Saturday, October 31, 2015

Monthly Newsletter

Click here to access our October 2015 edition of our monthly newsletter for cumorah.com.

35 comments:

John Pack Lambert said...

The large number of investigators in some branches in Liberia is very exciting. I hope that some of the elders whose experience was covered in the film "Freetown" will live to see the day when they can repeat the journey from Monrovia to Freetown as a journey from one temple to another.

James Anderson said...

Am hearing via FB that there was indeed a combined district conference in Liberia today, but nothing so far has been said about creating one or more stakes out of any of those that were involved, don't know if it's two or all three districts attending either.

James Anderson said...

Just confirmed, no new stakes created at that conference today in Liberia.

L. Chris Jones said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
L. Chris Jones said...

Could that be a journey reinacted in Liberia similar to Pioneer trecks in the US? That is a great story. I have not seen the move yet but want to.

L. Chris Jones said...

Could that be a journey reinacted in Liberia similar to Pioneer trecks in the US? That is a great story. I have not seen the move yet but want to.

L. Chris Jones said...

I want to see Let it Go, Freetown and Cokeville miricle. Anyone know if or when these movies will be at Redbox or Netflix?

The Opinion said...

The Raleigh South Stake was created tonight by taking two wards from the Raleigh Stake and 5 wards from the Apex Stake. The new stake presidency will be called next weekend during the Apex Stake Conference.

As a side note, Raleigh stake added the Henderson Ward from the Durham Stake and the Apex Stake added the Pittsboro Ward from the Durham Stake. And the Mebane ward boundaries were redrawn in the Durham stake.

The stake president reminded us of a vision he had when he was called as stake president a couple of years ago. He said that the stake would split within two years of his service beginning. It has been 1 year and 356 days. He also said the stake would split again before he is released. Pretty amazing and can't wait to have it happen.

Joseph said...

At the current rate we are 11-12 weeks away from 30,000 Publicly known wards and branches.
If we include sensitive units it's only 4 Weeks, and the rate of creation has been going up.

Currently there is an average of 8.07 Congregations per Stake/District (3712 Total/w sensitive). At current growth rate it will take 4 Years 8 months to reach 4000. 9.6% of all units created are Stakes/Districts.

Unit Update

25 Oct
Del Sol Ward, Ciudad Juárez México North Stake (1 Branch, 6 Wards)
Parque Verde Ward, Fortaleza Brazil Messejana Stake (8 Wards)
Po Lam Ward, Hong Kong China Stake (9 Wards)

YTD 531(12.35/week 43) +2 (net 5)
Africa 156, 29.4% (Middle East/Africa North Area Added)
Asia 18, 3.4%
Europe 26, 4.9%
North America (w/ Caribbean) 137, 25.8%
Pacific 45, 8.5%
South and Central America 58, 10.9%
Utah & Idaho 91, 17.1%

Totals no-sensitive
Areas Temples Miss Stakes Dist Wards Branch Totals
Global 25 148 418 3,156 545 22,500 7,365 34,157
Us/Can 10 81 131 1,594 10 12,548 2,065 16,439
US n/a 73 124 1,547 7 12,212 1,914 15,877
Utah n/a 15 10 579 1 4,686 326 5,617
Canada n/a 8 7 47 3 336 151 552
Out 15 67 287 1,562 535 9,950 5,300 17,718

With Sensitive
Areas Temples Miss Stakes Dist Wards Branch Totals
Global 25 148 418 3,156 556 22,504 7,456 34,263

Christopher said...

New ward announced today in Magrath Alberta Stake, Canada. Growth in these parts has been steady.

Tom said...

That's some really great news; thanks everyone for sharing! Question; Growth in a given area comes from people being baptized, people being deactivated, and people moving in. Considering the well-documented declining birth rates worldwide and even within the church, it seems that children of record account for a smaller share of overall growth. Does this mean that the growth in your areas is happening primarily from conversion & deactivation, or is it a result of economic forces drawing in LDS families from other areas?

Tom said...

Meant to say RE-activated, sorry.

John Pack Lambert said...

