Last year, I got my dream calling*: sacrament meeting program maker. Every other week, I make my ward's sacrament meeting program.
Over the course of the last six months or so, I've tried to tone down both (a) the amount of time I spend making the program (I'm not really a perfectionist--most of you know this--except for when it comes to text and graphic design, turns out) and (b) the edginess of my designs (I have often ignored left-to-right sort of reading styles and once put a picture of the bishop's face next to his name in the program--so great). I worried that my programs were distracting from the real purpose of sacrament meeting (renewing our sacred covenants with God, for one) and were garnering undue attention (kind of the way my father has worried that a pink tie my sister gave him for Easter earns him more compliments than he's comfortable with). And, too, I began to feel heaven try to tell me that "it's about the people, not the programs." Which is true and makes me laugh.
Knowing all of that, I did want to share the program I made for this last Sunday because, I have to say, it was so, so cute.
Rather than using a full sheet folded in half, I used quarter sheets and folded those in half. Oh MAN. So cute.
Note: Usually I avoid using the traditional sacrament meeting program template for my programs, but in honor of the particularly diminutive nature of this week's program, I decided to go straight-up traditional. I even put a picture of the Savior on the cover, which admittedly I should do more often. (I realized that I've put more pictures on the program of nature--and some shamelessly ripped off pictures by Ansel Adams--than I have of religious scenes, perhaps leading investigators to wonder if we are, in fact, pagan. Note: We are not.)
And, of course, a story: Saturday night, I was in the law library making this program, and when I was done, I was so excited about it--so, so excited about it--I turned to the law student in the carrel next to me. I don't know him well--he's a 1L--but I said to him, "Can I tell you something?" He looked at me for a moment and then, seriously, said yes. I showed him the program and, super quickly, explained lay clergy, volunteer service, callings, sacrament meeting, the tradition of sacrament meeting programs and their full-page folds, and said, "And this is the program I'm bringing to church tomorrow. Isn't it so cute?" He nodded kindly. I was pleased. And then he said, "Actually, when I looked over and first saw that, I thought, 'That is so cute.'" "Really?" I asked. "Yes," he said. "Really."
And before I left he said to me, "Tell me how it goes tomorrow!" At church, the first counselor began sacrament meeting by holding up my program and saying, "As you can see, we don't have many announcements today. And, the Second Ward is going green!" Then the bishop winked at me from the stand.
On Monday I saw my friendly 1L and told him that the program had gone well. In fact, I said, "It went over huge."
*In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, each full congregation is called a "ward." Since we don't have any professional clergy or paid church workers, all of the jobs to serve the congregation are done by members in the congregation as volunteer work. We don't volunteer, lobby, or nominate ourselves for these positions; rather we are asked by the congregation leaders to do particular jobs, usually for a few years at a time. An assigned volunteer job issued in this manner is called a "calling." Right now I have two callings (having more than one calling is not unusual): I make the sacrament meeting program (the paper program handed out to parishioners at each Sunday's church service) and I teach a doctrinal lesson once a month to the women in my ward, which I will do this Sunday, if you're reading this and want to come.