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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Baptism Service Refreshments

The Relief Society Presidency in our Ward does an excellent job of coordinating refreshments for convert baptisms - and they've had a LOT of refreshments to coordinate over the past few months, so they're really appreciated.

I think its great that the Presidency takes care of that aspect of the baptism service because that means right there we've got at least one (usually 2 or 3) representative of the R.S. Presidency there to show their support. Plus, if they have called 3 or 4 sisters from the Ward to contribute cookies, those sisters are likely to stay for the baptism as well. We've had some concerns about low baptism attendance in the past, but no more! We were packed full at our last few services and that is a great thing.

Besides, just about everybody likes treats, so having refreshments afterward makes a great opportunity for Ward members to visit with the new member (and any relatives or friends that they have invited).

I usually try to contribute something for the refreshment table also, though I'm not much of a baker....This weekend we had 5 convert baptisms at one baptism service, so in honor of the very special occaision I put in an extra effort and made temple-themed cupcake brownies (white-chocolate candy shaped like the Portland temple on a brownie in a white cupcake liner). I was a little worried that people might think it was tacky or inappropriate to put a temple on a brownie, but I got the idea from my friend Sue (who used these same kinds of candy molds to make treats for her 8 year old son's baptism) and I thought it was really cute, so I went ahead and did it. I figured it might also be a conversation starter if a visitor was curious about what the building was, too.

I guess they must have gone over well, because by the time my husband got over to the refreshment table to try one, they were already gone!

(Just FYI in case you're looking for a temple candy mold - I had difficulty finding them- I bought my temple candy molds from this website (click on the underlined words to go to the site). I'm not affiliated with that company or anything, its just the site I used for my personal purchase. Each mold makes 12 candies. I bought 2 molds so I could make 24 at once, but you could always just reuse one mold as many times as you want).


  1. The Relief Society should not be in charge of refreshments for baptisms. That is not their purpose or function.

  2. Yes, I agree that providing refreshments is not the purpose or function of the Relief Society. However, our Ward Relief Society has volunteered taken on this task as part of their contribution to the ward mission effort. And it was their idea. They also do other things, such as attend the baptisms & encourage members to attend as well, and offer a Presidency welcome to new sisters at the baptism. These arrangements might be handled differently in different wards.

    I believe that arranging the refreshments for an activity or meeting, while it is not the specific function of any calling that I know of, is still the option of any organization or auxilliary if that is their desire and it is approved by the Bishop.

    Perhaps in the past the Relief Society has been seen by some as simply an organization that provides the cookies and punch. Of course this is an incorrect assumption and not what the Relief Society is about.

    To make an analogy, when I served a full-time mission, there was a general idea among some church members that sister-missionaries were very good for singing songs, making social visits, and baking cupcakes. And I did have some sister-missionary companions who held that view. As a young woman who was very determined to do as much serious proselyting as any Elder would, I found this concept offensive. I was so determined not to be seen in that light that I flat out refused to bake cupcakes my entire mission. Is baking cupcakes evil or wrong? Not at all. Might there have been a circumstance or two when baking cupcakes might have been appropriate during my mission? Maybe. But I was trying so hard to go the other way that I wouldn't have seen it.

    Saying that the Relief Society should not be allowed to provide refreshments for a baptism, if they wish to, is not correct in my opinion.