We still have good birth rates in my ward. So I will not say at least where I am birth rates are in decline. Currently my ward's growth is mainly fueled by move ins but we have a baptims in a part member family this month that is also connected with a reactivation. There is another investigator who has come every Sunday since general conference and also came the Sunday before general conference. There is also a set of four brothers and a sister ranging in age from 16 to 6. The three younger have come most of those Sundays. We also had another family star showing up again. The 8 year old daughter has not been baptized and that may have motivated the Mom to come out starting a few weeks ago but the the teenaged daughters who have not come out for almost a year also showed. In my stake overall we struggle to baptize enough people to keep up with the rate people move out. This is especially true in Detroit units where the Personal Storehouse Project has helped many people become employed or better emploed but this normally involves moving out

On another note I was wondering if a temple was built in Virginia Beach/Norfolk area if it would be likely to draw any stakes from the Raleigh Temple.

John Pack Lambert said...

We still have good birth rates in my ward. So I will not say at least where I am birth rates are in decline. Currently my ward's growth is mainly fueled by move ins but we have a baptims in a part member family this month that is also connected with a reactivation. There is another investigator who has come every Sunday since general conference and also came the Sunday before general conference. There is also a set of four brothers and a sister ranging in age from 16 to 6. The three younger have come most of those Sundays. We also had another family star showing up again. The 8 year old daughter has not been baptized and that may have motivated the Mom to come out starting a few weeks ago but the the teenaged daughters who have not come out for almost a year also showed. In my stake overall we struggle to baptize enough people to keep up with the rate people move out. This is especially true in Detroit units where the Personal Storehouse Project has helped many people become employed or better emploed but this normally involves moving out

On another note I was wondering if a temple was built in Virginia Beach/Norfolk area if it would be likely to draw any stakes from the Raleigh Temple.

John Pack Lambert said...

Here is an article http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865638696/LDS-couple-leads-New-York-MTC-preparing-youth-for-missions-more.html?s_cid=Email-4 about a program to train high school juniors and seniors in the New York New York Stake to serve as missionaries. I found it very insightful.

Ryan Searcy said...

A Spanish Stake was discontinued in California. I have noticed that there are steadily less and less Spanish Stakes in the U.S. There were 2(?) in the Miami Area that was discontinued, there was 1 in Houston that was reorganized as a regular stake, and 2 discontinued in the LA area within the past few years. I believe there is only 4 Spanish Stakes remaining (Houston, Santa Ana, East Los Angeles, and San Fernando). When I was in California, there were many hispanic Latter-day Saints that attended the English Wards so their children can grow up learning English, and when the kids moved out, they would go to the Spanish Ward/Branch. I wonder if this would allow for the Spanish Latter-day Saints and the English Latter-day Saints to work together to grow the Church more abundantly than separately. I wonder if this will eventually translate into the Tongan Stakes here in the U.S.

Michael Worley said...

Ryan's comment is interesting. I was in the La Crescenta Stake when it was combined with the Glendale stake a number of years ago. When they were combined, they shrunk to 9 wards. Now they have 10 wards and a branch. But the southern half of the combined stake's spanish speakers uniformly attend the Fletcher ward or Arroyo ward in the San Fernando Spanish stake. If one day the San Fernando stake is dissolved, that would add both units to the La Crescenta Stake. That would put them at 12 wards and a branch.

I would love to see that stake split again so Glendale has its own stake, but I think there has been wisdom in the leadership in La Crescenta stake having stewardship over the Glendale stake for the last decade. I could see the brethren keeping this arrangement in a 13-unit stake. But if one of the wards in the Glendale area (Spanish, English or otherwise) splits, I could see the apostles deciding to re-institute a 7-unit Glendale stake (2 english wards, 2-3 Spanish wards, 1 Tagolog Ward 1 YSA ward, and 1 SA branch,).

Michael Worley said...

(to be sure, the La Crescenta Stake leadership draws from the entire stake)

Mike Johnson said...

Michael, thanks for the info about the La Crescenta Stake.

Obviously, when stakes have a large number of units, there becomes a desire to split stakes. Number of wards is one of the criteria (each stake should have 5 wards after the split), so the unit requirement is already there. Each stake will also need 3000 members and each stake will need 24 active, full tithe paying, Melchizedek Priesthood holders in addition to 15 for each ward (and about 5 for each branch).

