Do the gaps in your Relief Society span a little bit farther than the space between seats? When Relief Society sisters come together and work with one heart and one mind, miracles happen. Here are some tips for reaching that goal:
1. Do your visiting teaching. You might be thinking, “Is that really a tip?” Our answer is: Very much so. When women visit each other, they share more than a simple thought or message—they share a strong bond of womanhood and the gospel. In times of happiness, talents are shared, joys are celebrated, and smiles are spread. In times of need, shoulders are cried on, burdens are lifted, and hearts are mended. Getting to know just one sister on a more personal level will help generate unity.
2. Unite the old and young. Between the 18-year-old high school student and the 81-year-old widow, there may not seem to be much in common, except, that is, the gospel. Try pairing up the two for visiting teaching. Start an “Adopt a Grandmother/Granddaughter” program, or have a “Then and Now” activity night to compare the lifestyles of two generations. Teach dances, watch movies, dress up—you may be surprised what the younger girls will tell you is cool again.
3. Perform service projects. “Charity never faileth,” and it definitely won’t fail here. Brainstorm service project ideas during your Relief Society meetings. Make simple dolls for local hospitals or silk flower arrangements for the church building. Not only will you be making a difference and having fun, but you’ll be forming friendships along the way.
4. Mix it up. If you’re a Relief Society leader, give your sisters opportunities to meet each other rather than wait for them to do it on their own. Try this: When you stand to make announcements, ask the sisters to also stand up. Tell them to look around the room and find someone they don’t know to sit beside.
5. Have sister spotlights. Each week, give one sister in your Relief Society the responsibility to find out some information about another sister, such as: her favorite personal memory, where she sees herself in ten years, her dream vacation, and her most embarrassing moment. Read the spotlight in Relief Society, then reveal who it is. The woman who is spotlighted chooses another woman, and the process is repeated.
6. Help transition the new young women. The transition from Young Women to Relief Society can be exciting, but it’s proven to be one of the hardest. As a Relief Society leader, work closely with the Young Women presidency. Create Relief Society activities that the Young Women could participate in, plan mother-daughter activities, or find things that will help the younger girls feel like Relief Society has something to offer them personally. Make a very special effort to welcome transitioning girls in.
7. Have secret sisters. Who doesn’t love surprise gifts or unexpected acts of service? Each month, have each person draw the name of another Relief Society member to be their “secret sister.” During the month, the sister should leave a treat for her secret sister or do some form of service—secretly, of course.
*What do you do to unite your Relief Society? Leave a comment below.