HOW TO USE THIS BLOG: Since this blog covers various Ward Mission subjects, I've made it easier to find exactly what you're looking for by grouping posts together by topic. On the right side of this page (above the photo of the shaking hands), you'll find the list of topics you can click on to find the information you're looking for

Friday, August 28, 2009

New member packet: Tips for feeling at home in any ward

The following is the text from a page titled "Tips for feeling at home in any Ward", included in our "Welcome to the Ward" packet for new converts. Feel free to use the text in your own "Welcome Packet":

"Most people don't particularly like being the "new kid" at school, work, or Church... it often takes time to start to really feel comfortable in a new situation. Whether you are a brand new member of the Church, or just new to your Ward, it can take a while to get to know people and feel like you "fit in." When you start getting to know people and become more comfortable, your Ward will really feel like a "Ward family." There are some things you can do to help make the transition quicker & easier! Here are 8 ideas to help you feel at home in no time!

#1- Introduce yourself: any people will notice a new face right away, but some may not. Other members may also be new, may have been out of town, etc, and simply may not realize that you are new. Introduce yourself! A simple, "I don't think we've met, my name is _____, I was baptized last week" is very easy!

#2- Volunteer: There is never a shortage of sign-ups, asking for volunteers to help clean up after an activity, bring a salad to a dinner, help someone move, substitute teach a children's class, etc. The more you participate, the more you'll start to feel a part of the Ward. You don't need to wait for an official invitation, either! Look around for opportunities to help someone out (open a door, pick up a baby's dropped toy, etc)

#3- Go to Activities: Church activities are a fun way to get to know people in a casual environment!

#4- Callings: Generally, every member receives a calling (service assignment). If you don't have one yet, you might consider mentioning to the Bishop that you're anxious to serve!

#5- Encouraging Visiting Teaching/Home Teaching: If you haven't received a home teaching visit or a visiting teaching visit in your home, consider asking the Elders Quorum Presidency if you have Home Teachers assigned to you yet (or the Relief Society President re: Visiting Teachers). Everyone gets busy from time to time, and some people are just shy, but you may be able to provide encouragement to your Home Teachers/Visiting Teachers if you would like them to visit. Introduce yourself to your Home Teacher(s)/Visiting Teacher(s) and say something like, "Hi, I just found out you're our new Home Teacher(s) and we're excited to have you visit us!"

#6- Serving as a Visiting Teacher/Home Teacher: Let the Relief Society President know that you're willing to serve as a Visiting Teacher (women) or the Elders Quorum President that you're willing to serve as a Home Teacher (men). Visiting Teaching and Home Teaching are programs that are meant to help us serve each other and develop friendships. Don't miss out on this opportunity to get to know some other families in the Ward!

#7- Watch for new(er) members: Its not unusual to have new people at Church (new move-ins, investigators, etc) every week. Find someone who is even newer than you and try to make them feel welcome by introducing yourself! You'll be helping someone else feel more comfortable and meeting someone new in the process!

#8- Moving?: If you know you're going to be moving into a new Ward, you can look up which Ward you'll be in by entering the street address onto the meetinghouse locator at Meeting times and church locations/directions, and phone numbers are usually provided. You can also check with your Ward Clerk (usually in the office next to the Bishop's office after church), who can give you the same information. If possible, contact the Bishop or Relief Society President ahead of time, to let them know you're coming. If you know your new address, have the Ward Clerk begin the process of transferring your membership records to your new Ward ASAP (since the process can take several weeks)"

For more information on our "Welcome to the Ward" packet and what is included, look for the "Welcome Packet" topic at the right side of the page (listed under the picture of the shaking hands)

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