Joseph said...

Unit Update
4 Oct
Ayeso Branch, Ile-Ife Nigeria District (11 Branches)

11 Oct
Ahurai Ward, Faaa Tahiti Stake (7 Wards)

18 Oct
Abau Branch, Rigo Papua New Guinea District (8 Branches)
Baramata Branch, Kuriva Papua New Guinea District (4 Branches)
Damofalls Branch, Harare Zimbabwe Stake (5 Branches, 6 Wards)

25 Oct
Accra Ghana Lartebiokorshie Stake (5 Wards)
Dansoman Ward
Korle-Bu Ward
Lartebiokorshie Ward
Mamponse Ward
Mataheko Ward

1 Nov
Cortessa Ward, Surprise Arizona Stake (1 Branch, 9 Wards)
Deer Meadow Ward, Saratoga Springs Utah Israel Canyon Stake (9 Wards)
Hidden Meadows Ward, Pleasant View Utah South Stake (11 Wards)
Ivins 5th Ward, Ivins Utah Stake (1 Branch, 8 Wards)
Magrath 7th Ward, Magrath Alberta Stake (2 Branches, 8 Wards)
Miami YSA Branch, Miami Florida Stake (1 Branch, 7 Wards)
Switzer Canyon Ward, Flagstaff Arizona Stake (1 Branch, 12 Wards)

YTD 541(12.30/week 44) +10 (net 4)
Africa 158, 29.2% (Middle East/Africa North Area Added)
Asia 18, 3.3%
Europe 26, 4.8%
North America (w/ Caribbean) 141, 26.1%
Pacific 46, 8.5%
South and Central America 58, 10.7%
Utah & Idaho 94, 17.4%

I'm not sure these are updating correctly in sync with the unit creations
Totals no-sensitive
Areas Temples Miss Stakes Dist Wards Branch Totals
Global 25 148 418 3,155 545 22,502 7,368 34,161
Us/Can 10 81 131 1,593 10 12,552 2,067 16,444
US n/a 73 124 1,546 7 12,215 1,916 15,881
Utah n/a 15 10 579 1 4,687 326 5,618
Canada n/a 8 7 47 3 337 151 553
Out 15 67 287 1,562 535 9,950 5,301 17,717

With Sensitive
Areas Temples Miss Stakes Dist Wards Branch Totals
Global 25 148 418 3,155 556 22,506 7,459 34,267

Anonymous said...

Mike/ anyone in the know:

Does the 300 minimum per ward include children of record or only confirmed members of the ward? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Reference would be nice too, if available.

The Opinion said...

In a previous post, it was asked about the temple use in the Raleigh and Columbia temples. I can't speak for Columbia but for Raleigh we have had a large uptick in the past 12 months in temple use during the week. The avg session has about 30 patrons out of 40 seats. This has been attributed partly to the local stakes attending the temple more frequently during the week and letting the stakes further away attend on Friday night and Saturday.

I know before the split of the Apex stake we had 1400 active temple recommend holders and the stake presidency challenged us to go once a month. If our stake alone went once a month we would fill every session for the whole month. That would leave the other eleven stakes without an opportunity to attend the temple. While that was done for January, as a stake presidency challenge, I think this may come closer to fruition with a new stake formed in Raleigh area because we will have more stake leaders that will be able to spend time with the ward members and teach them the importance of temple attendance. This is one reason I think a temple will be announced in the next 18 months for Charlotte. It will take a while to get it built so I would not expect the Charlotte temple operational until 2020 at the earliest.

The Opinion said...

As a side note, I went and compared the number of stakes for the temples that are the small 10,700 sq ft ones. In the US these are the top 8 temple districts according to the number of stakes servicing them

1. Columbus,OH- 16 stakes
2. Columbia,SC- 14 stakes
2. Oklahoma City,OK- 14 stakes
2. Spokane, WA- 14 stakes
3. Raleigh, NC- 12 stakes
4. Birmingham,AL- 9 stakes
4. Nashville,TN- 9 stakes
4. St. Paul, MN- 9 stakes

By looking at this it appears Ohio could have another temple announced in the near future. I know when I visited Kirtland, OH this summer, the stake presidency was inviting the members to pray for a temple to be built in the area. So this would be a possibility based on the number of stakes servicing the Columbus temple.

