How have you adapted to not having an activities committee?

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TinMan
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Postby TinMan » Thu Aug 25, 2011 6:19 am

aebrown wrote:I don't know that it was supposed to lessen the burden on the bishop, but in our ward it hasn't increased it, either. The auxiliary leaders are planning the activities as assigned. It has helped that most of our activities are regular annual events, and were at least on the calendar before the change in policy.


On November 20, you said this:
It is quite clear in the handbook. "[The bishop] may also assign responsibility for an activity to other individuals or to a committee, working under the direction of the ward council." It's under the direction of the ward council. If the ward council functions properly, it will certainly lighten the load on the bishop.
Have you changed your mind or am I misunderstanding?

TinMan
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Postby TinMan » Thu Aug 25, 2011 6:40 am

jdlessley wrote:Management of the budget was the issue expressed by TinMan rather than were the funds come from or are allocated against.

Exactly jdlessley. Thank you.

It continues to be a struggle for me. Let me illustrate with an example of this week's email activities among the ward council.
We have 3 activities planned for the rest of the year. 1. A Halloween party the Elders are in charge of. 2. An adult dinner on 11-11-11 the RS is in charge of honoring veterans. and 3. the Ward Christmas party the HP are in charge of.

The RS started it, of course. I got an email on Monday wanting to know what the budget was for the activity. (Who else are they going to ask?) I emailed the bishopric and one of my councilors working with the clerk found out that there was $1300.00 left in the activities budget. The Summer party went a little over budget so there is less to work with than we planned. So, we divided it up: $400 for the elders, $400 for the RS and $500 for the Christmas party and sent out emails telling the groups their budget. The HP came back and said that would be okay for a breakfast party, but didn't think they could do a whole ward dinner party for that. (More about that in a moment.) Would I like to have a smaller Halloween party and take some money from the Elders and have a Christmas dinner, or stick with a breakfast? The RS came back and said that they were planning on about $700 and could they use $300 of their left over budget towards their veteren's dinner. (The Elders haven't even thought about what they are doing. It is clear in October, you know.)

So we had a ward council email discussion: Breakfast, or Dinner for Christmas with a smaller Halloween party? (Should I as the bishop just have decided? I didn't think so, I thought the WC should have input. Per the mock meeting idea.) 10 emails later: A breakfast was decided.

And so it goes. All are things that last year we would have had a 10 minute discussion in Ward Council, told the Activities chairman what we wanted and she would have made it work. She would have juggled the budget, planned the three activities and all I would have to do is show up the day of the activity.

As to the costs: The handbook says we are to be having activities that have "little or no cost." We have yet to figure out how to do that when a dinner is involved. Usually the ward supplies the meat or main dish and the other items are assigned out. Meat or main dish for 250 people is not cheap. Is the idea that we assign out all the food? That would put an unequal burden on some people. "You bring a salad, and you bring a dozen frozen chicken-cor-don-blu's." Or is it the idea that we stop having activites with dinners? Our WC didn't like that idea as food is always a big draw.

As I said. We are still struggling with it. But we are learning: The YM/YW should not be assigned the summer activity when they have all the camps/youth confreneces and so on already in the summer. The RS can have a "social committee" that is in effect a mini standing RS activities committee. Elders are still elders and will plan the Halloween activity the night before.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:16 am

TinMan wrote:
aebrown wrote:I don't know that it was supposed to lessen the burden on the bishop, but in our ward it hasn't increased it, either. The auxiliary leaders are planning the activities as assigned. It has helped that most of our activities are regular annual events, and were at least on the calendar before the change in policy.


On November 20, you said this:
It is quite clear in the handbook. "[The bishop] may also assign responsibility for an activity to other individuals or to a committee, working under the direction of the ward council." It's under the direction of the ward council. If the ward council functions properly, it will certainly lighten the load on the bishop.
Have you changed your mind or am I misunderstanding?


Wow, I'm honored that someone would research my words so thoroughly.

The second quote was from November 20, when we had no real experience with the new system. I was probably too optimistic in my claim that it would lighten the load on the bishop. That claim, by the way, was clearly only an expression of my opinion at the time and was not intended to be anything I had heard from any official source.

The first quote is fairly recent, and still reflects my current thinking, which is now based on actual experience. Working without an activities committee has been adjustment, but our ward (and most of the wards in our stake) seem to have adapted well to the new system and the time bishops spend on activities is still approximately the same as before.

Under either system there are some bishops who take a very active role in activities, and others who set some high-level direction and delegate the bulk of the work. In my experience, there is nothing about either the old system or the new system that demanded more work on the bishop's part -- the greatest factor is how the bishop delegates and how those in charge of the activities take on the responsibility.
Questions that can benefit the larger community should be asked in a public forum, not a private message.

TinMan
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Location: Bountiful, UT, USA

Postby TinMan » Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:23 am

It isn't that hard for me because I don't participate in all that many theads. I mostly read and learn. I remember that thread because it didn't go particularily well for me...

My point is this: ANY time I spend on activities outside of Ward Council is MORE time than I spent before because before I spent ZERO time outside of Ward Council.

And under the new program, I get all sorts of questions outside Ward Council. I am glad that in your stake you have found a way to eliminate this. We aren't there. Yet.


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