Sunday, August 21, 2016

Starkville's Building Open House

Although we've been meeting in our new building for about 18 months, the church has finally squared things off with the builder so we can officially take ownership and dedicate the building.  The Branch Council chose to have our open house towards the beginning of the school year when all the 'back-to-school' events were kicking off to try and start the year off on the right foot (especially with our large and largely semi- to in- active Young Single Adult members). The hard part about this means that most of the planning happened over the summer or in the 3 weeks we had in August before the Open House date. Chris and I were both HEAVILY involved with this and keenly felt the weight of such an amazing missionary and community opportunity.  Each auxiliary was in charge of decorating/setting up displays in their rooms, (the primary was asked to emphasize the Plan of Salvation and Baptism since we had the baptistery in our room) and I was also assigned to handle any kids in the building during the two sessions (either from our own children, or children of people who came to visit) I organized two activity rooms, and enlisted people to oversee them. Also, I helped orchestrate getting a Family History couple from our Stake to come set up a room about Genealogy and helped with some set up in the Gym to display temples all over the world, and made cookies for refreshments, and ended up arranging all the flowers for displays in the hallways and chapel. Also our family tried hard to INVITE INVITE INVITE friends, neighbors teachers and acquaintances.

It turned out pretty well! Anthony and Amberly came back for the weekend to help watch our kids so Chris and I could be at the building almost all day making sure everything ran smoothly. The first session was great. We had maybe 20-30 people come, including Starkville's Mayor, our Stake President, a newsreporter and camera, and a writer for the Starkville Daily News, and one of Gwen's friends and her mom. The second session was much slower with maybe 5 people but it was still fun for us because one of those people was Chris' Department Chair at work!  Plus, I got to actually sit and talk with some of my fellow branch members and good friends for an extended period of time, which RARELY happens at regular church functions... since usually I'm busy chasing or teaching kids.  It would've been nice to see more of the people we invited come, but it feels good to have given the whole event our best efforts and to have it completed.

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