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

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Ideas for Adult Converts

I'm always on the lookout for new ideas for gifts, books, programs, clipart etc. for our converts. When I was at Deseret Book recently, I noticed a large amount of items for child baptisms, but not a lot specifically for adult baptisms. If you go to deseretbook.com and type 'baptism' in the search box, you'll see all sorts of scrapbooking supplies, picture books, embroidered towels, etc, but almost everything is specifically for children.

We have a lot of child-of-record baptisms in the church, but we're also a missionary church, so its kind of surprising to me that there isn't more available for adult convert baptisms. I'm sure its a supply and demand issue - people are just more likely to buy a gift for a child or grandchild being baptized and we may not put as much thought into preparing things (like programs) for convert baptisms. But that doesn't mean that there aren't things available that we can purchase or make that are adult specific, we just have to look a little harder or be a little more creative.

Here are some things that I've come up with that are appropriate for adult convert baptisms:

Programs: In the past we used just a plain paper program with a scripture printed on the front. I wanted to make the program a little more special, so we recently started ordering pre-printed programs from Deseret Book - they are @ $8.00 for 100 programs. I usually print about 20-25 for most of our baptisms, so one package lasts for 4 or 5 baptisms. They have several styles that feature pictures of Christ's baptism that are appropriate for adults. Here is the one we usually use - I like this one because it has the scripture I like to use to the front (if you click on the photo you will be taken to Deseret Book's page for ordering information)...

(For more info about printing programs, see post re: baptism program templates under 'baptism services' topic at right).

Clip-art: I mainly use clipart images on the handouts that I leave with newly baptized members after they've had a new-member lesson. For example, for one of the new-member lessons that talks about covenants, I like to include images of baptism and the sacrament. Most of the baptism clipart I've found is of baptisms for 8 year olds from 'the Friend' magazine. Here are two images of adult (or teen) baptisms that I found on sugardoodle.net :

Gifts: Any type of gift is totally optional, but I feel that any type of gift, no matter how humble, gives the convert a personal memento of the occasion and conveys the message that we care for them.

We normally give each convert a framed photo (of the convert(s) dressed in white, standing with the missionaries in the lobby before their baptism). I write a personal 'congratulations' message on the back of the frame, which includes the baptism date. For the past few baptisms I've been buying wooden frames similar to these (they come in several colors) that cost around $5.00. I find that frames like these work well with almost any decor style, but any type of frame will do.


Some other gift ideas that I've seen:

Baptism bracelet (for ladies). This is actually a child's bracelet, but can be purchased in different lengths at whiteelegance.com (click on the photo to link to their site). Or you could make something similar yourself if you're crafty.
Soap Craft - I've seen these with different words on them, but I think it would be great to have a baptism/repentance theme quote, words, or scripture as a long-lasting reminder of their baptism day. Sugardoodle.net has a great tutorial (here) for making soap bottles like these for less than $2.00 each, and you can put any words or image on them that you like...maybe something like, "Be Clean"?:


Temple Lines website sells patterns of various temples for making handkerchiefs or other crafts (click on photo)
And there are many websites with temple-related crafts that can be given as gifts to adult converts, such as these temple photo block kits from poppyseedprojects.com. I think temple-themed gifts are especially appropriate for adult converts, since they will immediately begin preparing to attend the temple when they are baptism.

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