Sunday, March 30, 2014

Relief Society Birthday Bash 2014!

This March we celebrate the 172nd birthday of the Relief Society.  

According to the Relief Society is the oldest and largest women's organization in the world. Maybe there are a lot of women's organizations in the world, I don't know.  I do know that women are endowed with the innate ability to help, to give, to care, to nurture.

Just over a year ago, I was called as the 2nd counselor in the Relief Society Presidency in our ward.

Here's how it breaks down:
 General Presidencies- preside over the whole church worldwide
Stake Presidencies- preside over a pretty large area made up of several wards
Bishopric- presides over a ward, which can cover an area about like a postal zip code

Each ward has different auxillaries. Each auxillary has a presidency: Priesthood, Relief Society, Primary, Sunday School, and Young Womens or Young Mens
Each auxiliary has a General Presidency

Every presidency contains four members: el presidente, 1st counselor, 2nd counselor, and secretary

In our RS presidency, we each have our own areas of stewardship, but we all work as a team on everything we do. I am in charge of activities.

I appreciate the fact that I can go online and read about what other wards do for their activities, so I thought I'd put mine out there, too. Just in case. Someone might stumble upon it.

We came up with the theme of:    "GETTING TO KNOW YOU"

Round tables were set up on this half of the cultural hall for our dining area. We had a great turnout!

We wanted to make everyone feel like spring really is here, so we decorated with actual daisies and each table had a different color table cloth. Unfortunately, the one in this picture is white which is more like winter meets spring. Wait! That's what it looks like outside anyway!

On the menu we had Chinese meatballs served over a mixture of brown and white rice. The mixture of rice wasn't really planned. We asked 5 sisters if they'd make 5 cups of rice (which makes ten cooked) and one sister brought brown rice. So, rather than try to decide who gets brown and who gets white, we mixed them together. (Thank you, B, for coming up with that solution!)

Also, we had Oriental cabbage salad, which went really well with the main entree.

Our secretary, who used to do catering, said the plate needed three items. She suggested maybe finding a cracker to go along with it. I told her that if she wanted to handle that I was totally fine with it. So, what does she go and do? She HAND MAKES over a hundred of these sesame crackers which were so delicious that it was the one food item I had most people ask about! She is amazing, that secretary of ours.

 For dessert, we served something that never really had a name but it was delicious and involved ice-cream, vanilla pudding, whipped cream, and broken heath bars. (Unfortunately, because I have so many little ones running around, the bulk of the left-over dessert got sent to my house! *I am ashamed*)

To follow the Asian theme, we included fortune cookies. Not handmade! It was a nice touch.

It has become tradition to have our youth be servers for these nice dinners that we put on.

The sisters love having them around.

They add such life to the environment!

(Tablecloths become capes.)

We told them to dress Asian if they wanted. Our 1st counselor in the RS Pres had some fabulous outfits she let the girls borrow. This is T wearing an actual silk gown.

Of course, chopsticks is a given. I wonder how the sisters would have reacted if we had forced them to EAT with chopsticks?

Isn't that green outfit amazing? (Also from 1st counselor's closet. She found it at a local 2nd hand store!)

Each month, our secretary puts together an insert for the newsletter called the ID Challenge. Little-known facts are shared about one of the ladies in the ward, and we all try to figure out who it is.

So, we put together a little display table of all the sisters who've been highlighted so far.

It has been way fun hearing everyone trying to figure out who is this month's ID Challenge. I was surprised how many I couldn't figure out, even some sisters that I talked to regularly!

Another way of "getting to know" each other was to display pictures of ourselves when we were younger and having everyone try to figure out who they were. We had some do it together as a table. We had some very old pictures. We had some who were easy to figure out because they have a child who looks just like their own childhood pictures. It was neat to hear the stories that went along with the pictures. It was REALLY neat seeing the young faces of our 70, 80, and 90 year old sisters.

We provided these papers for the picture guessing game.

Our final activity was Speed-friendshipping. We kept this a complete secret because so many fear being forced to socialize! In fact, we had quite a few who wouldn't participate, but those who did actually loved it!

I did some digging around on the internet to figure out how best to pull this off. I decided to have one side of the table remain seated, while the other side would scoot down when time was up. There was no way we could take the time to have every person talk to every person, so I planned to rotate eight times total.

When I told the sisters they would have 5 minutes to ask each other questions alternatively, they were really surprised. "Do you mean ONE minute???"   Ha. No, I mean 5 minutes. What are you going to learn about a person in one minute? I didn't want this to be like a game. I wanted this to be a gift of time to talk to someone you don't normally talk to about stuff you don't normally talk about.

I provided a list of question ideas, but told the sisters they could ask anything they wanted.

It was fabulous hearing all the chatter. I had one lady run up and ask me for a pen because she was learning stuff she needed to write down. Our 1st counselor told me yesterday (5 days later) that she's still getting positive feedback from this activity. Someone told our RS Pres that we should have speed-friendshipping on a regular basis.

This was a great way to get cross-generational socialization. It was a great way to let the new move-ins start to become acquainted with whom they now share a ward. It was a fun way to get some people out of their comfort zones.

Overall, we feel like it was a successful way to celebrate our sisterhood, and encourage our sisters to actually take time to really get to know one another.


  1. I so enjoyed reading about your RS night! I loved the way you even showed what you served for dinner. I was about to ask you for your recipes when I found them on the link you left. Great idea to mix the brown and white rice together….never thought of that! Also, thank you for the nice comment you left on my blog….how did you find it? I'm glad you did.

  2. I love the idea of giving them 5 minutes instead of 1! Much better way to get a real connection.