Called to Serve | Overstuffed Overstuffed

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Called to Serve

When they split our ward a couple of weeks ago, they didn't just do a down the middle cut. They actually took another ward along with ours and created a third ward out of the two of them. It was kind of a strange thing to hear the Stake President say, "All those who will be members of the newly created ward, are now released from their current callings," and then ask for a vote of thanks. Bam! Mass release.

And then absolute craziness ensues for the poor new ward in which nobody had a calling save the Bishopric and the Ward Clerk. Joel's been gone a lot issuing callings and meeting with people to talk about callings and just assigning people to cover callings that have not yet been made. You never think about what happens when you have an entire ward to staff, do you? It's hard enough when people are just moving in and out all the time. I mean, even when you are in a stable ward where nobody moves, you still get plenty of ward business at the beginning of Sacrament meeting, do you not?

I was lucky enough to get one of the first callings. The notion scared me a bit at first, since Joel wouldn't give me a single clue what it could be, but thankfully, it was just Ward Music Chairperson. I am really excited because, although I started out my church service by having every music calling in the entire ward, I haven't actually had a music related calling in about five years. I will really miss the Young Women, with whom I've worked for the past couple years, but I'm sure I'll still see them often enough.

I'm very thankful that this is the way our church is set up. I think it gives us such wonderful opportunities for growth. It opens up the way for us to serve others, and that can only be a good thing. Sometimes we are put in a calling because of what we have to give and sometimes we are put in a calling because of what we have to gain. I've thought a lot about the various callings that I have held over the years, and I've learned so much from each of them.

I saw a meme the other day, and I thought I would answer the couple of questions about callings that are there, rather than do the entire thing. I suppose I could have more efficiently incorporated them into the prose of this post, but it's nearly midnight, and I am too tired to try.


1. What has been my favorite calling in the church?

It probably would have been easier to say what my least favorite calling was (activities committee), because it's tough to really pick a favorite. I loved it when I was the Primary music person because the kids made my week every Sunday and I had a lot of fun with them. I mentioned earlier how much I liked being in Young Women, but I do have to say it was a hard calling for me at first. I had a difficult time relating with them, but I overcame, and love them to death now. But, to be perfectly honest, my favorite calling was probably Relief Society President. That's what I was doing way back when I first started this blog, and I honestly can't think of a time in my life when I was happier, more productive, or more blessed.

2. What has been my hardest calling in the church?

All callings are hard in one way or another, I think. I can't think of a single one that I've held that I would call "easy." My recent stint as Young Women Secretary was hard because I'm not such an organized person. I need to have a secretary, not be one for someone else! But it definitely helped me grow in that capacity. Activities committee is hard because it is just soooooo much work to put on those awesome Christmas parties and other ward shindigs. And oh how the activities people are under appreciated! Primary is hard, because you're working with little kids who can often be less than focused. But, in the end, my favorite calling was also my hardest. It ain't easy being the RS President, and I'm sure many of you know that because you've been in those shoes before. I could tell stories that would make your hair curl, but I will refrain. It's time consuming, it's emotional, and you find yourself cleaning a lot of people's houses. But, like I said before, it's totally rewarding.

I believe all callings are that way, big or small. Sure, they're hard, but in the end, we get so much more than we give, that we learn to love the difficulties.

And for that, I am thankful.


  1. Congratulations on your new calling! The 3 months or so that I was the ward music chairman were delightful!

    Opposite of you though, I adored being ward activities chairman. It was certainly stressful, and sometimes I felt unappreciated, but I loved those times when I'd get the card in the mail or have the less active family show up and have a great time. It was the easiest way to do missionary work, for me anyway!

  2. Congratulations on your new calling I bet you are excited about a new kind of calling. I do have to agree about the RS president calling it is definitely the hardest, but very rewarding.

  3. It's always fun and scary to get a new calling. I really do love the way the church is set up. What an interesting thing to have a mass release!

