LDS women host 'day of remembering'

As much of the nation focused attention on an island in the Pacific to commemorate the anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor recently, a day of remembering was taking place on the Atlantic coast.

The Savannah Georgia Stake Relief Society hosted "Women's Day Out," a workshop series with special invitations to women whose husbands serve in the military or who serve themselves. Participants were asked to share a thought on "I remember when. . . ."Women primarily from three military cities in the stake gathered Dec. 7 at the stake center, representing the Coast Guard, Army, Marine Corps and Navy.

Fresh baking bread, mass production cake decorating, quilt displays, family photo collages, and family group sheet instructions were presented in rotating one-hour sessions. A luncheon followed the workshops.

Although many military husbands were on temporary duty away from home, it was not the same as their being away from home last year. For Christmas 1990, most of the servicemen and some women from the stake's area were in Saudi Arabia in preparation for Desert Storm.

The "Women's Day Out" activities planted a new seed of friendshipping outreach through Relief Society homemaking activities. Stake Primary, Young Women and Relief Society presidents, and the family history librarian took roles in the day's presentations.

"In the infancy of building the Church in this area, coastal Georgia and South Carolina have enjoyed on-going military participation, though membership has been revolving with transfers, base closings and changes," said John S. Cawley, president of Savannah Georgia Stake. "The diligence of military families bolstered the few early members.

"As service members are stationed in our stake, they accept callings of leadership. With the combination of military and gospel preparedness, faith and discipline, their Church service has helped to build and strengthen the membership."

Pres. Cawley said a day of Relief Society-type workshops "is one way to demonstrate our concern and unconditional love. Through continuing communications with base chaplains, military wives' clubs and member contacts, we think we will be successful in reaching out to include military women in Relief Society. LDS military wives tell us of the military women's need for caring friends, especially in the absence of their husbands who are often away. A second need noted was inexpensive activities, basically some time for themselves and their interests. Homemaking workshops fill both voids. We are anxious to make an all-out effort to assure their visits are very positive ones."

He added that visitors who attended activities such as that sponsored by the stake "will be encouraged to find the Church wherever they go."

One Jewish visitor, 78-year-old Betty Platt, was also a workshop instructor. She expressed throughout the day her marvel at the camaraderie of all the participants, the outstanding Church building facilities, and the practicality of the class topics. She said she experienced first-hand LDS friendshipping abroad when she was mugged while in Egypt with her now-82-year-old female traveling companion. She said two LDS couples "adopted" them until their flight home. She willingly agreed to demonstrate her collage talents at the stake event.

Guests attending the "Women's Day Out" activity took samples of items demonstrated or served during the event, including homemade bread, muffins, craft items and family group sheets on which preliminary work had been done.

Notice of monthly homemaking classes, with ongoing invitations to contacts on the military bases in the stake boundaries will continue to be issued by ward Relief Society presidencies.

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