Good things that happen at church

Public forum for topics that don't fit into the other categories.
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nibbler
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Re: Good things that happen at church

Post by nibbler » 22 Aug 2018, 09:01

I hate to admit it but it has been a very, very long time since I have felt anything positive coming out of a church meeting. In the ballpark of years. It has really taken a toll on my perspective.

Credit where credit is due, the other day I attended an extracurricular meeting and the meeting reminded me of my early days of StayLDS. I could really feel the love and dedication of the people that were presenting. They may express their love in ways that don't resonate with some people but there can be no doubt that they love the people they serve. I found it far easier to appreciate their perspectives.

I think for me the most difficult, unfulfilling aspect about our church is the 3 hour block. I'm not talking about length, I'm talking about the scripted, predictable, walled-off nature of the lessons and talks and how the block makes me feel like an outsider. I feel the real church lives outside the 3 hour block.

Sorry I can't be more specific than that, I just wanted to report that I got a much needed reboot the other day.
If one dream dies, dream another dream. If you get knocked down, get back up and go again.
― Joel Osteen

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Heber13
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Re: Good things that happen at church

Post by Heber13 » 22 Aug 2018, 16:31

nibbler wrote:
22 Aug 2018, 09:01
I could really feel the love and dedication of the people that were presenting. They may express their love in ways that don't resonate with some people but there can be no doubt that they love the people they serve. I found it far easier to appreciate their perspectives.
Thanks for sharing what you found.

Sometimes, despite itself...the church and the people get it right...in a curious way.

They are loving and helping some people...but at the same time still saying things over the pulpit that hurt other people.

And so...2 people could sit in the same meeting listening to the same words... and one come away with the idea of how loving the church is and the other person come away hurt and ashamed at the way they don't love people.

But...I'm with you...I don't think there is any doubt they sincerely love the people they serve. And it is good to give credit where credit is due. I guess it is equally good to not brush under the rug the other stuff.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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mom3
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Re: Good things that happen at church

Post by mom3 » 22 Aug 2018, 16:52

Nibbler - this may seem trite, it is meant with sincerity, I am sending hugs.

Like Heber said, I am glad you found some bright spot in life. That love exists somewhere.

I am coming to the conclusion that life is perception. The hardest part is not having someone to share your perception with.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

AmyJ
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Re: Good things that happen at church

Post by AmyJ » 23 Aug 2018, 06:17

mom3 wrote:
22 Aug 2018, 16:52
Nibbler - this may seem trite, it is meant with sincerity, I am sending hugs.

Like Heber said, I am glad you found some bright spot in life. That love exists somewhere.

I am coming to the conclusion that life is perception. The hardest part is not having someone to share your perception with.
I think part of the not having someone to share your perception with is mourning the loss of the unrealistic expectation that the perceptions were supposed to be the same, supposed to be equal. I find that in my relationship with my husband at unexpected junctions in life.

Minyan Man
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Re: Good things that happen at church

Post by Minyan Man » 23 Aug 2018, 08:50

nibbler wrote:
22 Aug 2018, 09:01
...I think for me the most difficult, unfulfilling aspect about our church is the 3 hour block. I'm not talking about length, I'm talking about the scripted, predictable, walled-off nature of the lessons and talks and how the block makes me feel like an outsider. I feel the real church lives outside the 3 hour block.

Sorry I can't be more specific than that, I just wanted to report that I got a much needed reboot the other day.
nibbler, I agree with your statement above. If I sit in Church on Sunday & expect the church to come to me, I will be disappointed & unfulfilled.
Here are some things I've discovered recently:
- I don't go to Gospel Doctrine class. I like Family History & the Bishop has given me permission to do one on one training on my laptop in a side classroom.
- When no one comes, my friends will come in & we will have our own discussions. Usually gospel related.
- Sometimes I will go to the Gospel Essentials class. Not a lot of discussion, but it does stick to the basics.
- PH there is a lot of movement. If it gets boring or I get out of sorts, I move around & it looks normal. With PH being combined, EQ & HP there seems to be less discussion.
- Sacrament meetings are usually good. My definition of good is when you can concentrate on a new idea or scripture that I haven't read in a while.
- I will read scriptures or read talks on my phone. I will not apologize for doing that.
- I will wave or play with little children that we know. That's a last resort.

We usually get to church 30-45 minutes early & talk to members of the other ward. For me, the 3 hours seem to go quickly.

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Heber13
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Re: Good things that happen at church

Post by Heber13 » 23 Aug 2018, 09:27

AmyJ wrote:
23 Aug 2018, 06:17
mom3 wrote:
22 Aug 2018, 16:52
Nibbler - this may seem trite, it is meant with sincerity, I am sending hugs.

Like Heber said, I am glad you found some bright spot in life. That love exists somewhere.