  4. I'm glad there are people like you with the skill to do musical callings. That one would pretty much send me into a panic attack.

    We've got through similar splits where they have to restaff an entire ward. Wild experience, and not a fun one!

    I'm enjoying my calling right now--RS Education counselor. It's the easiest job of the presidency. :D

  5. I have to agree with you, hands down, about that darn activities committee calling. The seven months that Jon and I were co-chairs of the activities committee were the longest and most stressful of my life (maybe that's an exaggeration)- and I didn't even have to do a Christmas party.

    And you were an awesome RS president.

  6. Our ward was split in 1993 and it was weird too for awhile, I know what you mean. I saw the Priesthood in Action then and it was amazing !

    Favorite Calling: Stake Primary President

    Least Favorite Calling: Young Women's Secretary (my daughter was in Young Women at the time and didn't like me there)

  7. I could never imagine being the Relief Society President. I am not a natural leader. That would be one of the scariest callings for me. That, and gospel doctrine teacher. Now that I am putting these in print, do you think either one will happen???

    I'm glad you like your new calling!

  8. great post!

    "Sometimes we are put in a calling because of what we have to give and sometimes we are put in a calling because of what we have to gain."

    loved that line.

  9. Great post and CONGRATS on the new calling!!

  10. You're a better person than I am to be grateful for changes. When Heavenly Father handed out the stubbornness qualities, I got an overdose of it. I don't do ward splits well (which you are WELL aware of... lol). I often say how I need to move to a rural area in Vermont somewhere with sparse members and a huge branch so such growing pains and such don't happen very much, if at all! I think I'm also so cranky about it because I live in one of the craziest growing areas of the church in probably the frickin' globe, so it's been overkill. lol Of course my attitude also is contributed by what I feel is unnecessary growth and mass cookie cutter homes despite people's desire to keep open spaces. So I know my attitude is partly because of how much of a "Lorax" I am about the community and rural "feels" and proper zoning that isn't dictated by money-grubbing developers that don't give a damn about the community they're invading (coughwalmartcough). But I digress! lol Congrats on your new calling!

  11. I was the activities chairman (chairwoman?) in our ward for two years. It was definitely not the most fun I've ever had in a calling.

  12. The ward that I had been in all of my life was suddenly dissolved when I was 29 years old. It was quite traumatic. I enjoyed this post a lot!

  13. Our ward went through this a few years ago. For the first couple of weeks we just all helped where we could and kind of gravitated towards our previous callings. Thanks for posting this. I really needed it!

  14. Congrats!

    Our ward has an extremely high inactivity rate, and one of the complexes in our ward was put in the other ward, and we were made into a branch. In the middle of the Salt Lake Valley. It's been crazy.

  15. Congrats! Everything happens for a reason.

  16. So, does this mean you lead the music in sacrament meeting?

  17. I love being the Chorister in Primary. It's so fun, though we do have a huge primary, so you've got to really mix it up to keep the kids attention!

  18. When you are talented in the music department....You can't escape for long!

  19. i just re-read your post about serving others in the ward. I remember those events...
    anyhow, i think it's the million dollar question how to help people and still know that they are helping themselves.

  20. That would be bizarre to have to organize a new ward like that all at once.

    I'm in primary, have always been in primary and I'm ready for a CHANGE.

  21. Look at you with your thankful blogs, I was gonna post one about vomit, but I thought better of ir.
    Perhaps you should write one about that.
    I am currently sitting here seeing if my toast will stay down or make me sick, and if it doesn't I guess I'm going to work.

  22. That just happened in my stake. 2 wards divided into 3 one brand new ward. It was funny to have everyone stand and sustain only their ward leaders. I also am the ward music chairman in my ward. I could actually copy your blog and put it in mine, we have all that in common.
    Except for the meme. Ive never been in primary. I was in the RS presidency but not pres thank goodness.