Columbia, SC has 5 stakes from NC going to it and one in TN.

For those that have attended these types of temples, you know they are very small and limited locker room space which makes it difficult to have a lot of sessions during the day. An hour and half is really the least amount of time to have between sessions. The Raleigh temple is 1h 45m but I noticed the Columbus temple is 1h 30m. Also limited parking during the evening can be an issue for those temples that share land with a stake center.

James Anderson said...

Another post now long buried had a comment on it about ward sizes and yes, 300 includes everyone, as the overseas standards indicate 150 per ward outside the US/Canada areas.

That would include everyone listed as a member or member of record under 9 but I'm not sure about older than that.

Joseph said...

Unit Update
11 Oct
Sabanalarga Branch, Barranquilla Colombia El Carmen Stake (3 Branches, 5 Wards)

18 Oct
Vila Sônia Ward, Piracicaba Brazil Stake (2 Branches, 8 Wards)

1 Nov
Buena Vista Branch (Spanish),Arcadia California Stake (1 Branch, 7 Wards)

YTD 545(12.39/week 44) +4 (net 6)
Africa 160, 29.4% (Middle East/Africa North Area Added)
Asia 18, 3.3%
Europe 26, 4.8%
North America (w/ Caribbean) 142, 26.1%
Pacific 46, 8.4%
South and Central America 59, 10.8%
Utah & Idaho 94, 17.2%

I'm not sure these are updating correctly in sync with the unit creations
Totals no-sensitive
Areas Temples Miss Stakes Dist Wards Branch Totals
Global 25 148 418 3,157 544 22,506 7,369 34,167
Us/Can 10 81 131 1,593 10 12,554 2,066 16,445
US n/a 73 124 1,546 7 12,217 1,915 15,882
Utah n/a 15 10 579 1 4,689 326 5,620
Canada n/a 8 7 47 3 337 151 553
Out 15 67 287 1,564 534 9,952 5,303 17,722

With Sensitive
Areas Temples Miss Stakes Dist Wards Branch Totals
Global 25 148 418 3,157 555 22,510 7,460 34,273

Mac Jison said...

The Mangaldan Philippines District will be organized as the Philippine's 96th stake. They have a special conference today and tomorrow.

John Pack Lambert said...

It looks like the Philippines are likely to be the next country to reach 100 stakes. I hope that Chile can regain that level soon, but with only 2 new stakes created since the major consolidation around 15 years ago or a little less, it does not look to be happening any time soon. Hopefully the second temple will assist in the development of spiritual maturity and lead to real growth for the Church.

On the issue of Spanish-speaking units, considering how much anti-Latino rhetoric I heard from some members of the Church in Las Vegas I am not surprised that many Latino members choose Spanish-speaking units no matter their linguistic levels. On the other hand my ward here in Michigan is much more Hispanic than the general population. Our ward clerk's mother was the daughter of Mexican migrant workers moving between south Texas and Michigan. Our ward mission leader is a native of Mexico, whose half hispanic father was born in Idaho but raised in Mexico, his wife was born in Colombia to an American mother and a Colombian father. We have another family in the ward where the husband is from Mexico. Also a sister in the ward born in Brazil but whose parents were from Uruguay and Argentina. I remember when I was little there was a sister who would give her testimony in Spanish with a brother in the ward who served his mission in Chile and whose wife was a native of Venezuela translating. I once even went to a baptism in our ward where the baptism was performed in Spanish. Of course the dominate immigrant group in the north suburbs of Detroit is Iraqis and other middle-easterners followed by people from South Asia. We did have a couple from India in the ward, and do have a few Iraqis, one of whom is active. We also had another Iraq who was very active, had served a mission, and was married to a woman from Swaziland. They moved to a neighboring ward. The first family with Arabic connections in our ward was the Velez family. Sister Velez was at least partly of Lebanese descent. Her husband was born in Mexico. He was my primary teacher when I was about 9. He was getting I believe a masters degree at a local university, and then got a job teaching high school in Bakersfield California. He was my favorite primary teacher ever.

John Pack Lambert said...

