Auxiliary Update, Sept. 2004
(notes by Shauna in Layton
)

This year’s theme was about families, a theme that is important and will be referred to often. 
But next year’s theme is more individual.  It is as individuals that we come to Christ.  “I will follow God’s Plan” is an individual effort.

This is a big year ~ We will be celebrating Joseph Smith’s 200 birthday (December 2005).  It is the 10th Anniversary of the Proclamation on Families (they hope we will mark it.  I think they said in March?)  Also it is 75 years of Cub Scouting in the US (February and to mark it at the Blue and Gold Banquet…  check with your local council for help).

They asked if there were any questions they could help with and a sister stood and asked if a girl didn’t attend Activity Days, or attended sporadically, should she receive her certificate as she advances into Young Women’s.  They answered that it should be determined by the bishop with the situation of the girl taken into account, and with the recommendation of the Primary President.

Then they asked what we were doing to present the program (I can’t remember how she phrased the question) but some said they were presenting it as families (as has been discussed on this list) and that they brought in folding chairs to seat the children closer to the congregation.  The ward members loved being “blasted” by those beautiful voices.  Another said they used the idea from the Friend to use Popsicle sticks with things they could do to strengthen their families written on them (one stick is easy to break, but many together are strong), but did them big on paint sticks and held them up during the program while a child explained the sharing time in a talk.  Another said they had the children sing the question phrase in “He Sent His Son” and the teachers sang the reply phrase.

Then Sister Reynolds said, “Never sing louder than beautiful” and the sacrament meeting program should be planned like we were the bishops.  Gospel messages should be taught, testimonies borne, and that testimonies and gospel messages are shared through the music.

Then she talked about the founding of the Primary and how Sis. Rodgers was concerned that the boys were not being taught to be good.  She had us sing the verse from “In Our Lovely Deseret” and “We Welcome You” (from the Children’s Songbook) where it talks about what they were taught in Primary.  She said we need to teach civility and respect.  It leads to reverence.  She challenged us to share these things (the lines from the songs and the principles of civility and respect) with the children in fun, friendly ways.

She said leaders in Cub Scouts should be called with the 4 T’s in mind:  Time to do it, Testimony, not only of the gospel, but of the Cub program, Training (she said to go to www.lds.org http://www.lds.org/  and that there is help and training there for Scout leaders) and finally, Tenure.  She said to spell it TenYEAR.  She said to make it long enough a time that they can make a difference.  Church-wide, she said, the average length of time in Scouts is 4 months.

Then Sister Clegg got up and talked about the new stuff on www.lds.org http://www.lds.org/  that was put up TODAY!  There are helps for Activity Days and Using Faith in God and Scouting, to name a few new and wonderful helps.  They are very interactive and you will love them!  Also, she showed us that under leadership responsibilities there is a link for “Children with Special Needs”.  There you can find specific helps for specific disabilities (ADHD, Autism, etc…).  She said there would be more helps coming soon.

She then said that Priesthood leaders should be in Primary AT LEAST once a month.  She said to give them a copy of the program (and a songbook whenever they come).  (As an aside, our Bishop took the monthly themes and used them as the themes for the whole ward this year.  It was wonderful to have the principles discussed in Sacrament Meeting, as well as in Primary! And now when we do the program, we can use stuff from Sacrament Meeting, too!!!)  She said to invite the Priesthood Leaders to stay the whole Primary time, occasionally, and that it would be a wonderful and eye-opening experience for everyone.

Then they posted an example of an agenda for a Presidency Meeting. 
Scripture/Prayer
Study from the Church Handbook of Instruction (5 minutes)
Minutes of previous meeting
Ministering  (less actives, reverence issues, quarterly activities
Administering (things to take to the Bishop, callings, etc…)
Prayer

Also, they suggested that the music leader be invited to Presidency meetings occasionally to help integrate singing/sharing times.  But they again stressed that the combination of singing time/sharing time was ideal but to do what YOUR WARD needs to do.

Let the teachers know they are part of a team.  The children can’t feel the spirit of the teachers aren’t there.  Then they asked what we were doing to help teachers know they are appreciated.  On sister got up and said they had spent the last month honoring their teachers (teacher appreciation month).  Then another sister stood and said that in their stake, the Stake Primary Board comes to sharing time and sits with the children while the teachers are taken out by the Stake Presidency.  They are taken to a room where the Stake Presidency members share their testimonies of the importance of the work they (the teachers) are doing as they fulfill their calling.  (I just have to say, WOW.  What an impact that has to have on the teachers.  Often Primary teachers feel left out—they miss all the 5th Sunday special meetings and don’t get to socialize with other adults, etc… and this would go a long way to help them feel how really important we KNOW they are). 

They also really stressed how the CSMP should be used as an invaluable missionary opportunity.  The spirit is strong, the draw of the children is strong, etc…