Reading in new members after realignment

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Reading in new members after realignment

Postby idjeeper2 » Tue Mar 15, 2016 2:39 pm

This is probably covered somewhere but I'm not finding it.

Our ward boundaries were realigned last Sunday and we have received the records of 86 new move-ins and retained about 380 members. For those of you who have done this before, do the new move-ins need to be read in and voted upon in Sacrament Meeting? How has that been handled, in your experience?

It would be nice to be able to put names and faces together, but seems like it would take up a fair chunk of the meeting. If it is necessary then that is what we will do.

Thanks for your thoughts.

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Re: Reading in new members after realignment

Postby russellhltn » Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:03 pm

Good question. The direction is found in Handbook 2: 18.22 in the section titled "Introducing New Members". I'm not finding anything suggesting the procedure is optional and yet I agree that trying to welcome in 86 new move-ins would be something of a problem (beyond a simple acknowledgment). Handbook 1:9 Doesn't shed any light on what happens during a boundary alignment.

I suppose you could interpret "Records of family members are read together" as announcing just the family. My personal unofficial opinion is the acceptance and opportunity for people to approach the bishop privately later is the key element(s). If it was up to me, I'd be very tempted to list the families in the program and have them stand as a group and welcome them that way. That would keep what I see to be the "core" elements without getting too involved.

But I'd say this is one for the stake president. He knows who he can call if he needs help.
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Re: Reading in new members after realignment

Postby lajackson » Tue Mar 15, 2016 9:49 pm

idjeeper2 wrote:do the new move-ins need to be read in and voted upon in Sacrament Meeting?

According to the Handbook, it would be appropriate. I would drop one of the speakers in sacrament meeting and use his or her 12-15 minutes to do it.

Take less than a minute at the beginning to explain what has happened and that you want to introduce the new families in the ward. Ask them to stand for a moment.

The Jackson Family, Larry, Ellen, Fred, Marvis, and Tom.
The Jones Family, Harold, Mable, John, and Rosemary.
The Louder Family, George and Mary.
[or don't even say "family" 86 times]
The Monsons, Tom and Rebecca.
Jennifer Pearson.
The Romneys, Marion and Chrystal.

Then one vote of acceptance at the end.

I think that would be a lot more fun (and meaningful) than just announcing that a bunch of new families have moved into the ward, having them all stand, and voting to accept them.

Now if your ward kept 100, lost 200, and gained 250, your stake president may suggest some different inspiration. But 86 new members in a ward with 380, I would do it. Great teaching opportunity. 15 minutes tops, even with the explanation.

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Re: Reading in new members after realignment

Postby rsidwell » Thu Mar 17, 2016 12:25 pm

The same thing happened in our ward recently. The bishopric read them all in. I appreciated putting names to the new faces, so think it is worth the time. Also, a couple of families were missed, and it gave them the opportunity to get their records straightened out.

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Re: Reading in new members after realignment

Postby sbradshaw » Thu Mar 17, 2016 9:42 pm

In my YSA student ward we have about a 70–90% turnover between major semesters (for example, as Fall semester is about to start). What usually happens is the bishop invites all of the new members to stand, and we welcome them in as a group. It doesn't fulfill the purpose of helping people learn new members' names – instead, it allows new members to see that they're not alone moving into the ward and lets them know that they don't have to be afraid to jump in and reach out.

Throughout the semester, when there are no more than 2–3 people moving in during a given week, we do read the names in sacrament meeting.

Similarly, at the end of the semester, releases are extended to all who are moving, and in sacrament meeting they are thanked for their service as a group. Whoever's conducting usually says something to the effect of their release taking effect on the day they actually move (which could be a few days in the future). And a reminder that those who are not moving are not released (sometimes people assume they're released because there's so much reorganization going on).

What does take a lot of time, is reading all the new callings for sustaining when about 80 members receive callings in a matter of 2–3 weeks. The first week is all of the organization presidents and chairpeople, so they can get started visiting the members, choosing counselors and committee members, and organizing things.

It's a busy time of year, but it really is a fun time! It's exciting to see the Church moving forward and that the Lord puts people where they need to be and qualifies the people he calls.
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