When severe winter storms hit the East Coast, it’s not uncommon for wards in the Boston North Stake to be forced to cancel Sunday Meetings. Members usually end up missing Church once or twice each year due to weather, but this winter wards have needed to cancel Church a record 5 times. Stake leaders have decided to hold ‘snow make-up days’ similar to area schools.
“We’re all very concerned about missing so much Church. Members spend hours preparing talks and Sunday School lessons,” says Stake President Ronald M. Hingham, “and then a big snowstorm hits and we have to cancel Church. All of those thoughtfully prepared talks and lessons just go to waste. Members try not to murmur, but it gets discouraging.”
The first make-up meeting blocks will be held Saturday, March 31st in conjunction with general conference. Wards have carefully scheduled their meetings not to overlap with conference sessions. Some wards are holding their make-up meetings from 6:30 am to 9:30 am, leaving plenty of time to get home and change into comfy clothes in time for conference. The Beacon Hill Ward is planning on meeting from 2:30 to 5:30 pm, with the men invited to stay after for a bread and jam social and the Priesthood Session of conference.
Stake member Jill Allredsen expressed her excitement for the make-up meetings. “I was planning on teaching our Relief Society class a few months ago. As I watched the snow piling up late Saturday afternoon, my spirits sank. When I couldn’t find my car Sunday morning, I didn’t even have to check my email to know that Church would be cancelled. We tried to hold class with a group Skype, but many sisters didn’t have electricity, and couldn’t join in.”
Sister Allredsen says she’s very pleased to be teaching that same lesson on March 31st, saying, “I had to review a little, but it was basically all planned out. I’m really pleased with this new system. I hope we do this every year!”
Even the young adults are catching the spirit. Sister Allredsen’s son, Jake, had recently returned from a mission when Church was cancelled because of snow. He had been planning on asking out a young lady who was home for Christmas during a break from her studies at BYU-Idaho. Jake felt really good about asking her out, but when Church got cancelled, they ended up texting all day instead. “While we were texting, I was working up the nerve to ask her out,” says Jake, “but I missed the window. We ended up texting about her dating troubles in Idaho, and somehow I ended up in the friend zone. I’ve been kicking myself ever since, but the snow make-up meetings have given me new hope. She’s coming home for Easter, and I am so going to ask her out. I borrowed a snowmobile from our Elder’s Quorum President, so even if there’s a freak late-March blizzard, I’m prepared.”
Four additional make-up sessions are planned throughout the spring and summer. If all goes well, other Stakes throughout the Church may adopt the pilot program next year.
When asked whether the Boston North Stake was planning any other big changes this spring, President Hingham shared— “Our stake has some concerns about April Fools’ Day falling on the same day as both Easter and General Conference. Last year, the young men and young women in the Boston Waterfront Ward started a rumor on social media that Michael Ballam was teaming up with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Tabernacle Choir to produce a musical about the Utah Jazz, with David Archuleta starring as John Stockton. It was an awesome April Fools’ joke, and it really caught on, but unfortunately everyone was sharing that all weekend instead of #ldsconf quotes and memes.”
President Hingham paused for a moment and smiled, then continued, “anyway, we feel like the pranks and hoaxes common on April 1st could interfere with the spirit of this special weekend, so we are asking our members this year to pull their April Fools’ jokes during the last week of March or on April 2nd. This way we can all enjoy Easter and General Conference without distractions.”
Happy Early April Fools’ from Mormon World Blog 😉
Disclaimer: This is humorous piece based on completely fictional characters and events. Except for the throwing shade on East Coast winters. That part was real 🙂