If my Facebook page gets 3,000 likes, I will run for Lethbridge city council.

I need your help.

I’m hoping to run for Lethbridge city council this fall, but I have placed a limit on myself (for various reasons): I can’t run until my Facebook page gets 3000 likes.

I don’t want to get into the reason why I chose to do it this way or why I picked 3000. Just know that a lot of research and thought went into this.

Nomination day for Lethbridge city council candidates is 23 September 2013, so to be safe, I’d like my Facebook page to get 3,000 likes by 22 September.

Earlier today, my page passed a milestone: it had more total likes than any current candidate Facebook page. Things can only go forward from here.

I am only at 330 likes, so I pretty much still have 90% of my likes to go. Please like my page. Once you’ve liked it, please share it on your Facebook wall.

Thanks in advance for all your work.

Looking for male actors

The-United-Order-Picture_1

I am directing a play next month, and I am looking for male actors.

The play is Carol Lynn Pearson’s musical “The Order is Love. It’s about the collapse of the United Order. Despite already having 30 actors in place, we’re still short 4 men.

If you are in the Lethbridge area and interested in being a part of this great play, please let me know. If you know someone in the Lethbridge area who would like to be a part of this play, please let me know.

Goodbye 2010

This is cross posted at my personal blog, HotPepper.ca.

What a year!

This year, I did the following:

This year was filled with ups and downs. Here’s hoping 2011 is a bit more even.

Day of Rest

Seven months after I was laid off as a nine-year employee of the University of Lethbridge, I finally found a job.

It was a relief.

I had sent out dozens of resumes and had several interviews, but nothing seemed to come to fruition. Finally, after nearly running out of severance pay, I found a job with a solid, growing company. That’s an entirely different post.

Having been there for three weeks now, I’ve noticed a few things. It’s a stressful, hectic work environment seasoned well with colourful language. It’s much different compared to my last work environment.

The downside to this job is my shift runs Wednesday to Sunday. It’s the first time in my adult life I have had to work Sundays. The last time I was job hunting, I had three job offers, and ignoring a job that required me to work Sundays was an option. This time, I had no choices; this was my only job offer.

I was heartbroken when I found out I had to work Sundays.

Sundays have for many years been a special day for me. It has been a day unlike others: the only work I do is church related; I don’t participate in general entertainments; and I try to do gospel-related, enriching activities.

Having to work on Sundays is going to make this very difficult to maintain.

After I accepted the job (partly because I needed money to support my family and partly because of opportunities promised in the future), I thought about this some more and realized there were some things I could do to keep some semblance of spirituality in my life.

Luckily, my calling as ward executive secretary doesn’t require much my being at church on Sunday. A lot of what I have to do on Sundays can be done electronically or dropped off at the church before church starts.

I was able to arrange my dinner break to coincide with one of the wards in our building. At least, I can sing two of the hymns and partake in the sacrament.

We are going to continue being faithful in participating in our monthly ward temple night.

I am singing in the stake Christmas cantata.

I dress in my Sunday best even though everyone else is dressed in jeans and t-shirts.

Today was my first Sunday shift (the last two weeks were training Monday to Friday), and I have to say that I have never appreciated a Sacrament Meeting as much as I did today. As I mentioned above, my stressful, hectic, colourful work environment makes it difficult to feel the Spirit.

Going to church and being among my fellow saints today was a real blessing. For 40 minutes, all the swearing was gone. All the phone ringing was gone. All the worrying and stress was gone. For 40 minutes, I could relax, pray, and meditate. Even with screaming babies, today’s Sacrament Meeting was a harbour of strength during a spiritually turbulent day.

Today’s experience gave me an entirely different perspective on what it means when we refer to Sunday as a day of rest. Rest indeed.

Changes in the Lethbridge Alberta Stake

Later in the day after the cross-Canada stake conference, the stake presidency of the Lethbridge Alberta Stake announced in a meeting to which the had invited all their members that they were disbanding all the family wards (1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th ,8th).

