August 17, 2014
We were able to
participate in a new cluster being formed on Sunday August 17 in Ranfontiene, a
town outside of Johannesburg and in our mission. This area has many active and
less active members, but they all had to travel far to church, which is
A new innovative
idea is to bring the church to the people instead of the people to the
church. The Area President proposed this idea and it is being piloted in
SE Africa for the entire church.
The general idea
Have a branch president and
his counselors have stewardship over their regular branch and then also an
added cluster that meets in another area. The counselors and branch president will divide
and conquer and attempt to help two groups grow and become stronger as
separate, yet connected units.
What it did for
this small group was evident. It gives them motivation to grow their cluster to
a branch by bringing back less active members and getting more families to
convert and come and participate. The energy there on Sunday was electric. The
strong families were excited to have this new chance to grow the kingdom....
closer to home. Transportation is a big issue here. Many members do not have the resources to have cars, so they have to take taxi's to church or walk a very long way.
Notice how many children and families as part of
this first cluster. We were honored to be there with Elder and Sister Carl
Cook, (pictured below) the area president, as well as strong leadership from the branch.
This is the 3rd historic cluster of it's kind and it was special to have everyone go outside after sacrament meeting and take a picture for posterity. The Sunday School and Auxiliiary meetings were so well prepared and a delight to participate in. One of the amazing parts of this group is how many active Melchizedek Priesthood holders there are and the numbers of active families with children.
All of these meetings are taking place in a preschool the church has made arrangements to use each Sunday. Stay tuned...there will be more clusters to come in our mission boundaries. It is an exciting new concept and these pictures are being shared with the First Presidency in their weekly meetings this week. This is big news for the church to get this innovative new approach piloted in the South East Africa Areas of the church.