If I Listen With My Heart – Stake Leadership Meeting
Shared By: Shayla
This was a 1 1/2 hour meeting
We had our Stake Leadership Meeting a few weeks ago–
Our theme was “If I Listen With My Heart”… going off the new song for 2011. So, naturally, we carried that theme through the meeting using hearts.
This may be WAY more info. than any one person is looking for– but I always appreciate reading what other Stake Primary Presidencies come up with and it stirs my creative ideas. This is VERY long, but it may help someone and spark ideas for your own stake leadership mtgs.
Our invitations were darling– done in photoshop, and to save time and money, we printed them up in a 4×6 matte picture at Costco (.13 each) and wallaa! We had a nice, professional full color invitation at a reasonable cost! We cut brown paper wine bags down to about 10″ tall that a grocer donated. We used these because they are straight at the bottom unlike regular lunch bags which become wide at the bottom. We put the invite in there, then folded over the top about 2″, and secured it with darling ribbons. We also made
sticker tags to stick on the fronts, with each name/ward & the theme… also done in photoshop with a darling edge–
We had a sister in our stake make us large sugar cookies on sticks (different height sticks so variance). She decorated them with our theme colors, 4 different designs. We put rice in some beautiful pewter vases we had, and added these heart cookies on sticks (the white candy/lollipop sticks you find at a craft store) which doubled as our decorations… it was their take-home refreshment/treat.
We had two long/thin seminary tables out in the hall with information for each ward that they could pick up before entering. It had their name tags, Elder Holland’s DVD (below), the new sharing time manual for 2011, and some information for each of the presidencies/ bishoprics. We also had a small jar filled with hot tamales for each ward– and in it was five separate hearts done in photoshop, with the titles of our break-out session on it, then on the back was a blurb about exploring the new.lds.org and the link to our new song for primary, as well some great sources on lds.org for training in several primary callings. They were glued to popsicle sticks and put into the hot tamale jar, which they could snack on at the mtg.
The point of the 5 hearts was to make the break-out transition go smooth and take up very little time since we only had a 1 1/2 hour meeting packed with so many things. Each ward had 5 people in attendance, so the purpose was for each primary president to pass out the heart on a stick BEFORE the mtg, detailing which 15-20 min. break-out she wanted that person to attend. One Stk. Primary Presidency member attending each breakout and took notes, which will be distributed by email to the whole stake primary so no one misses out on anything. It was a basic brainstorm session and the titles were as follows:
-Keeping Primary on Task (all the secretaries attended this one)
-Communication with children, bishopric, teachers, parents
-Bring the children to the scriptures so they can know Him
On the walls in the room, was a larger version of each heart located in different spots, so when it was time for breakouts, they knew exactly where to go.
We opened the meeting with a song (“Tell Me the Stories of Jesus”) and then our High Counselor Representative gave the scripture… using a method we read about in the Friend (August 2010), using the 5 Why’s in the scriptures: Who, What When, Where, Why. He talked about 2 Nephi 4:15 and used that method to teach & dive into the meaning… very effective way to present a scripture to primary children… and of course, the idea was to give our ward leaders ideas to try in their primaries.
Our Stk. Primary Pres. opened with a 5 minute talk about denial of self and the power of sacrifice… she dove into what sacrifice really means (not giving up something, but ‘to make sacred’) using some thoughts in a wonderful book called, “Power from on High” by C. Max Caldwell. She touched on the fact that many of us and our teachers don’t realize our impact of role… impact on the children, etc.
We then showed the video that can be found on the LDS.org that really talked about impact of role. It was Elder Holland’s video to the Primary Leaders from a few years ago entitled, “Anchoring Children in the Scriptures.” Very effective hearing from an apostle on our very theme. We also made copies of this video for each of our ward primaries (10) if they so choose to use it in their ward training. (We made a dvd sticker with Elder Holland’s face and the name of the DVD in a cute font).
We called a bishop to give his testimony about primary & what the bishopric in that ward does to effectively support its primary.
The 1st coun. taught a lesson about ongoing support for each teacher. She used building blocks with headlines printed & taped on each, and then physically showed us how we have a foundation, and build upon the support. She also used a polly pocket “sister service” to animate this presentation …. very fun. The ‘building blocks’ were quarterly visits, ward primary leadership meetings, orientation fo new board members– roles & responsibilities, online helps/training for all as well as special needs, weekly encouragement/acknowledgement. I don’t remember the order:)
We had a special musical number by 3 primary aged girls and their mother, singing the new song, “If I Listen with my Heart.”
Testimony of a primary pres in our stake who just ‘gets it’ in terms of impact of role. She’s very inspiring and their primary is very effective.
2nd Couns. taught an object lesson…using two large hearts cut out of construction paper.
this is what was said:
The heart is a tender place. It is sensitive to many influences, both positive and negative. Let us apply the idea of ‘listening with our hearts’ to receiving personal revelation.
I have this task— I need to cut a hole big enough in this heart to fit my head through it. Can it be done? (cut a hole in the heart, leaving outside intact) This first heart represents you & me. when we are faced with a problem or a task. We have a limited ability to get things accomplished on our very own.
With this second heart, I need to figure out a different way to get this to fit over my head. Turn to Isaiah 55:8-9: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (take 2nd heart and cut it so it fits over your head and even your body– (google ‘walk through paper trick to find instructions… I cut mine from a heart rather than a regular piece of paper)
So let’s take this second heart. It represents when we seek for inspiration from God, and trust in him to help us..He knows all things. CUT.. And put over head. So we can’t do this on our very own. But as we give of ourselves, and stretch ourselves to the limit we need to remember that the Holy Ghost is the teacher who, through proper invitation can enter into our hearts. The condition of our hearts directly affects our sensitivity to spiritual things. Let us make it a part of our everyday striving to open our hearts to the spirit.
As we break into groups. we will be brainstorming ideas that can help each of our primaries in different ways. These are just ideas that you can use your presidency’s own inspiration to tailor to your childrens’ needs.if you use them at all. Find your group & assemble yourselves together w/ the corresponding heart. Let’s remember our 2011 theme as we talk about these ideas. I close in testimony with two of the promises He has made to those who seek to come unto Him: “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with [His] love, . . . that we may be purified even as he is pure (moroni 7:48) And finally this stirring declaration of Paul the Apostle found in philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
After the break-outs, our Stk Primary Pres. gave some closing remarks. She gave personal experiences and talked about how our individual relationships with Christ reflects all of our actions that follow. She also gave the heads-up that we will be issuing a challenge for the primary to read the 4 Gospels for 2011… & there will be more details in January
Closing song: Search, Ponder, and Pray
We thought it was an effective stake leadership training meeting and it ended on time!
Note: we also intended on cutting large hearts out of paper bags or plain cardstock/paper & putting the same stickers there were made out of photoshop for the invitation bags on them saying “notes”. It didn’t happen, but would have been useful for the break-out session notes.