Sunday, March 24, 2013

My thoughts on the geographical realignment of my ward's boundaries

For those readers who are not LDS (Mormon), here is some information so you'll understand this post.  A Mormon congregation is called a "ward."  Mormons are divided into wards of about 400-600 church members based on geography.  They are expected to attend their assigned ward and not pick and choose what time they want to go to church based on convenience or other factors.

Sometimes a ward gets too many or too few members due to people moving in and out, new homes being built, conversions to the faith, and so forth.  After careful consideration, the leaders in the area may decide to redraw the ward boundaries, along with the boundaries of neighboring wards in order to rebalance the wards in the area.  This happened in my area two weeks ago.

My huge ward was cut in half.  Due to changes in other wards, my Sunday meeting location was moved about 5 miles in the opposite direction from my old church building, and the meeting time was changed from 9 am to 1 pm.  Most of the people I knew well happened to be in my half of the ward, but some of my dear friends are now in another ward, which means I don't see them every week at church and at other activities.

In addition, the new meeting time doesn't mesh well with my work schedule, which includes Sunday afternoons.  Because of that I had to be released from my calling to work in the children's program, although I am able to attend sacrament meeting which is the main worship.  In addition, I still serve the girls by leading their activity day every two weeks.

The other good things about the new changes are that although the church building is a mile farther from my house, there are fewer traffic signals and it doesn't take any longer to get to the new meeting place than the old one.  In addition, the new chapel is really big and there is plenty of room for everyone.  Our old chapel was small and the congregation large, so sometimes there was a bit of jockeying for a seat!  Another change is that the percentage of families who live in single family homes has increased, which means a more stable ward family, although we still have some apartments which mostly bring new and interesting young couples, to our ward.

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