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Sitting with family after sacrament

Posted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 7:33 am
by SmithGW
In answer to vaugdavi's question
I have been sitting on the clerks stand for the entire meeting since I was called. My father who has been a ward clerk told me that he returns to sit with his family after the sacrament is passed and he has taken the count of members attending sacrament meeting. He said this was in a directive from the church he thought. Does anyone else do this? I would rather do this as I have six boys and my wife could use the help.
The practice of sitting up on the stand comes from the old directive of taking minutes in sacrament meeting. These minutes were at one time sent to the Church History Department. This practive was discontinued at least two decades ago, but old buildings remain that still have a place for the ward clerk to sit and take his notes. Those built since do not have this place because it is no longer needed. Now, having said this, I would imagine it is up to the bishop if he wants the clerk to take minutes for local use. Perhaps you could ask him why you are sitting up there since it is no longer required to take minutes.

Minute taking...

Posted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 11:00 am
by cdawardclerk-p40
smithgw wrote:In answer to vaugdavi's question
The practice of sitting up on the stand comes from the old directive of taking minutes in sacrament meeting. These minutes were at one time sent to the Church History Department. This practice was discontinued at least two decades ago, but old buildings remain that still have a place for the ward clerk to sit and take his notes. Those built since do not have this place because it is no longer needed. Now, having said this, I would imagine it is up to the bishop if he wants the clerk to take minutes for local use. Perhaps you could ask him why you are sitting up there since it is no longer required to take minutes.

I am a new ward clerk...about 5 months of service. Our Bishop does not require that I sit at the clerks desk (we have an old configuration that has a built in clerks desk). I still takes minutes including names of those that give testimonies. I am not sure what use this information has as I just file it away. I don't know of any reporting requirements for these weekly Sacrament meeting minutes. From your reply it appears that I should be asking the Bishop whether or not these minutes are needed. Is this correct?

Posted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 11:10 am
by aebrown
cdawardclerk wrote:I am a new ward clerk...about 5 months of service. Our Bishop does not require that I sit at the clerks desk (we have an old configuration that has a built in clerks desk). I still takes minutes including names of those that give testimonies. I am not sure what use this information has as I just file it away. I don't know of any reporting requirements for these weekly Sacrament meeting minutes. From your reply it appears that I should be asking the Bishop whether or not these minutes are needed. Is this correct?
It's a good idea to periodically reconsider all reports, minutes, etc. that are generated at any level to see if they are truly well-used and serving a useful purpose. It's easy to continue doing things because "we've always done it that way," but that's not a good reason.

For example, what purpose is served by recording names of those who bear testimonies? If no one ever refers to that list, I would think the practice should be discontinued. Only minutes that lead to follow-up of some sort make sense to even write down, let alone archive somewhere.

We've seen several examples at the Church level where former practices have been simplified or eliminated. It appears that the Church regularly reviews its practices and makes adjustments, and I would think that wards and stakes would be wise to do the same.

Posted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 1:57 pm
by MorettiDP
I agree with you, Alan_Brown. I always recorded some information as a clerk for our ward. Some information go to trash after three, five or ten years... We need a way to know what is important for record, the time for recording and a way to record (in units, in Church Archives, etc.)...

Posted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:44 pm
by lajackson
cdawardclerk wrote:I should be asking the Bishop whether or not these minutes are needed. Is this correct?

It is a good suggestion. The bishop will be the one who will decide if and how the minutes are used.

Some bishoprics like to keep track of who spoke and prayed so that the same members are not called upon every time. Some bishoprics just want to know how many folks attended sacrament meeting. Each bishop is different.

Stake presidents are the same way. Some want the information in the quarterly report and do not need anything further. Others request detailed reports that give the bishop an opportunity to have an extra assistant ward clerk or two called. Each stake president is different.

I do a number of data queries each month for folks at work. Today, the new year having arrived and along with the results of the queries, I sent out a little note asking each recipient if they still needed the report. Quite a few "requirements" went away. [grin]

Posted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 7:35 am
by greggo
lajackson points out some good suggestions on why a bishop may wish to have the names of those who bore their testimonies. I have another to offer.

Some time ago, when I was the ward clerk, I always struggled with what to include in the ward's historical record (we didn't have a ward historian). One thing that I did was request those who bore their testimonies (usually by email) to summarize their testimories for the historical record. These made a good addtion.

Posted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 5:07 pm
by geek
I don't think our meetinghouses are even built with a clerk area anymore. And you can't see the entire congregation from any single point on the stand.

Posted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 11:42 am
by davesudweeks
When first called as ward clerk a number of years ago, all clerks in the Stake sat on the stand during Sacrament Meeting. About 3 years ago, after Ward Conference, our Stake President instructed us to discontinue the practice.

My membership clerk keeps notes of Sacrament meeting and files them in a binder. Monthly, I do a custom query in MLS to generate one spreadsheet of adults and another of youth (12-18) and list the last date they spoke from our minutes (I edit the exported data in Open Office). The Bishopric use those lists to make sure they are considering all members for speaking assignments (our youth can't figure out how the Bishopric knows whether or not they have talked recently :)).

When the Minutes binder gets full, we shred some of the oldest ones but that goes back a couple of years so the recent information is available for the annual Ward History. We do occasionally refer back several months so having this information has been helpful.

Posted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 8:23 am
by kisaac
boomerbubba wrote:In none of the wards I have belonged to the past dozen years has the clerk sat on the stand at all. I notice that the clerk does sit there in my father's ward, but I don't recall whether it is for the whole meeting. I have just assumed it was all a matter of local custom.
I don't ever sit on the stand as ward clerk...It's no longer our custom. I'm not even sure you can say its right our wrong, only that it is "local custom" as boomerbubba said, to do it or not.

Posted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 11:44 am
by jwtaber
At a stake conference in 2006, our visiting General Authority said that ward clerks should sit on the stand at sacrament meeting, and stake clerks at stake conference. That is what we have more or less done since (even in chapels that don't have a clerk's desk) but I'd still feel more comfortable seeing something in writing.