I am coming to the conclusion that life is perception. The hardest part is not having someone to share your perception with.
I think part of the not having someone to share your perception with is mourning the loss of the unrealistic expectation that the perceptions were supposed to be the same, supposed to be equal. I find that in my relationship with my husband at unexpected junctions in life.
I do think we learn a lot when we evaluate expectations vs reality.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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nibbler
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Re: Good things that happen at church

Post by nibbler » 23 Aug 2018, 09:31

I only mention the block thing because I was trying to come up with why church has been so unsatisfying for me lately. I like where many of the doctrines point, not all but many. I don't really have an issue with history, nothing is going to change the past. But the 3 hour block feels alienating. Interacting with others outside of the formalities associated with the block makes for a better experience. Is there a way to drop some of those formalities to make the block more enjoyable?
Minyan Man wrote:
23 Aug 2018, 08:50
With PH being combined, EQ & HP there seems to be less discussion.
This may be a function of the quantity of people, the more people there are the less discussion there is. I think there would be more participation and real discussion if the class sizes were smaller. Of course then the challenge is that you'd need that many more discussion leaders.
If one dream dies, dream another dream. If you get knocked down, get back up and go again.
― Joel Osteen

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dande48
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Re: Good things that happen at church

Post by dande48 » 23 Aug 2018, 11:59

nibbler wrote:
23 Aug 2018, 09:31
Is there a way to drop some of those formalities to make the block more enjoyable?
I think it would be awesome if they rearranged the 3 hour block like this:
-1st hour: Sacrament Meeting
2nd hour: Lunch. Have a potluck, social gathering to build comradery. Maybe tie in some Sunday service, like packaging welfare bags for third world countries.
- Sunday school. Have different classes geared towards different gospel principles/virtues. Need to work on gratitude? There's a class for that. Need more charity? There's a class for that too. An "Addiction Recovery" class would also be AWESOME, if the stigma was removed, and the membership recognize we all have addictions.

Get rid of "Gospel Doctrine", "Gospel Essentials" (shouldn't it all be "essential"?), Priesthood, and Relief Society. If family is so important, keep them together as much as possible.
"The whole world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel." - Horace Walpole

"Even though there are no ways of knowing for sure, there are ways of knowing for pretty sure."
-Lemony Snicket

AmyJ
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Re: Good things that happen at church

Post by AmyJ » 23 Aug 2018, 12:23

dande48 wrote:
23 Aug 2018, 11:59
nibbler wrote:
23 Aug 2018, 09:31
Is there a way to drop some of those formalities to make the block more enjoyable?
I think it would be awesome if they rearranged the 3 hour block like this:
-1st hour: Sacrament Meeting
2nd hour: Lunch. Have a potluck, social gathering to build comradery. Maybe tie in some Sunday service, like packaging welfare bags for third world countries.
- Sunday school. Have different classes geared towards different gospel principles/virtues. Need to work on gratitude? There's a class for that. Need more charity? There's a class for that too. An "Addiction Recovery" class would also be AWESOME, if the stigma was removed, and the membership recognize we all have addictions.

Get rid of "Gospel Doctrine", "Gospel Essentials" (shouldn't it all be "essential"?), Priesthood, and Relief Society. If family is so important, keep them together as much as possible.
I LOVE THIS!

I would add the following:
2nd Hour: Childless families rotate sitting with and getting to know families with children for at least 20 minutes a Sunday. This will help build ties between families, and assist the families in corralling the kids. It also assists in dissolving the cliques among the 50+ age group.

3rd Hour Primary: NOTE: This would require an entire restructuring of the program.
There are 3 groupings that can be either Sharing Time/Singing Time, Sharing time/Group Lesson, or a Group Lesson. Nursery includes the 3 year old group and has 2 teachers. An additional teacher is called for every 5 chlidren.
A) Group 1 [4-6 years] (probably Sharing Time with 1 song).
B) Group 2 [6-8, optionally including up to age 12 singers ] (Sharing Time/Singing Time (for those kids who want to sing))
C) Group 3 [8-12 years] - Group Lesson

Each group has 1 Primary Presidency Member and 1 called teacher. Parents of children in that age group rotate in weekly to assist - 1 additional parent for every 10 children. For children with additional needs (and their parents), as needed assessments would be scheduled in for meeting those needs.

NOTE: Children age 11 and 12 can opt for the "Sunday School" class of choice provided that they attend with their parent. The Primary's responsibility is discharged if there is a) a written form stating this is the new way of doing things for the child, b) the Primary Board Member gets verbal confirmation from a parent directly.

We have about 25 children in our branch primary. Under this setup, the requirements would be 8 people for 1 hour. This manages burnout more easily, provides legal protection (the 2 adult rule), and breaks it down so that the children are where they want to be subject-wise (mostly). The Primary Board Member and the main teacher could switch off teaching the actual lesson while being supported by parents available to sit keep an eye on the children.

Roy
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Re: Good things that happen at church

Post by Roy » 20 Nov 2018, 09:44

Yesterday was the nine year anniversary of our daughters stillbirth. Our ward Relief Society President came over unprompted with a bouquet of flowers and a meal. She does this every year.
I have a very different worldview than many of the people at church. Sometimes they frustrate me. Then I witness these acts of service that remind me that there is goodness happening here - much of the time quietly and unsung - just part of the tapestry.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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