First of all I LOVE both of your blogs!! Thank you so much for all the time and effort that goes in to them! I do a blog just for our Ward, it is NOTHING like yours so I can only imagine the time you put into them, WOW! Anyway, I am the RS Meeting Coordinator and we are looking for an enrichment night idea that focuses on visiting teaching and ways to get our sisters excited about doing it! I wanted to do something was fun with games and activities or something. I have looked on Sugar Doodle, Homemakers Cottage, the Green Jell-O blog and a few others and can't really find anything that is for enrichment night that centers around VT.... Have you come across any ideas? I am open to ANY suggestions!! Thanks! Randi Platt
I thought that since Randi needed some ideas, I thought I may as well answer her email on this blog, so that others of you might get a new and fresh idea to use as well. Here are my thoughts.
I have lots of Visiting Teaching related ideas on this very blog. If you will scroll down and look on the right column, you will see some links under the title " Visiting Teaching skits, Talks, Ideas. Etc." But since I have not focused for a while on this part of the blog with fresh ideas... then maybe I will share an idea that came into my mind when I reread the talk that was given in General Conference by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf titled "You are My hands". This talk can be found directly by going to this link http://www.lds.org/conference/talk/display/0,5232,23-1-1207-23,00.html Reading in the talk President Uchtdorf says that he often pictures Christ with his hands outstretched... reaching out to comfort, heal, bless and love." (Paraphrasing his quote).... "That was what He (Christ) did during His mortal life, and that is also what He would be doing today if he lived among us, and we should be doing the very same thing.
This is exactly what Visiting Teachers should be doing. They should:
- Reach out to bless the lives of our Sisters.
- As sisters we do not have the Priesthood power to Heal the sick, but we can Reach out to help heal in their times of need, sickness, trials and challengs they face in life. Our friendship and caring can bless their lives.
- Reach out in love to our sisters.
My favorite quote in President Uchtdorfs talk is "As we emulate His perfect example, our hands can become His hands; our eyes, His eyes; our heart, his heart." This is the message and focus for the Relief Society meeting. I might also mention that there was another wonderful talk entitled "Helping Hands, Saving Hands," by Elder Koichi Aoyagi Of the Seventy. The second to last paragraph quotes President Monson and it says:
"My brothers and sisters, we are surrounded by those in need of our attention, our encouragement, our support, our comfort, our kindness—be they family members, friends, acquaintances, or strangers. We are the Lord’s hands here upon the earth, with the mandate to serve and to lift His children. He is dependent upon each of us.”
Song: My Sisters Hands by Sally De Ford
The sheet music to this song can be found at the Sally DeFord site at: http://www.defordmusic.com/mysistershands.htm
My sister's hands are fair and white; my sister's hands are dark
My sister's hands are touched with age, or by the years unmarked
And often when I pray for strength to live as He commands
The Father sends me sustenance in my sister's hands
My sister's hands are lined and worn with burdens of their own
And yet I know that should I mourn, I need not weep alone
For often as I seek His grace to lighten life's demands
The Father sends me solace borne in my sister's hands
My sister's hands: compassion's tools that teach my own their art
Witnesses of charity within the human heart
Bearers of the Savior's love and mercy unto man
I have felt the Master's touch in my sister's hands
This meeting can be divided up into 3 specific mini classes or workshops and the topics also come out of President Uchtdorhs talk and they are as follows:
- Our Hands Can Embrace - This could be an activity of some sort that would give a hands on project or expereince. This could be a mini lesson on how to reach out to their sisters, learn how to approach the inactive or nonmember, and develop friendship. This could include a gettting to know you game, so that the sisters actually get to know all of the sisters, instead of those that they feel most comfortable with or their same aged peers.
- Our Hands Can Comfort - Learning what we can do to give comfort and assistance to those around us. This could be a project that requires sewing or knitting or a particular skill that is needed to create Leprosy bandages, or crochet beanie caps or booties for new borns, or maybe tie some quilts to donate to a charity of your choice. Another idea would be to teach glass etching on Casserole dishes, so that the sisters will have their dish ready to go and be able to get it back when they take a meal to someone. Another fun idea to go along with this might be a cooking demo on making casseroles or homemade rolls or sweet rolls.
- Our Hands Can Serve - This part could be participating in some kind of service activitiy. Ideas could be a humanitarian aid service project, preparing food for the needy and distributing it to them such as making meat pies for a Homeless or Charitable organization, etc. Go to http://alpinestake.blogspot.com/ which is the Alpine, Utah Stake blog, and they have photos of their Stake meeting, where one of the activities was of Making Meat pies for a specific charity. It shows the tables all set up and even the sisters making the pies. Just a side note, I am pictured there too, as I participated in that event, so you can see the "Creative" booth that I did.
Dessert could be Iced Sugar cookies cut out with a Hand shaped cookie cutter like the one pictured, with a small sugar cookie heart on the top of the hand and serve with milk or a scoop of icecream. When I made these, I glazed the hand shaped cookie with a white glaze, then glazed the heart with a pink glaze. They are easier to ice and get looking good with glazing instead of frosting.
Take this idea and develop it anyway that you would like that would best fit the needs of the Sisters in your Relief Society. If you have any other great ideas to add, please email me and I will include them as well.
Tonight, I designed the above pictured bookmark and could not settle on just one design, so I ended up using 5 different ones with the same quote. I liked all of them and I hope that you will too. Print them out on Cardstock, and I always laminate them as it makes them really look professional and keeps them in better shape longer. To get a large size and printable size copy of the book mark, I have it posted on the Visiting Teaching Surprise Blog page, which I have under the main header on this blog, or the direct link to this book mark is http://visitingteachingsurprise.blogspot.com/2010/05/your-hands-are-his-hands.html
I would love to give credit to those who designed the papers and elements that I downloaded 2 years ago, but I can't figure out who the desingers were. Anyway, here is a general thanks so much to those designers who used their time and talents for the enjoyment and benefit and service of others through sharing their digital scrapbook freebies.
Enjoy! Katie G.