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Single Adults

Posted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 5:19 am
by angellemarie69
I recently attended the Nauvoo Single Adult conference and had an opportunity to talk with Elder Stacy of the Seventy. I explained that I had tried to see about a single adult (not YSA but an SA ) program in our ward and stake. He suggested I first approach my bishop and if that got no results to approach the stake, if that got no results go to my area president.
BISHOP: He suggested that I find them and just get together on our own. I do like the idea, it is really not helpful and I explained to my bishop that if one third of the church is single that would make us the biggest demographic over Relief Society, Elders quorum or even Primary and we don't ask them to "just get together" with no leadership or direction.

STAKE: I then proceeded to ask the member of the stake presidency that is supposedly over single adults, now on MULTIPLE occasions. He was not nearly as brash as my bishop, he is more passive and says that it is a nice idea but the church handbook states that a ward or stake "MAY" have a single adult program and not "SHALL" have a single adult program. I feel like the married members of the church (since this is our leadership is married members) want to be bothered with something like me..."SINGLE". I did not want to be single I want to be like them, eternally sealed to a companion, but I am not.

AREA PRESIDENT: I have no clue how to get a hold of them. Tips? Helps?

Re: Single Adults

Posted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 2:34 pm
by lajackson
I have a few suggestions based on my experience both as a leader and as a participant.

Our ward has 174 single adults of record. About 10 are active and about 7 attend stake single adult activities. We do not have any ward activities. We held family home evenings for a while and 4 or 5 attended. Your bishop is right to suggest that you find the other singles in your ward and get together with them. There is no need for a formal organization in the ward to do that. And most of them probably have callings that keep them plenty busy as it is.

Ask your bishop if he will have his clerk give you a list of single adults in your ward. He should at least do that for you.

It sounds as if your stake does not have a single adult program. Although it is not required, that is sad. Still, with nearly 900 single adults in our stake, we had eight at our last stake potluck dinner and fireside, where we also planned the single adult dinners, firesides, and activities for 2019. Over the years in our stake we have varied from monthly firesides to two a year, and anywhere from four to six activities, depending on what the single adults were willing to do.

Ask the counselor in your stake presidency if you may hold a potluck dinner and fireside. Have a good gospel discussion or speaker, and take some time to ask those who attend how willing they are to plan and participate in more single adult activities. Our stake has been willing to provide a main course and we bring sides. Some stakes do not do that.

What you do next depends a lot on where you live. If your stake is in the middle of nowhere, your options are limited. If there are a number of stakes in your area, ask around to see how active the single adults are in neighboring stakes. Most stakes invite any single adult from any stake to participate in their firesides and activities.

I do not know, of course, but you probably had to travel to the Nauvoo single adult conference. There are a number of major conferences such as that one throughout the year. There are also excellent SA conferences in almost every major metroplex each year. I live several hours from a metroplex where stakes take turns hosting and planning a regional SA conference each spring and fall, and 200-300 attend. The more than two dozen stakes also host a dance every month and another every other month. Several of the stakes with more active SA programs host monthly firesides. If I am willing to travel, there are always three or four potluck dinners and firesides every month, and at least one dance.

Almost everyone who attended the Nauvoo conference made a significant effort to be there. It will be that way with every single adult event you attend. On of the stakes in the metroplex I did not name has a reputation for having an excellent single adult program. Perhaps you will be the person who makes it so for your stake in a few years.

Re: Single Adults

Posted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:51 pm
by russellhltn
angellemarie69 wrote:if one third of the church is single that would make us the biggest demographic

Quite frequently, an inactive "single" is really an inactive married whose records have not been updated because of the difficulty in getting the information to update the membership records. I'd while it may appear that one third of the church are single members, I suspect the real number is not quite as large.

You may want to read over Handbook 2 some time. There's an interesting pattern. The youth have a number of adult members assigned to watch over them and plan activities. The YSA takes on a more active role in the activities, but still typically have at least an adviser couple at the ward level. By the time you get to the SA, there's nothing specified at the ward level and you only have maybe 3 people (a member of the stake presidency, a High Councilor and a member of the Stake Relief Society presidency) playing the role of advisers. It's a case of singles planning activities for singles.

I say this as someone who has spent too long in the singles program: the reality of the situation is that if the singles are not interested, the end results are going to be the same regardless of a SA committee. The singles have to step up and do their own activities. It doesn't require a calling to get the ball rolling. The key is to keep the first activities simple so they don't overwhelm the planners. Hopefully the momentum will build from there. lajackson has given some good suggestions for activities. In my stake, it's primarily a monthly "break the fast" potluck with a speaker, and an annual YSA/SA multi-stake activity.

Many years ago, I used to follow the California area single's activities. I was intrigued on how often the marriage announcements included a SA rep, and not infrequently to another SA rep. There seemed to be something magical about working together that created the relationship they were looking for.

As for the Area Rep, either a member of the ward bishopric or stake presidency can get that for you, but they might be reluctant. While normally writing to General Authorities is discouraged, since you did talk to Elder Stacy, you might write to him in care of the church's main address.

Good luck.

Re: Single Adults

Posted: Fri Oct 26, 2018 7:46 am
by lajackson
russellhltn wrote:As for the Area Rep, either a member of the ward bishopric or stake presidency can get that for you, but they might be reluctant.

Your area president is going to assign the area authority seventy to discuss the care of single adults in a coordinating council meeting. The area seventy and the stake presidents usually discuss single adults at that meeting already. After the meeting, the stake presidents are going to take care of the single adult programs in their stakes the way they feel inspired and according to the Handbook, which has some optional suggestions as far as single adults are concerned.

It is not an ideal situation, but it is what it is. I have found that most stakes do some things for single adults, but mostly the SA program in any particular stake is what the single adults make of it.

Re: Single Adults

Posted: Fri Oct 26, 2018 9:59 am
by russellhltn
OP didn't indicate what age bracket they're in. One the lower end you have over age YSA. But on the upper end, you have widows and widowers. They don't consider themselves single - they're just separaeted by mortality. They may be active in church, but have little interest in a "singles" program.

lajackson wrote:but mostly the SA program in any particular stake is what the single adults make of it.

A more consise way of explaining what I was trying to say.