Ready, Set....Embark!

I posted this pic on Instagram last week of something wonderful I got to be a part of & shared a few thoughts about it.  So many were interested, had questions & wanted to learn more that I thought it deserved it's own blog post to tell you all about it.  

-My code name for 2015- 
The youth, in our church, got together to discuss the new mutual theme for 2015 from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in an activity last week.  The theme for the year is, Embark in the service of your God.  The youth, along with the leaders, planned the whole night. It is something our ward has done over the past couple of years & the youth really seem to enjoy it. It's a great way to kick off the new year.  The scripture, where the theme is taken from, Doctrine & Covenants 4:2 talks about serving him with all your heart, might, mind & strength.  So for this activity everyone, including leaders, were divided up into 4 groups to rotate through stations that focused on one of those key words.  

The groups made up of mixed youth, all age ranges & young women & young men, rotated through each station for a time of 10 minutes.  Each session was lead by an adult leader from the Youth Presidencies & Bishopric who shared some thoughts, inspiration & ideas on their assigned subject that all tied back to the theme.  
*I'll try to remember as much as I can from each station, but I was responsible of keeping time & moving everyone along so I was a little distracted too, wish I could remember all the wonderful scriptures, thoughts that were shared in each station. 

Station 1- Heart 

In this rotation everyone was given a box of conversation hearts with a printed out paper of D&C 4:2 attached to it. We read the theme & then each person took a minute to write down someones name that they could serve.  We then went around the room & everyone gave some simple ways they could give them service.  Some ideas were, talking to them, saying hi, calling them on the phone, sitting by them when they are alone, visit them in their home, pray for them.  It was a great way to get the kids talking about how easy serving someone can really be & a little sugar never hurt either.  

Station 2- Might 

In this rotation we were greeted by our leader, Agent Stone, who shared something fabulous with everyone.  He reminded us of who we are & what we have all "signed" up for as followers of Christ & members of the church.  He asked everyone to sign up to be part of a "Special Secret Service" this year, by doing good & serving those around us.  He passed along a sheet of paper, had everyone sign it & asked us all to make up a code name. By doing so we were pledging to serve our God & others throughout this coming year. We then filled out a name badge & wore it around for the rest of the night.  Really fun to see the names everyone choose & get to ask them way they chose the name that they did. Very interesting!   He shared a bunch of scriptures, that I wish I could remember, that were awesome & tied in perfectly to the point he was trying to get across.  

This is where my picture on Instagram comes into play. I choose the name The Magnifier tying it into my OLW of the year, Magnify.  I want to magnify my calling, see more clearly who I can serve, bring into focus service more in my life.  Excited to give this experiment a try!  I even saved my name badge & have it somewhere that I can see everyday.  Agent Stone even printed out a list of all the code names & gave it to each leader so we can check in with our Jr. Agents from time to time to see how they are doing on their secret mission.  More activities to follow on this I'm sure.  The kids really got into this & loved wearing the name tags proudly & I hope they remember who they are & what they signed up for to do.  I'm sure they will, GREAT kids!! 

In the current issue of LDS Living there is an article with 52 awesome bit-sized service ideas to do throughout the year.  Some different, fun & easy ways to give service.  Check it out! Couldn't find a direct link to the article but it is on news stands now. 

Station 3- Mind 

In this station everyone was asked what they had learned so far in the rotations, reminded how important it is to remember what we've learned & be smart in the decisions, choices & actions that we take everyday.  Everyone that had the chance to play around with a giant Jenga game, made out of 2x4's,  for a minute.  The point was to be smart, think through your move & work together to move the Jenga board up at least 10 levels.  Some groups did well, others struggled but it was interesting to watch the process.  A great little "break" from sitting & listening in the other stations to doing not to mention a little good competitive nature.  
{Was a little noisy when they tumbled} 

Station 4- Strength 

In this rotation everyone got to watch a great object lesson unfold that shows the strength we are in numbers versus being alone in doing what's right, living our standards & serving.  Everything is so much better & easier when we all stand together as one.  The leader asked nine people to stand up & gave each of the a popsicle stick, he then gave one person a stick & asked them to brake it, which they easily did. He then asked the group of nine to put all their sticks together & then asked one of the youth to try & brake it, which she couldn't.  Illustrating his point that we are stronger together than we are alone. The group than watched the youth theme video for the year & after all the youth & leaders pledged to Embark in the service of God this year by signing the mutual theme posters.  After they are signed they are displayed all year long outside the Bishops office.  You can print off the posters & watch the theme video HERE

To end the activity everyone met back in the chapel to discuss what we had learned during the evening.  The discussion was lead by a member of our Bishopric & 2 of the youth Presidents shared some thoughts on the theme & what it means to them.  A perfect way to end a great night.  Of coarse then there were refreshments, always a must! 

Really a great experience from start to finish!  A wonderful way to kick of the new year, introduce the theme to the youth & to serve as a good reminder of how the rest of the year should go as we plan out other activities for the youth each week.  Loved being a part of it & ready to Embark! 



Candice said...

I love this idea!! The 3 wards in our building are going to do a few joint activities and I'm in charge of the first one. So I think we are going to do something like this to remind them of this year's theme. Thank you for sharing!!

Honeybee said...

Thanks Candice, loved your idea too! Great activity.

Honeybee said...

Thanks Candice, loved your idea too! Great activity.