New Calling

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Momma Snider
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Re: New Calling

Postby Momma Snider » Wed 08 May, 2013 10:18 am

I thought when I was first called that I would be calling people and chewing them out when they don't show up, or at least passively-aggressively ask them what they thought happens when they don't show up. But since being in the calling, I've come to feel more gentle or something. I still think they need to be responsible, but I don't want to drive anyone away completely by being too stern.

On the other hand, I am going to keep track, because if they are not attending sacrament meeting at all, ever, maybe we need someone else to teach our children. Not that it would be my decision, but I would point it out to our bishopric and let them decide. First we would need to have a loving conversation with the teacher about it.

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Momma Snider
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Re: New Calling

Postby Momma Snider » Sat 18 May, 2013 10:47 pm

Pretty sure this won't reach anyone who can help me, but just in case, can anyone give me any help with writing the sacrament meeting program? I have listed all the topics and subtopics that were in the theme for the year, and I have listed all the songs I think we should do, and now I'm trying to think of things for the kids to say. We haven't had any particularly good talks, or any talks at all, now that I think of it, since the ward split, because of secretary problems, but I'll keep listening for anything useful there.

Maybe I will give each teacher a topic and just have them ask the kids what they think about it and write those things down. We will probably only have about 30 kids there, which is weird, because our Primary before the split was so big, and on paper the Primary was pretty evenly divided.

Anyway, help?

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Re: New Calling

Postby Lady Celtic » Thu 23 May, 2013 11:53 am

I think your plan sounds awesome. In our primary, it seemed like the president had one-liners for the Jr. Primary to say, and then the Senior Primary were invited to give their testimonies on specific topics. On the other hand, I think when my MIL was president, she wrote out the whole thing and had the Sr. Primary read scriptures relating to the theme.
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Momma Snider
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Re: New Calling

Postby Momma Snider » Thu 23 May, 2013 04:33 pm

Assigning scriptures is a great idea. Also assigning topics, but that's kind of scary. I will need to get busy soon, and those ideas will help! Thanks!

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Momma Snider
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Re: New Calling

Postby Momma Snider » Sat 22 Jun, 2013 07:36 pm

Tomorrow I have to go to Ward Council meeting at 7 a.m. Then I have to set up chairs in the Primary room, since we're the first ward to meet, and I'll have to hurry that so I'm on time for sacrament meeting because I'm speaking. (I'm always on time, but usually I can start the chairs a little earlier.) Then the Primary president AND the other counselor are out of town, and the counselor is also the pianist. So I'll be greeting, conducting, and playing the piano. The good thing is that we just got a Sister Friendly, and tomorrow is her debut, so at least I don't have to also do Sharing Time.

I will want a nap when I get home, and I will get it. I will also be very glad that I put my Cheat Day off until tomorrow, because we're having a family gathering at my house in the afternoon, and we're having hot fudge sundaes on brownies for dessert.

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Momma Snider
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Re: New Calling

Postby Momma Snider » Sun 23 Jun, 2013 01:43 pm

Ha ha~! It got even funnier for Primary today! The chorister wasn't there, either! I had visions of conducting the meeting, then running to the piano to play while standing up so they could see my face and follow along that way. Luckily the secretary was there, although she's also the nursery leader for the first hour of Primary, and she plays the piano, too, so it all worked out.

My talk went pretty well, too. And now it's nap time.

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Re: New Calling

Postby Momma Snider » Mon 16 Sep, 2013 01:18 pm

I think the Primary program is going to be okay! I don't even want to think about how it would have been if the ward hadn't divided, but since it did, we have almost exactly enough choir seats to hold all the kids and teachers -- have to add two in the front row and there will be a few empties in the back, but not bad. The program will be on the 13th of October, and the week before is, of course, General Conference, so our only real practice will be the 29th, but seriously, how bad can it be? I have a song between each class, and I have the first one to speak on the end of their row. I'm going to give each teacher a seating chart and expect them to be there for the practice to gather their own kids, and I also expect them to be there a few minutes early on the 13th, although I won't be holding my breath on THAT.

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Momma Snider
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Re: New Calling

Postby Momma Snider » Thu 06 Feb, 2014 10:29 am

I'm getting a little frustrated, not with our teachers not showing up, although that happens now and then, but with the chorister. At least once a month, probably more like every three weeks, she doesn't come. Last week she texted the president late Saturday night, but she didn't let me know, and I'm the one who has to sub for her. Only one time has she contacted ME. So I was doing Sharing Time, and I had to do Singing Time too, and it was fast Sunday, so my mouth was really dry, and I didn't like it. We had a meeting with her in December and asked her to prepare the list a month at a time, so that whoever subs for her knows what she has planned, but of course she didn't have that in place yet.

