Monday, September 8, 2008

A new stake in Twin Falls

Okay, some of my readers may not care too much about this, but for us Mormons in the area, a new *stake is kind of a big deal. As much as anything, it means we'll bump into new people at stake-level meetings, and we'll miss bumping into some old friends who will be in the new stake.

Here's how it shakes out (for those, formerly from Twin Falls, who might care):

Twin Falls Stake
11th (formerly in the Kimberly stake)
15th (also from Kimberly stake)
College 1st
Blue Lake Branch

Twin Falls South Stake (the new one)
17th (all formerly in the Twin Falls Stake)
other wards from TF West stake (don't remember exactly which ones)

TF West
same old wards, minus the ones moving to the South Stake

same wards, minus 11th and 15th (but keeping the 19th ward, which is actually in Twin Falls)

Besides redrawing boundary lines to accommodate these changes, it also means releasing quite a few folks from stake callings. Fully half of the Twin Falls stake high council will be in the new stake, and one member of the stake presidency. Every auxiliary leader except YM (i.e. YW, Primary, RS) will be released to go to the new stake. No ward boundaries are changing, so no changes in bishoprics, etc., but lots of folks getting moved around and adjusting to new things.

Here's something that may be a bit hard for some folks to swallow. We haven't even dedicated the new stake center adjacent to the temple and folks who thought it would be "their" stake center have to (get to) go back to the Maurice St. building. That old building still has plenty of life left in it, but it is awkward and a bit of a pain sometimes. I think its accurate to say that people have a love/hate relationship with that building.

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The various sessions of stake conference to work out the details of the change will be held in the new building and then folks in the South stake are moving back to Maurice St. They'll get a new building eventually, but not in the next several years, I'd bet. They don't have land in that part of the valley yet, as far as I know (which ain't much, really).

Anyway, what does it matter? Beyond who we get to see at stake conference or whatever, it means that opportunities for growth and service in the Magic Valley expand. Each of the stakes has 8-9 units in it, but the potential for growth still exists-- particularly in the South and West stakes and the Kimberly stake (the Twin Falls stake is kind of land-locked).

The change also means a new stake president, which means a general officer from the church will preside at the stake conference and select that president. Because most church administration at the local level comes from stake presidents, members of the church view them in fairly high regard. Speaking rather personally, stake presidents set the tone for church service and administration, and give direction to what many lay members do from day to day and week to week. Without endowing them with too much supernatural power, I don't think it is too much of a stretch to say that they speak for God in this part of the vineyard. That's pretty cool and pretty important.

The dedication of the temple was just one of many moving experiences of the summer. I anticipate that the creation of a new stake will be another-- particularly if we go in to it looking for the hand of God in what is done.

On a related note-- related to spirituality, anyway-- I've been rereading Marilynne Robinson's Gilead so I can read the companion novel that was just released, Home. The first takes the form of letters from an aged father to his very young son and takes place in Gilead, Iowa (a fictional place). It touches, in part, on the father's relationship with a dear friend and that friend's wayward son. The second takes up the same time period, but from the POV of the dear friend. I read the first 3-4 chapters of Home before realizing that I didn't remember enough of Gilead to recognize their points of intersection (and finding such textual common ground is one of my favorite parts of reading), so I'm back to Gilead today. I hope to finish it in the next day or so, so I can read Home and then be worth something to my classes again. In the meantime, I'm WAY distracted by having something delicious to read.

The protagonists of Gilead and Home are both preachers and I have enjoyed their examinations of spiritual matters. Perhaps I'll post about some of them soon.

*"stake" is roughly equivalent to diocesis, whereas "ward" is roughly equivalent to parrish.


Murphy's New York-a-go-go said...

Wow, I got confused about the first part of your post. I thought RS, rosary society? Then I remembered relief society. I'm kinda slow on the uptake and was raised catholic, hence the confusion. I still haven't figured out YM. It sounds like Twin is getting redrawn; that temple is lovely.

The second part of your post was really exciting because I haven't read any Marilynne Robinson since Housekeeping, and that book was part of why I switched majors to English. So I want to hear about both books.
And in bread news . . . I made the best half ww half white bread Saturday. Want the recipe? How's the regular yeast thing going?

In case you're wondering why I'm such a quick respondent, I'm laid up with a back injury and a laptop. So I'm reading, watching tv and surfing the net, very 21st century.
Happy Week!

Clark Draney said...

Hi Pat:

Sorry to hear about your back. Keri suffers from intermittent back troubles. I sympathize. I hope you're better soon.

I had you, among others, in mind when I wrote this post, but I didn't do a very good job of being plain, did I?

RS is, in fact, Relief Society. YM is Young Men, YW is, of course, Young Women. Both are for teens. Primary, you probably recall, is for the kiddos.

Plenty of Mormon-speak.

I highly recommend Gilead and Home. Robinson is as amazing as ever. It's no Indiana Jones (and aren't we glad). Slow pace, plenty of introspection, lots of rich character development. Just what us English types go ga-ga over.

I'm very (VERY) jealous of your bread successes. I'm still making doorstops. It must be the yeast because the loaf I made on Saturday was my same old recipe, only substituting active dry for bread machine yeast. It raised unevenly. The bottom of the loaf was about right. The top was over raised (and, in fact, it collapsed on itself before it was through baking). Any ideas? Sure, I can go back to the other yeast, but I have a whole of bunch of the active dry. What next?

Here's hoping you're up and around soon.

BTW, you planning to go to 4Cs? It's looking like I might get to go.


Murphy's New York-a-go-go said...

Well, yes, I guess I'm out of practice with Mormon-speak. I've taught one LDS student in almost six years here. He was shocked when, on the first day of Bus. Com., I knew where Ricks College was. He said being Mormon in central New York is a challenge sometimes.

Thanks for the back sympathy. My sympathies to Keri. I ruptured a disc two years ago, and it's been off-and-on problems since. Oh well, Maybe I should have drunk more milk (any milk) as a kid.

The bread: don't give up man! This is coming from someone who had all but abandoned her bread machine. I almost gave it away and would have if it hadn't been a birthday present. I'll send you my new recipe. I do know that at higher altitudes you're supposed to reduce the amount of yeast a little. Maybe your yeast works too hard too fast or something and then the bread collapses. I'm at 900 feet here, so recipes usually work just like they say they will. It's quite a change from all those fragile cakes I used to bake.

4Cs, no. This year I'm going to a service-learning conference in Buffalo (whee!) and, if accepted to NEMLA to talk about Graham Swift. I'm sick to death of writing about writing right now. I'm also going to the Rocky Mountain Writers Festival in good ole Pocatello. Are you presenting at 4Cs?

Take Care, bread recipe to follow.