Today in my ward 3 African-Americans are getting baptized. They are all children and have been coming out for over a month. Their older brother who is 16 only came once or twice. He did have surgery, and that was the reason he didn't come a few times. I hope he starts coming out again. The youngest brother who has been coming out is under 8. Up until fairly recently there were very few African-Americans living in our ward boundaries. When I was little there was an African-American child in my primary class, who came to church along with his older sister and dad and mom. However that was back when part of Detroit itself was in our ward boundaries. When I was about 9 the boundaries were changed and there was a branch created for Detroit and we lost that family. I am fairly certain that we did not have any adult African-American males in our ward after that. When I was a teenager we did have two families with adopted African-American children. When I returned from my mission I found we had as our high council representative an African-American man living in Southfield. Also I believe it was the summer before I left on my mission that an African-American man who was a BYU student did an internship here in Michigan while living with a family in our ward. His white wife came to visit at least once but spent the summer primarily with her parents in I believe the Reno area of Nevada. The other ward that meets in our building, which probably has a lower percentage of African-Americans in its boundaries, does have a family where the husband is African-American and the wife is white. It also had another family where both the Dad and mom were African-American and the oldest son left on a mission last fall, but that family moved to Arizona sometime over the winter. That ward also has the sister from Swaziland, but her father was an Africaans man from South Africa and her mother is half-Swazi and half-British on both sides, so she does not look at all like what people think of as being African.

We did have a missionary in our ward up until a few months ago who was African-American.

L. Chris Jones said...

I saw the following site the other day detailing the most common language in each state after English and Spanish. http://mentalfloss.com/article/56714/most-commonly-spoken-language-each-state-besides-english-and-spanish. I wonder if this can impact missionary work and units in those states for language specific mission calls and units.

L. Chris Jones said...

Also: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/05/15/the-most-commonly-spoken-language-of-each-state-thats-not-english-or-spanish/

John, You mentioned having Iraqis in your ward. This map does show that the most common language in Michigan apart from English and and Spanish is Arabic. I wonder if we can work with those people more. Apart from the policy of limiting teaching Muslims. Other states could show progress in their respective common second or third languages

John Pack Lambert said...

I was just reading over the new stake presidency listings in the October 25th, Church News. In the Inglewood California stake the president is Brian Clark Ostler, assistant city attorney. My guess is he is an American of primarily northern European descent, although I have no proof he is not African-American. Fred Parker, the one African-American (as opposed to Afro-Brazilian, Ghanaian, Nigerian, Kenyan etc) Area Seventy has a name that does not stick out as African-American, and they stopped including pictures of new stake presidents almsot 20 years ago, and even when they did guessing race based on a picture was hit or miss. The first counselor is Penieli Filimoeatu Fie'eiki whose wife is Mary Lucy "Unga" Fie'eiki, although the quote marks look like a mistake. I am not good enough at deciphering ethnicity from names to say anything beyond that President Fie'eiki looks to be Polynesian or some sort. The president and first counselor are both 47. The second counselor is 31 year-old Jose Ricardo Monterroso whose wife is named Lidia Esperanza Camos Monterroso. I think overall for the Church it is better to integrate Anglos, Hispanics and Polynesians into one stake if you can have a multi-cultural stake presidency as happens here. However when you will end up with Latinos spread out over many stakes with stake presidencies that are not only non-Latino back lack anyone fluent in Spanish or understanding of Latino culture a different policy is needed. Of course I find it interesting that in Salt Lake County the Tongan stakes are all Tongan and the Samoan units are in the geographical stakes, while in Utah county there is a stake that is essentially hybrid Tongan/Samoan.

Eduardo Clinch said...

We have the exact name family, Fie'eiki, in our Virginia ward and they are Tongan.

John Pack Lambert said...

That makes me think it is very likely that President Fie'eiki is Tongan. He is quite possibly a relative of the family you know in Virginia. My guess is Sister Fie'eiki is a native of Hawaii with at least some polynesian ancestry, quite possibly Tongan but Samoan and Hawaiian are also possibilities. I could also be totally off.

CJ Quirk said...

Off the subject, have you read this, Matt?

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/danpeterson/2015/11/evangelicals-lag-behind-mormons-and-jehovahs-witnesses-on-church-involvement.html