a little east of reality

Friday, March 17, 2006

relief society birthday party

Okay so Sky and I were dragging our feet, reluctantly heading off for the annual Relief Society birthday party at our local chapel. (RS is basically made up of all adult women in my church, for those who don't know what I'm talking about.) We have an awesome trio of women running the Relief Society for our ward and they were the reason we were going at all (to support the night). Because in spite of their (this trio's) general excellent-ness, RS birthday celebrations in general can be reeeeeeeeally boring. Why? Because anything founded in 1842 is going to have some long, tedious historical tale attached to it, and there's always some dear sweet lady who feels compelled to retell the whole tale, every single year. /yawn/

Well we were wrong! One of the most important founding objectives of RS is to serve - to give aid where it's needed, to comfort, to literally give relief from life's hardships. They decided to take us right back to basics and make this the theme of the night. They did this in three seperately decorated rooms.

Room 1: International Level
This room's walls were covered in colourful items from all over the world, as well as posters full of information about people doing great things overseas and how we could contribute to their efforts. Here's one example: Dr Catherine Hamlin, who has spent nearly 50 years of her career providing free reconstructive surgery to thousands of young African girls and women suffering from fistulas suffered during difficult childbirths.

Room 2: Community Level
This room had another huge display of wonderful programs being run right now in our local community and, again, gave information on how we could become involved. These included literacy programs, blood donation, Meals on Wheels, and many more. While we were there she provided pen and paper for us to write to anyone we wanted to that we knew was going through a hard time and could use some encouragement. I liked it as an activity for a night like that, because it was so simple and direct.

Room 3: Family level
This room was decorated with family photographs of the women in our ward (which they'd requested several weeks before) displayed in frames. At the long table set up in the middle we learned how to make a simple tag album, something easy that can be used to display family photos. This part didn't focus so much on service, which I thought was a shame, because often we look outside the home when we want to do good and forget about doing good to the people who live inside the walls with us. But it was a nice wind down and chance to chat with everyone else while we made our tag albums.

Then we headed back to the main room for a large screen powerpoint presentation of women in our RS and their families (whatever that meant to each woman providing a photo) set to a song called Women at the Well (a song about seeking Christ). It was a really interesting night, focussed on important opportunities to do something real to help other people. (I used to do volunteer literacy training about ten years ago. Maybe now's a good time to start that again.)

Oh, did I mention they gave us cookies and/or lollies at each stage? That didn't hurt. ^_^