I feel like I'm nagging if I remind her of these things. If she had a schedule of songs, she could even call a sub and I wouldn't have to do it at all, but as it is, if she called someone in just because they can lead music (which isn't even important) they wouldn't know what songs the kids know or anything.

And she has yet to bring a visual aid other than a Chutes and Ladders game that she used last summer for a while to let the kids pick songs.

So I'm frustrated.

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Re: New Calling

Postby Lady Celtic » Thu 06 Feb, 2014 12:53 pm

I'm sorry you have to deal with that, Momma. That's lame. But I don't think it's nagging if she's proven unreliable--it's monitoring....
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Re: New Calling

Postby SDR » Thu 06 Feb, 2014 04:44 pm

I understand the feeling of "nagging". These people are "volunteers" (in that they voluntarily accepted a calling)! You don't nag people for doing "nice things" (like showing up 3 out of 4 weeks)!

On the other hand, whether or not it is seen as nagging is pretty much up to the recipient. If you don't intend it to be nagging, then you're not nagging, and you can't control how other people take your words.

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Momma Snider
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Re: New Calling

Postby Momma Snider » Thu 06 Feb, 2014 05:27 pm

I have a thing about nagging. My dad always complained about my mom nagging him, and she used to talk about how she had to nag him to do anything, and I never liked either side. So I am way too much the other way about asking anyone to do anything, or reminding them. But yeah, in this case I really need to cowboy up and send her an email, reminding her of the things we asked her to do, and to get a sub or at least let ME know when she won't be there. It's part of my stewardship to help her manage hers, so I need to do it.

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Re: New Calling

Postby quidscribis » Thu 06 Feb, 2014 11:13 pm

I think it's also that a lot of people haven't learned to be honest about what they can and can not do. People say yes when they really mean no or maybe or because they think you want to hear yes even though they know they can't but they don't want to disappoint you... Or they think they can probably do something, so they don't call the people in charge until the last moment if at all.

I had that a lot at one branch I was in. It was really frustrating - teachers not showing up for Relief Society. All they really had to do was call me to let me know they couldn't make it and I'd find someone to teach the lesson or even spend a few minutes preparing to teach it myself at the last minute. It ended up being me teaching at the last minute because no one else was willing to wing it. Never found out why these people couldn't make it - no apology or mention of them not showing up ever. Unreliable is difficult to work with.

Of course, now I'm unreliable. Only I know that I'm unreliable (chronically ill and can never predict in advance when/if I'll be able to show up), so I always say no. It's the only reasonable thing I can do.
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Momma Snider
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Re: New Calling

Postby Momma Snider » Fri 07 Feb, 2014 09:28 am

I'm sure you're right, Laurie. (Ha ha, sounds like I'm talking to myself! A personal pep talk!) This situation is a little sticky, because she also has a stake calling, Cultural Arts specialist or something, and my husband has often heard her say she has plenty of time to do whatever is needed for that. But the basic rule, in our stake, anyway, is that if a person has both, and for some reason can't do both, they need to focus on the ward calling.

I did send her a message last night, nice and chatty, telling her what we did Sunday and asking her again to send us the outline ahead of time, and to focus on the songs on the list I gave her. It's a long list, not just possible program songs, but also the songs from the past three years that I don't want them to forget. She replied that this has been the last thing on her mind lately. I think she might be gearing up to ask to be released. I hope not, because I can't think of anyone else, and we already need a nursery leader.

In the meantime, she has organized an adult dance for Valentine's Day, which of course is my birthday, so I will go to that to support her, even though I hate that kind of stuff.

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Re: New Calling

Postby Momma Snider » Mon 10 Feb, 2014 02:59 pm

We have to find a new chorister. I hope I didn't chase her away with my encouragement to do better. I don't really think I did, because I think she asked to be released before my email last week. That would explain why she admitted this calling is the last thing on her mind. I choristered again yesterday, and now that I know, I can at least prepare ahead of time, which will be nice. Not that I'm going to be that great at thinking of visual aids and stuff -- I've never been a chorister before, and I'm not a big idea person. And maybe that's why I felt so bad asking her to do them, because it's not something I'd be good at.

Hopefully we'll find someone soon. I really don't look forward to trying to teach the new song for the program this year. It's scheduled to be taught in April, when we're already missing one Sunday for conference, and it's a LONG song. But maybe we'll settle for one verse this year.

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Re: New Calling

Postby GenAdFemale » Wed 12 Feb, 2014 09:22 am

What a bummer, Momma. It's a perpetual problem in Primaries--finding reliable people who will take Primary callings seriously.

