offerings, and sometimes not.

My thoughts previously were that this was to teach priesthood holders to hold responsibilities and prepare them for other duties in the future, but one member of our ward council brought up a good point that there are already duties that have to be done – for example the sacrament – that teach responsibility, and the Lord doesn't generally give busywork so that people have something to do.

In our ward it comes up perhaps more often, because we're a young single adult student ward; we all live close to the church and we interact with each other on a day-to-day basis, and it's elders who are sent out to collect. It just doesn't seem relevant in our situation. I understand that the bishop has authority in whether or not we collect fast offerings. I support him in that and volunteer my help, but sometimes it's good to figure out what's tradition and what's necessary.

Is it just a continuation in tradition from a time when donations were "in kind" and couldn't easily be brought to church or sent in the mail, or something else?
Samuel Bradshaw • Interested in church apps and sites, creative recordkeeping, clerk support, YSA wards and stakes, LDS music, Vineyard at BYU, and online service.


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