2.27.2008

"THAT'S NOT MY GOOD NEWS MOMENT!"

Other than the possibility that a Mormon might really win American Idol this year (thank you David "Aw Shucks, Golly Gee" Archuleta), other recent exciting news to come out of the Mormon world is the immediate church-wide dismissal of "Good News Moments."

I learned from attending Relief Society in Camarillo a few weeks ago that "Good News Moments" are through, fini, KAPUT. This decision supposedly coming straight from the General Relief Society Board in Salt Lake City. For those unfamiliar with the practice, "Good News Moments" occurred during the opening announcements of Relief Society. The person conducting would say, "Any good news moments?" and then women in the room would raise their hands to share good news like new grandchildren, job promotions, etc. I think this was supposed to help us feel more of a sisterhood or kinship with one another by sharing our "good news." At least I think that was what was originally intended.

The first time I heard of "Good News Moments" was in Camarillo, and I'll admit, I thought our ward Relief Society presidency was just making this whole thing up. They had done crazy things in the past - like the one time the Visiting Teaching Supervisor dressed up in an actual chicken mascot costume to hand out chicken soup. Or the other time the Relief Society President did a cartwheel during her lesson. I figured this was just something else funny they had made up to get our attention. (Unfortunately, I remember the gimmicks, but can't remember the points of the lessons.)

"Good News Moments" in Camarillo was usually okay. Although, there were some weird things like -

"I finally killed the spider in my garage!"
"My husband didn't beat me today!"
"My period started! Whew!"
"I'm 5 minutes pregnant!"

Alright, so I made those last three up, but there was weird stuff like that. It was uncomfortable. My friend had her mother-in-law say once, while she was also sitting in the same Relief Society, "Someone in my family is pregnant, but she doesn't want anyone to know!" Everyone looked at my friend and started smiling at her. She wasn't pregnant. It was really awkward.

My Mom thinks that the "Good News Moments" got canceled because the General Relief Society Board heard her story. I won't go into the details, but a few summers ago someone in my Mom's ward announced some good news relating to my mom. Everyone looked at my mom and said, "Wow, Kathy!" My Mom said, "That's not my good news." The room was really quiet for a few minutes. My Mom got up and walked out. I'm not making this up. It was a bad situation. So bad, that I refuse to write the specific details about the story for fear of "stirring the pot."

Funny, in Tehachapi, they never did do "Good News Moments" here. Maybe that's because there is no good news in Tehachapi, or our Relief Society was above such nonsense. Apparently the Estrella Hills Ward still hasn't gotten the memo, because when I visited my parents last weekend, they were still doing "Good News Moments." There was still that awkward silence as people tried to come up with something positive to say. Then what started off good, turned into travelogues and weird stories. I thought, "Man, these women need to start their own blogs or something to get all these stories and thoughts off their chests. "

I will not miss "Good News Moments."

24 comments:

  1. I have never lived in a ward that did good news moments. They always seemed like "my time to brag/gloat moments."

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  2. In Washington and here we never did good news moments, but that doesn't mean I haven't heard people make crazy comments about their personal life in relief society. AWKWARD!

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  3. So you couldn't find the actual reason why they got rid of it? (caitlin)

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  4. I can only hope and pray that this news is true. I also HATE the good news moment. Was there anyone that liked them? Oh, that's right, the crazy people did. Can you let us know where you heard the good news?

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  5. I only heard "good news moments" in my in-laws ward in Ojai. There were some interesting ones over the years. I thought that it was something that only happened in their small town ward!

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  6. Thanks for the FYI. I just got put in the RS presidency and we've been doing the Good News Moment. I will pass the info along.

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  7. I had never ever seen the good news moments until I visited my mom's ward in Camarillo...however, growing up in camarillo I don't recall that they did it before. I didn't really like it. I think that the people who do like it are the ones that like to talk about themselves. If you have good news that needs to be shared then just share it...don't make a whole section of church just for that! I also don't think that this is part of "the program" officially. Sorry to hear about your mom's experience.

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  8. I only ever experienced the good news moments in Camarillo as well... didn't realize it was a church wide thing.

    Funny you should say that about those people needing to start blogs. I actually said that to Brandon a couple fast and testimony meetings ago when the same guy got up to tell us all of his family's ailments for 20 minutes, like he does almost every fast Sunday. But would anyone read these peoples blogs? Maybe they could all read each others.

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  9. You just brought back angry feelings I had about your friends mother-in-law. I'm over it, but it is just so typical. I am counting to 5 and taking deep breaths.

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  10. I am not responsible for my wife's sketchy relationship with capitalization and apostrophes.

