by Marsha Ward
Today I had a unique experience in church. Last Sunday, a special meeting was held at the stake center. The members of two wards and our branch were invited to attend. (Editorial aside: see how passive voice is used properly for reportorial accounts?) During the business portion of the meeting, our branch presidency was released, a new BP and one counselor were called, and our membership exploded from 65 to 224 with the raising of our right hands (LDS congregations give approval of such actions under the principle of common consent). One ward gave up an entire town (Star Valley) to make us grow.
For many years, the good members of the branch have been praying for growth. To have it happen so suddenly was a surprise and a blessing, and has caused no end of excitement and bustling about during the week. Today was the first time we all gathered together to see how this would work.
What a wonderful spirit of brother- and sisterhood we had! We don't usually have children or youth in our worship service except when visitors come, but today they were there. They belong to us! Everyone had smiling faces. Everyone greeted others with warmth and joy.
Although we have a beautiful church building, I can see where it soon will be bursting at the seams, much as did the former chapel, a doublewide trailer. Fortunately, our building was designed for growth. I wonder how long it will be before we hear of pending construction? Probably not next year, although in 2008 we're going to get our own driveway down from the main road through our hamlet, instead of us having to arrive through neighborhoods. This will keep the neighbors happy (we won't be stirring up so much dust) and will provide a second escape route for them in case it becomes necessary due to fire or flood. The drive will also be a beautiful entryway to the chapel, with a better view of the steeple, so folks know there's a church in town.
Can you tell I'm excited? I look forward to wonderful things happening in my branch.