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Christmas day with combined meeting

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Christmas day with combined meeting

#1Postby krazykev » Wed Dec 21, 2011 4:29 pm

Merry Christmas to all:

Our ward is combining sacrament meeting with another ward on Christmas Day. I am unsure on how to count the attendance of sacrament meeting to go towards the quarter report. Is anyone else combining meetings or have any advice? I am wondering if I should count everybody then work with the other clerk on determining a ratio of our ward and his or not bother to count, etc.? :confused:

Thanks for your input!!
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#2Postby aebrown » Wed Dec 21, 2011 4:44 pm

krazykev wrote:Our ward is combining sacrament meeting with another ward on Christmas Day. I am unsure on how to count the attendance of sacrament meeting to go towards the quarter report. Is anyone else combining meetings or have any advice? I am wondering if I should count everybody then work with the other clerk on determining a ratio of our ward and his or not bother to count, etc.?


You definitely should be counting, particularly because December is a reporting month for the quarterly report.

I think you could choose a variety of options:

  • Just split the total in half.
  • Use the ratio of total members in each ward to calculate the split
  • Use the ratio of average sacrament meeting attendees over the last quarter for each ward to calculate the split.
As long as you don't double count people (e.g., both wards report the total combined attendance), I think any of those options would be just fine.

In our ward, Christmas is one of our biggest days for attendance (even back in 2005 when Christmas last fell on a Sunday), so we wouldn't even think of combining with another ward. We have quite a few people who attend church only on Christmas and Easter, and also have a lot of grown children or parents of ward members who visit for the holidays. But every ward is a bit different.
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#3Postby russellhltn » Wed Dec 21, 2011 4:59 pm

We're combining 3 wards, not just for Christmas but New Year's Day as well. I'm guessing the reasoning is that because of family obligations, the members may not be able to attend a afternoon meeting.
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Really?

#4Postby RichTurpin » Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:01 pm

krazykev wrote:Merry Christmas to all:

Our ward is combining sacrament meeting with another ward on Christmas Day. I am unsure on how to count the attendance of sacrament meeting to go towards the quarter report. Is anyone else combining meetings or have any advice? I am wondering if I should count everybody then work with the other clerk on determining a ratio of our ward and his or not bother to count, etc.? :confused:

Thanks for your input!!


I' be a bit more worried about who's actally presiding. At the meeting, whereas how could either Bishop? Wouldn't this combined meeting therefore constitute a Stake Meeting so now a member of the Stake Presidency must be there?
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#5Postby russellhltn » Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:38 pm

RichTurpin wrote:I' be a bit more worried about who's actally presiding.


In our case, the three wards meet at 9 AM, 11 AM and 1 PM. Since we're all meeting at 9 AM, the 11 AM ward and 1 PM wards are joining the 9 AM ward. The 9 AM ward is in charge. Come New Year's day, there's a new "9 AM" ward. So the same ward won't be stuck with the over-sized crowd two weeks in a row.

I'm more worried about all the members of the ward discovering that someone else is in "their spot". :D

Edit: BTW, I'm sure there's probably a letter or some such outlining what should be done. There was the last time Christmas fell on a Sunday.
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#6Postby lajackson » Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:45 pm

RichTurpin wrote:I' be a bit more worried about who's actally presiding.


Christmas is an awfully special day for our ward. Is one of the choirs not going to sing? Will the visitors enjoy the personal spiritual experiences that will be shared by our ward members and want to move into our ward?

A wise stake president would probably have a member of the presidency there. If not, I would suggest that the bishop who's ward meets at that time ought to preside, since everyone else will be visitors. He will probably still be gracious and let the visiting ward have some of his meeting attendance for their quarterly report.

In our stake we are only having sacrament meeting on Christmas Day, but each ward and branch will meet at the usual time.

And as for the new year, if I were a bishop, I would not want to give up January 1st to a combined meeting. I would use it to set the direction and tone for my ward for the coming year. And are they going to combine all of their other meetings, too? Again, the visitors probably would not be very interested in what our ward was going to do this coming year. (I assume we are speaking of a normal ward, and not a YSA ward composed of students who are away from school for the Christmas break.)

Not to worry, though. I am not a bishop. I am not a stake president. The priesthood leaders with keys in your particular area will need to answer any questions along these lines.
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#7Postby TinMan » Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:42 am

We are having a combined meeting with the other ward in our building as well. We discussed it with the Stake President months ago and got his permission. We will split the count down the middle as the two wards average about the same attendance figures. We did not feel like we wanted to obligate anyone to speak on Christmas Day nor did we want to obligate the choirs to have extra practices. Both wards did their Christmas programs last week. The bishop who has been bishop the longest will preside and be the closing speaker, and the other bishop will conduct.

For the program, two counselors and the two bishops will give very short talks centered around one of the Christmas hymns. The congregation will then sing that hymn. A spontaneous combined choir will sing one of the hymns straight out of the hymn book.

The other two counselors will give the prayers.

Both wards AP will combine to administer the sacrament.

But combining on New Years Day? That is supposed to be the regular 3 hour block, isn't it? How are you going to do the meetings other than Sacrament meeting?
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#8Postby mrrad » Thu Dec 22, 2011 3:29 pm

I noticed that in Handbook 2, in section 13.6.11, it seems to say that we shouldn't have Fast Sunday on New Year's Day and that the stake president should choose a different day. But I can't tell if this is a general policy or it if only applies when there is a church-sponsored New Year's Eve activity. I'm not aware of instructions from our stake president yet about Fast Sunday, but we're not planning any church-sponsored activities on December 31st anyway. So far, I think we're having our Fast Sunday on the 1st.
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#9Postby aebrown » Thu Dec 22, 2011 4:09 pm

mrrad wrote:I noticed that in Handbook 2, in section 13.6.11, it seems to say that we shouldn't have Fast Sunday on New Year's Day and that the stake president should choose a different day. But I can't tell if this is a general policy or it if only applies when there is a church-sponsored New Year's Eve activity.


The "Saturday" paragraph of section 13.6.11 is prefaced by the restrictive clause "and when Church activities are planned," so if the Handbook were your only guidance, and no Church activities were planned, I would assume there would be no change in the Fast Sunday. Besides, the title of 13.6.11 is "New Year's Parties" -- not "Sunday Meetings on New Year's Day," so it makes sense that it would only apply to parties.

mrrad wrote:I'm not aware of instructions from our stake president yet about Fast Sunday, but we're not planning any church-sponsored activities on December 31st anyway. So far, I think we're having our Fast Sunday on the 1st.


In our stake, we received a letter from Elder Snow, specifically telling us to hold only sacrament meeting on December 25, and to move January's Fast Sunday to January 8. Since Elder Snow presides over all of Utah, I would think that your stake president would have received the same letter.

So that specific instruction overrides any need to interpret what section 13.6.11 might mean.
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#10Postby johnshaw » Thu Dec 22, 2011 4:59 pm

Check the official communications library ( july) directions came out to all stakes for christmas and new years day, including fast Sunday.
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