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Re: New Calling

Postby Momma Snider » Wed 12 Feb, 2014 10:36 am

It really is. In our ward, especially now that it's a fairly small ward, we have a deplorable lack of musical talent, at least admittedly musical talent. One of the YW counselors is also the ward organist and choir director. One of the bishop's counselors plays the piano for choir. One of the Relief Society counselors plays the piano (she used to be the Primary secretary, and so could sub when our pianist, who is also the other counselor, wasn't there, which isn't often, but she does have four small children who get sick now and then, and her husband is in the bishopric, so he can't stay home every time they're sick) and I play the piano, more or less, but my fingers are getting all gnarly from arthritis, and I wasn't that good to start with. I'd be fine if I practiced, though, I admit. And that's about it for pianist. Leading the music, especially in Primary, does NOT require reading music, but it does require energy and creativity and a love for the children.

I have a love for the children that came over me in a wave the first week after I was called into the presidency. It hit me hard, and was almost palpable. I'm not creative, but I know there are a lot of helps online. I'm also quite lazy when I get home from work in the afternoon, and all evening. No energy here. I manage to pull it out of somewhere when I'm leading the music, but it really wears me out.

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Re: New Calling

Postby GenAdFemale » Thu 13 Feb, 2014 03:20 pm

Our ward doesn't have much musical talent either (judging by the fact that they are still using me as an organist). We have no ward choir (this annoys me to mostly no end. I say mostly because it doesn't annoy me enough to take it on as my third calling) and two of our Primary presidency members also cover piano for our very small Primary. I sub on RS piano most weeks.

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Re: New Calling

Postby Momma Snider » Thu 13 Feb, 2014 03:49 pm

My son Chris is in the SS presidency, and I know they're struggling for teachers for the youth classes, too. We have a very large youth group, compared to other age groups, so they need five classes. Right now they've got four, but three of the teachers aren't exactly regular in their attendance. When I'm released from Primary someday I think I'll hope to do that. I taught most of the current group when they were Valiant 9s, and most of the boys were little monsters, but I really like teenagers and I think it would be fine, with the help of treats every week.

Oh! But speaking of treats, you know what drives me crazy? Our oldest Primary kids get suckers every week from their teacher, which means they're playing with them and chewing on them all through sharing and singing time. We're going to tell the teachers that if they bring treats, they have to be eaten in class. And I'm also often shocked and appalled at how many adults don't seem to know when it's Fast Sunday. I'm not a great faster, but at least I always know when it is, and I would not bring treats on that day. In my opinion, even little ones shouldn't have treats in class that day, except nursery and maybe Sunbeams. You never know when a child may be ready to try to fast. I know I did, long before I turned 8. This past month someone actually baked muffins in the kitchen during church, which was really cruel~

Even if a person can't actually fast because of health reasons or whatever, they can avoid sweets and treats and junk food as their fast observance, and I think we need to make it as easy as possible on those, like me, who struggle sometimes.

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Momma Snider
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Re: New Calling

Postby Momma Snider » Thu 14 May, 2015 10:44 am

I haven't updated/whined here in a long time! They called my daughter, Joy, to be the chorister not long after I wrote the last time, and she does great. Funny, she had just aged out of the singles ward, and she knew she'd get a calling, but she works as a preschool teacher/daycare, and she's always had chorister/choir director callings, so she really didn't want to work with kids or music. But once she was called and got going, she loved it and still does. The kids love her, too.

We haven't had a secretary in several months. We had a good one, but she was called to be RS president. Then we had another one, semi-flaky but good when she showed up, who was then called to YW. I think she's been much more active since then. For about four months we've had no one. We had decided that the person conducting would assign talks and prayers, but I'm the only one who has remembered to do that. But the other two have little kids and busy lives, so no complaining from me. And now two of our teachers and assistant nursery leader are moving in June, and the nursery leader and one of the Sunbeam teachers are too old to continue, so that's a total of five important, active people we need to replace, plus a secretary sooner or later.

We also have two relatively reliable teachers as far as showing up goes, but one almost never stays for Sharing Time, and his class is the older, not to mention rowdier, kids. Another one is just a big kid himself, plays on his phone or carries on conversations with the kids while Sharing Time is happening. I want to smack him sometimes, but I think he's a pretty good teacher.

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Re: New Calling

Postby SDR » Thu 14 May, 2015 12:23 pm

Shortly after my last post, my wife and I were released from youth SS (post stake split & ward boundary realignments). After doing that for 2.5 years, we're now ward missionaries responsible for teaching Gospel Principles in rotation with a couple others. I like this calling. One, I don't have to prep a lesson every week. Two, the adults want to be there (more so than 13 & 14). Three, they pay attention. Four, they actually share without being forced.

The only down side is sometimes trying to stretch the lesson to the full length of the class, but so far it hasn't been a problem.


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