I saw the Worldwide Leadership broadcast last night with the changes to the new Church Handbook of Instructions.
If you missed it, here's what I thought the highlights were:
- Presidents and counselors will have full copy of Book 2. No more slimmed down versions. (Sorry secretaries -- I keep telling you/me we aren't part of the presidency. And that's okay.)
- No more standing Activities Committees - ward activities to be planned via the ward council. To me, this means more FAMILY events and coordination between the auxiliaries! Yay!
- No more "welfare" meeting
- PEC to be shortened to approximately 30 minutes; may include RS president when needed. Suggested time to meet is before Ward Council
- Ward council to be held more often. Probably twice a month.
- Bishops to delegate more spiritual counseling responsibilities to Elder's Quorum and High Priest Group Leaders. This is brilliant, and the one thing that I was surprised to hear. Bishops, as presidents of the Aaronic Priesthood, are primarily responsible for the temporal welfare of members. Melchizedek Priesthood are responsible for the spiritual welfare of members. It's a realignment that coincides with their relative positions, and makes the EQP and HPGL more involved.
- Leaders admonished to take family situations -- especially families with minor children -- into account more when assigning callings.
- Stronger emphasis on family support. Get parents involved in solving problems
- Section added with a list of essential parts of church organization that are uniform throughout the church, along with a list of lesser auxiliary things that can left out or modified according to local needs.
I could hardly sleep last night! I'm so excited about this new handbook! With the exception of the assigning Bishop's counseling duties to the Melchizedek leaders, I have preached on almost every one of these things to anyone who'd listen. And some who didn't! Ha! I am delighted and can't wait to see this working throughout the church!!!!!!
I am ecstatic! We are truly being led by inspired leaders who are helping us to direct our activities to help our families. That God will continue to bless them and help us implement their vision by careful use of the new Church Handbook of Instructions is my prayer.