I am keeping a blog of some of my favorite finds as I serve in public affairs in New England. These are great ideas that I receive, want to compile and eventually bring to the table as I meet with local leaders.
This is a great article that just came out about the Kansas City Temple and the difference public affairs made. I felt so inspired by some of the things they did, that I wanted to break down the ideas to remember.
The Best Kept Secret in the Church written by Maurine Proctor
© 2012, Randy Johnson. All rights reserved.
Here are some great ideas I pulled from the article that could be used in your communities. I personally loved this first idea and want to pitch it for our community.
Idea # 1
“Better Together” benefit concert where seven different churches would each contribute a choir to sing and then they would all sing one song together. The song they learned for their joint number was “Because I Have Been Given Much.” The ticket for entrance was a bag of groceries that was given to the county food pantry.
Idea # 2
All the leaders of the various churches joined together for a picture with the mayor, and after the first year, two city councilmen and the chief of police wanted to join the group for the next year.
The local LDS public affairs team was creative in dreaming up their outreach. They had Stephen R. Covey come to present a seminar. They organized a Keystone Speaker’s Bureau and made members, who had special areas of expertise, available as speakers to local community groups. To date the Keystone bureau has presented 315 programs to more than 11,000 people, with one of the more recent speeches to the Gladstone Rotary Club on “Making the Best of Times in the Worst of Times.”
To be effective, the public affairs committee does intense training with those who are called. They canvas other areas for ideas, and most of all they help cultivate a sense of outreach in the members in their area.
Rodger and Rean Duncan have been masters of outreach, regularly hosting events in their home for ministers and other community leaders in Liberty, Missouri where they live—just a few blocks from the infamous and historic Liberty Jail. Because of this they have developed rich friendships all over their area. Rodger noted that one friend was confronted by someone claiming that Mormons aren’t Christians. “I know that’s not true,” their friend answered, “because I’ve been in the Duncan’s home at Christmas, and they worship Christ and everything about their house and this gathering spoke of him.
It is not just a (Kansas City) temple dedication that is an opportunity for the ‘friendshipping’ and outreach that constitutes public affairs. Those who have caught the vision in their area make an enormous difference for the Church. Just as a groundbreaking for a temple is an act of faith, so is the leadership and vision that animates public affairs.
Public affairs demands devotion and creativity and where it operates effectively can make all the difference for the Church.