We were doing several midweek activities in my prior ward. We had a playgroup, a lunch bunch, a book club, a craft club,and sports night. The playgroup was at a park, the lunch bunch was at a sister’s home or a restaurant, and the other two were at sisters’ homes. So there was no need for priesthood.
Each club/group had a “leader” that oversaw the group, planned the dates, activity, etc. The book club got a little out of hand with some of the books they were reading so the RS PRes stepped in and limited the books to ones you could get at Deseret Book, etc. and she had to approve the book each month. It was an evening club because most of the women that wanted to participate worked during the day.
The lunch bunch rotated between doing it around lunch time (some women took their lunch break from work then, everyone bringing a dish (and the recipes were put in our monthly newsletter) and then on occasional Sat. mornings we would do breakfast at a local restaurant so all women could come.
I was over the craft club. It was in my small townhome and we held it during the day (I took a survey to see if day or evening was best and it was pretty unanimous to do it during the day) I let the women bring their kids (sometimes we would have 15 women and 10-15 kids) but it all worked out (even when the little babies were pushing on our sewing machine peddles and helping us out). LOL. We did a different craft each month, and I tried to do a craft that taught a skill, like sewing, painting, etc. The sewing projects took more than the two hours so we did them weekly for the month so they were able to finish the projects. If the women didn’t want to do the project I had planned, they brought something else to work on. I either taught the class myself or found a sister in the ward to teach. Our midweeks were definitely the hightlights. We even had classes planned to teach basic interior painting, faux finishes, and installing your own laminate wood flooring as there were several sisters interested in learning home repair because their husbands have no clue, or no time.
Oh, and then we had a sports night too. Each Tuesday the women get together at the church, in the evening, and play volleyball or basketball. There is usally Priesthood in the building within a half hour of us starting because we do it on the YM/YW night.
We all loved the midweeks because we were able to socialize and get to know one another as where the HFPE meetings were more structured and usually lectures so we weren’t able to socialize.
I am excited about the new guidelines as I think there will be so much more flexibility to teach what is needed. Our young sisters have no clue about cooking, baking, etc and we need the extra time to teach them.
am excited about the new changes. There have been several things that I have wanted to do but because of time restraints have not done them such as: quilt classes, book club, sewing lessons.
I have been brain storming since have found out and would also like to have cooking group that covered food storage, crockpot cooking, once a month cooking, using herbs and spices, just the basics, cooking for 2, canning and pickling.
Someone mentioned a scrapbook group, I think that would go over really good and a Play Day group.
I can see where (cliquishness) could be a concern, but this is still under the Relief Society Presidency and the enrichment leader, and I believe they can and will set the tone for the enrichment activities, It will take a lot of planning, process,prayer,common sense, before actually starting this in January 2006. I also see it a a great opportuity to involve other sisters and their talents and interests as specialists. they could be a great asset in this program by encouraging and including others in the program that they are in charge of, (so to speak) a great help to the Relief Society Presidency, and a wonderful answer to give those newly converted sisters a job.
One ward in our stake (in Abilene TX) has been very successful with midweek enrichment activities. They have called sisters as specialists in various hmemaking skills, such as a sewing specialist, cooking specialist, food storage specialist, etc. You could have one or more specialists in each area. This could be in addition to any other calling they have, and they can do as much or as little with it as their schedule allows. The specialists can choose to be proactive in setting up Enrichment activities as often as they wish, or they can just be available to organize activities as you request.
I’d like to call a provident living specialist who is responsible for organizing a monthly (or at least quarterly) activity. One month she might have the sealer available for those who wish to bring things to dry-pack. Another month the sisters could get together at her home to do canning, etc.
I would also love to have a sewing specialist who can teach the basics– from how to use a sewing machine to cutting out patterns, etc. For the sisters who are already self-sufficient in these areas, we could have a regular quilting group, service activity, social outing, etc. There are so many wonderful possiblities for such a program.
We could have a cultural arts specialist who arranges trips to plays, museums, etc. We could have a literacy specialist who keeps a book club going, or a craft specialist who arranges craft projects on a regular basis.
This will really help us meet the needs of our diverse group of sisters. And the best part is that the specialists are doing the bulk of the planning for their activities, so it really takes a load off the Enrichment Counselor and Leader. They would mainly help coordinate the various activities and support the specialists with sign-ups, advertising, etc. They might also need to help coordinate childcare for those attending the classes. Many of these activities could be held in sisters’ homes, which is also a great plus, since cleaning the church after Enrichment activities just seems to take forever. . .
(From posts at Yahoo groups LDSHFPE)