They announced a realignment of ward boundaries (as well as taking in a portion from the Lethbridge Alberta East Stake) to create five new wards: Coulee Ridge, Chinook, Centennial Park, Legacy, and Park Meadows. Every one who held a ward calling (including elders quorum presidencies and high priest group leaderships) were released except the bishoprics of the former 1st, 2nd and 4th ward (now bishoprics in Coulee Ridge, Chinook, and Centennial Park respectively).

Bishoprics in all five wards have been spending the last two weeks trying to restaff every ward position. As executive secretary (in the former 1st Ward and recently called in the Coulee Ridge Ward), I have been involved in this process.

Our first week, we spent discussing, praying about, and calling ward leadership. The second week we spent discussing and praying recommendations from that ward leadership for staffing in their quorums and auxiliaries. It has been an exhausting, but spiritually fulfilling experience.

In the Coulee Ridge Ward, we take in most of the former 1st Ward, some of the former 2nd Ward, and everything our stake inherited from the East Stake. We are the largest ward, geographically, in the stake.

Our ward leadership is very mixed as far as ward origins. We have presidents and counsellors from all three previous wards, and it was interesting seeing the dynamics of this new leadership team slowly unfold in our first Ward Council meeting this morning.

The Lethbridge First Ward suffered from having many older members and many young, married members, and very few in between. The Coulee Ridge Ward has been blessed with a vast spectrum of families covering all ages. Our ward is now more economically diverse, whereas before we had a lot of people struggling financially and a lot of people very well off.

What’s nice about the changes I have mentioned above is that our ward doesn’t feel like the Lethbridge First Ward with some members of the Second and Fairmont Wards thrown in; it feels like the Coulee Ridge Ward.

Further changes (switching the Primary and Relief Society rooms; moving the Young Women, and moving the priesthood out of the gym and into the old Young Women room; moving Gospel Doctrine out of the chapel and into the new Relief Society room) have further helped establish this as a completely different ward.

I am really excited about these changes. I am sad for the small number of families (fewer than ten) we lost to the Chinook Ward, but we gained several dozen new families who are dedicated and willing to serve.

Being a part of the process has been a great experience, and when it is all one (probably at least two or three more weeks still to go), I think all of it will be valuable for me in the future.

David A. Bednar in Lethbridge

Elder David A. Bednar was in Lethbridge this weekend providing training to bishops and stake presidencies from the region. He also spoke to the general membership of the Lethbridge Alberta Stake this morning.

Here are a few things that stuck out to me. These are not direct quotes.

Conference talk topics are not assigned; although, the time alloted to the talks are. Any orchestration of common themes between talks is done in heaven. We determine the subjects of the talks by how we conduct ourselves. For example, if we are tired of hearing about tithing, we need to pay our tithing.

When listening to the conference talks, we should seek to identify the doctrine of the gospel, look for invitations to act, and look for the promised blessings.

He talked about the Apostasy, the Restoration, and the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times

Focusing on the gospel as being a celestial checklist discourages us from gathering all things together in one in Christ. Checking the boxes does not produce spiritual strength. In the War in Heaven, Lucifer didn’t lose; he rebelled. He called Lucifer’s rebellion the first something-for-nothing scam.

Agency is more than choosing; it is the power and capacity of independent action (see 2 Nephi 2). Agency is serving God and our fellow beings. Once we have made the baptismal covenant, we no longer have the choice to break the commandments. Parents need to teach children to exercise agency in the bounds the Lord has set; no force or coercion. Obedience is honouring the terms and conditions of the covenants

We should seek the companionship of Holy Ghost, exercise agency, and bless and serve others. We should not focus on running programs and worrying about numbers instead of peeople.

As we ponder Ephesians 1:10, we will have eyes to see what we’ve not seen, ears to hear what we’ve not heard, spiritual vitality, spiritual direction to give us added purpose, and spiritual protection.