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Hello. My question is: is there any official policy on when attendance should be taken in sacrament meeting? For example, should it be taken during the congregational hymn, right after the sacrament is administered, etc? We had 10 visitors last Sunday who left immediately following the baby blessing they were there to see. Granted, it's not a counting month, but I just wanted to see if anyone knew of any official policy.
lance215 wrote:Hello. My question is: is there any official policy on when attendance should be taken in sacrament meeting? For example, should it be taken during the congregational hymn, right after the sacrament is administered, etc? We had 10 visitors last Sunday who left immediately following the baby blessing they were there to see. Granted, it's not a counting month, but I just wanted to see if anyone knew of any official policy.
I am not aware of any official policy, other than that each person should only be counted once. [grin]
Everyone who attends the meeting, member or not, old or young, should be counted, and anyone who is not physically present should not be counted as attending.
It's rather impractical to adjust the count throughout the meeting based on who came and went. It seems to me that the only reasonable approach is to pick a time to count, then count everyone who is present at that time and be done with it. Most wards I've observed take that count shortly after the sacrament has concluded. You don't want to do it before the sacrament because not everyone has arrived, and you certainly wouldn't take a count during the sacrament. Shortly after the sacrament seems to be a good time.
Questions that can benefit the larger community should be asked in a public forum, not a private message.
zoomjer wrote:I'd say, if they were in the chapel, or even in the hall, during part of the sacrament because of the sacrament, or even a baby blessing, count them, regardless if how long they were present.
It is the Bishop's and Stake President's final say. A number of years ago, when serving as a Bishop, I was advised by my SP to count the used sacrament cups and add 10% if we were unable to count on a Sunday. We never needed to do that.
In my 7+ years as ward clerk, I would count during the last half of the meeting. The Bishop wanted to count those in the Chapel, anyone in the Mother's Lounge, anyone in the foyer out with small ones (I made sure the foyer speakers were on before the meeting started). We didn't count members of other wards who were just there a little early for their meetings, but we counted everyone that appeared to be there for ours. The goal was for fairly accurate numbers but not to go crazy over them. Remember, you are reporting an average so an individual or two (counted or not counted) will not affect the average enough to make a difference.
In the counting months of June and December there are significant enough absences by 'Active Members' for a need to plan for those events. If you have a family of 5-7 absent for a couple of weeks, that can make a difference, then if you have 3 or 4 families.... There can be a real difference. We have several wards in or stake that are stocked by Dental and Medical student families. The majority of them will go home for the holidays for extended periods, I've seen that impact an average in a ward by nearly 50 people... that is significant and I hope that leaders are accounting for some of these nuances...
“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.”
― Thomas Paine, Common Sense
― Thomas Paine, Common Sense
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