Monday, October 31, 2011

New Wards

Anyone ever been in a new ward? I don't mean a new ward for you--I mean a newly created ward.

In Cincinnati, we moved into a ward that had only been around for six months or so. The stake had taken a tiny downtown branch, combined it with the Cincinnati ward, and then split the Cincinnati ward into two wards--the Cincinnati ward and the Norwood ward. Sacrament meeting attendance varied from about 100 (when we first moved in) to about 60-65 (when we moved out). The change was mostly due to move-outs, very few move-ins, and a handful of deaths (something like 20% of the men in the ward--6 individuals--died while we were there, some older but some quite young). It was nice being in a small ward. It was a new ward, but most of the members came from the old ward and knew each other quite well, the exception being those from the inner city branch. I started working with a less active family that had belonged to the branch and discovered the father of the family had been in the branch presidency at one point--something not a single soul at ward council was aware of until I told them (in fact, they didn't even know who the family was). But for the most part the new ward was simply part of the old.

Yesterday, our stake in Shelley, Idaho had a meeting where they announced ward boundary changes. We live on a street that's full of 4-plexes on the north side of Shelley. The whole street is pretty new--five years old or so. The whole street belonged to one ward. Now, that ward has lost the entire street of apartments, and half of us in the apartments have gone to another already-existing ward, and half of us have gone into an entirely new ward. The neighbors right across the street will now be attending a different ward, and we'll be attending the brand new one. The new ward is new in a way that the Norwood ward was not--it appears that it was created from sliced off pieces of several different wards. We'll all be strangers to the majority of the ward. We'll see how that works out. We're definitely happy we're being sent to the new ward instead of being added on to an old ward.

Any experiences with being in a newly-created ward?


Becca said...

Sounds like a lot of fun, actually. Everyone will have to find their place with each other with no set assumptions. What a unique opportunity for everyone to start fresh at the same time.

Katrina said...

I agree with Becca. I'm sure there will be transition pains, but hopefully it's a positive experience overall. (But I don't envy your new bishop!)

Tim said...

We'll see. Our street is actually cut North/South and East/West, which makes for some confusing boundaries (including a split in between 4-plexes that share a parking lot). I'm hoping they'll get the ward list online before Sunday, which I'm sure will be an incredibly disorganized day.