Serving in a Young Single Adult Ward for this past year has been a wonderful growing experience. We would stroll in at 1:30 p.m. to this lovely building, sit in padded pews, sit in padded chairs in classrooms, and enjoy Relief Society in a beautiful Relief Society room. Without realizing it, we had been enjoying the spirit in a beautiful house of God complete with many comforts.
Well, President N Eldon Tanner coined the phrase "Constancy amid Change". As of late, our little Young Single Adult Ward has had the opportunity to put those words to test. Instead of entering our lovely Chapel each week....we essentially have had a transfer to meet in a new location for this school year.
Kung-fu Panda!. Believe it or not, I didn't even see him last week (which was our first Sunday in the building). This week, with the addition of about 100 new members joining our ward since last Sunday, Kung-fu Panda had many admirers.
I apologize for the 'yellow' tint to this photo, but I didn't feel comfortable using a flash. This auditorium puts on a new face...that of a Chapel. Note on the left the hymn numbers posted. On the right, the Elders are preparing the Sacrament Table for the sacred ordinance of the Sacrament before our meeting began. By the time Sacrament Meeting began, there were few empty chairs left. We are learning how to handle Hymn books in an Auditorium. You cannot lay them on the pews as before. Instead, there is a balancing act to keep them from falling loudly on the floor if they get knocked off the armrests:).
This classroom transforms into a Sunday School Class and later the Relief Society Room. I definitely need to go on that diet...now!
The Tithing slips are placed in a box with a handwritten note identifying which ward they are for, lay on a bench outside of our Auditorium/Chapel. Yes, we do need to designate which Ward they are for, because there are other Wards meeting in this same building. They meet on a different floor. You can hear them use the elevators and the stairs if the doors are not closed.
You may think this change would be the source of complaint or less of a spiritual experience. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Our first week (which was last week) in our new location, I felt the sweet spirit that I recall from years ago....when as a 10-year-old our Branch met in the basement of a local Bank. I was in a Sunday School class that ranged in ages from 10-18, and we met in the lounge of the Women's room.....which was one door away from the ladies bathroom. I remember the sweet spirit of Fast and Testimony meeting in those unique surroundings to this day.
I am reminded that the Lord's presence is anywhere that his saints gather in his name. The Gospel is true, no matter where you are....even if you are in the shadow of a Giant Panda.
I am looking forward to growing and problem-solving with our YSA as we transition and worship in our new surrounding. This is a change I am very grateful for.....what a blessing to us all.