Almost a month ago I was released from my calling as Primary Chorister (more on that next week) and was called to be the Relief Society Compassionate Services Coordinator. It has required quite the shift in focus on my part. But that's really not what this post is about.
See in my ward we have a lot (a lot, A LOT) of pregnant woman because we have a lot of young families that move into our ward. That being the case, there is a great need for service. We also had a bishopric change in the last year and with all these changes, evaluations are made and questions are asked on how we can best serve each other verses being more self reliant. But that's really not what this post is about either.
I've had a meeting with our Relief Society President where we discussed how we go about serving a sister in the ward once she's had a baby. In the church we are really good at bringing meals. Often meals are a wonderful service. I've been the beneficiary of some incredibly tasty meals. I'm not knocking meals. But meals aren't what this post is about.
What this post IS about is how do we go beyond or how do we customize our service for those we are serving? Here's some more questions to ponder:
Is service more than a meal?
Is our service (as a ward) "rote"? (Think Matt 6:7-8 where the Lord talks about repetitious prayer and sub service for prayer)
Poof! What do you need? (Think the Genie in Aladdin)
Everyone could use a friend?
Who isn't lonely?
Customize your service?
What kind of service are we giving?
Are we giving the correct service?
Where should service start from? (from the Visiting Teachers/RS/friends?)
The purpose of this is not to give anyone a guilt trip or to get down on ourselves. Rather I'm looking for your opinions on how to best help others to serve others.
Esp. when it comes to having new babies, every experience is different and I don't want to try and squish round pegs into square holes. For example: I know Sisters that when they are expecting a baby they have a freezer full of food prepared and family coming for 3 weeks to help. Those sisters probably won't benefit from a meal right away, or maybe ever? What do those sisters need? Maybe some sort of contact to let them know they are thought of? Maybe two or three months later they might just need someone adult to talk to, or hold the baby so they can shower, or do their dishes. Maybe sometimes we're that person and we are just to embarrassed or scared of rejection to admit that we need help.
Here are two scriptures that I think really pertain to this topic:
Mosiah 8:18 Thus God has provided a means that man, through faith, might work mighty miracles; therefore he becometh a great benefit to his fellow beings. (I like this one so much, it might be my motto while I have this calling.)
Doctrine & Covenants 81:5 Wherefore, be faithful; stand in the office which I have appointed unto you; succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strenghten the feeble knees.
Okay, now you (and maybe myself) are asking at this point, what is her point? What is she trying to do? What does she want from me?
So these are the short term goals: Write a 200 word "article" to go into the RS newsletter about service. Create some sort of "assessment worksheets" that visiting teachers can use when someone they visit is expecting a baby (or in several cases in our ward, babies.)
Will you share with me your thoughts to any or all of the questions I've raised, and/or share experiences of service that was rendered unto you when you were having a baby (or any other time that could be relevant.) If you are uncomfortable sharing on the blog, you can email me (sisterrigby (at) yahoo (dot) com) or message me on facebook.
I appreciate any help. Its a strange, new, scary calling, but I want to make the best out of it.