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  11. the man... aka my husband
    I left off one apostrophe. And most of mt typing these days is one handed while feeding or holding a newborn. Back off.

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  12. Good news moments or not, I would glad to be the heck out of primary and in Relief Society so I could observe some REAL drama. These little kids are getting on my nerves.

    Oh! And I don't think I ever properly thanked you for NOT having one of the e-wombs on your blog. Thank you.

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  13. We the "Good News Moment" in our ward. I admit the few times I've been to R.S. in our ward, I didn't even know what to share with the whole group of women. And I didn't need to -- the same women always had something to say. It'll be interesting to see if our ward got the memo.

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  14. My ward in Washington did the good news moments and I never liked it because, as other people have commented, it's always the same people bragging about stuff that no one cares about. (does that sound mean?) The worst was when someone revealed that another woman was pregnant and she wasn't planning on telling anyone yet!

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  15. I'm glad they're doing away with it. I think it's lame-o. Seriously, ours are like "my daughter got out of prison this week". Our ward will probably keep doing them for another year or so...we like to do things long after we've been told not to :).

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  16. Well, here's something from The LDS Church website: "Q: Do we have to have the good news minute? It takes up too much of the teacher’s time and is turning into bragging instead of actual good news.
    A: The Church Handbook of Instructions does not specify a policy regarding a good news minute in Relief Society meetings. The purpose of Relief Society meetings is to study the gospel, and opening exercises are to set the tone of the meeting for the lesson. Please refer to pages 201, 221, and 314 of the Church Handbook of Instructions, Book 2, which outline the purposes, activities, and planning and conducting guidelines for Relief Society meetings. It is left to local Relief Society leaders in counsel with local priesthood leaders as to whether or not this practice will strengthen Relief Society sisters."

    I'm stuck in the library, and usually come to RS late, so I seldom hear the GNM. However, I was shocked the first time I heard it because, while I don't think it was meant to be bragging, it could have been taken that way. Other times I've been glad they had it, such as when I learned our neighbor didn't have Alzheimer's, for instance. I think the purpose was to have some idea of what's going on with people; some people are so busy, don't go to Enrichment, and don't visit in the hall after church.

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  17. Man your friend must have been so embarrass when her mother-in-law did that. I think that would definitely be my worst nightmare.

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  18. (Meghann Cheney) Yeah, good news minute had its ups and downs...although I am proud to say that my mother is the relief society president in the Camarillo ward and did the cartwheel and chicken suit idea. I thought they were awesome- and I am glad that at least someone tries to get those ladies excited about relief society!

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  19. I think it's a good thing they aren't doing it anymore. I think February was our last month doing it here. It was always something like, "This isn't really a good news moment, but if you guys need a good service project, you can go visit sally the shut in. She is really lonely and loves when people visit." In my mind I always thought something like, "This week's good news moment has been brought to you by Deseret Book" in a game show announcer voice. They just started doing "missionary moments" however. In every meeting. RS, Primary, Sunday School, EQ. What do you think about that?

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  20. Jamie - I'm okay with missionary moments, except that sometimes it sounds like people are bragging and it can also be EXTREMELY uncomfortable when there are investigators or less active church members in the meeting. Then I start thinking, "Do we sound like crazy people trying to get people to come to church? What would I think if I were in their shoes and heard these 'missionary moments'?"

    Wow, having them in every meeting sounds a little extreme.

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  21. Hi! You do not know me, as I am old friends with one of your friends. She had a link to your page and I clicked on it one day and have been hooked ever since. I enjoy your blog because I have a son a little younger than yours and it is so funny to read your posts. You are quite entertaining! Anyway, I had to comment and find out where you read this information about the "Good News Minutes." My old ward did it, and my current one didn't until this week. We got a new RS Presidency about 3 weeks ago and they started this today. I hate to burst their bubble, but I was thinking of informing them. I would love the info on the source! Thanks!

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  22. Nicole - I really can't find it written anywhere. Strange, huh? Just that the RS Presidency stood up and said they had received "direction straight from the General RS Board" to discontinue Good News Moments and that it was church wide. Since so many people are telling me that their wards are continuing to do it, I am wondering now if the RS presidency just made this up... I think I will send an email to the RS President and get back to you.

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  23. Nicole -
    So I wrote the RS President who announced it (Meghan's mom) and she told me that she received instruction from her Stake President to stop it. She didn't know if he got an official letter or if it was just his instruction. She didn't ask. So that solves a lot of the confusion as to why some wards are doing it still and others have stopped. The RS President also told me that her mom's ward in another stake received the same instruction. Interesting.

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