It was raining lightly as Brian Ringwood, elders quorum president of the Darlington Branch, Billingham England Stake, made a dash for the meetinghouse door. But the rain didn't dampen his spirit or his enthusiasm. This day he was thinking "activation."
He was joined shortly by his counselors, Ian Robinson and Lloyd Gray. They were putting final touches on the "big turkey dinner," an activation event for the quorum.Brother Ringwood, himself a convert of less than five years, was concerned about the men who had become less-active over the years.
"I looked back at my own conversion," he said. "I was at a friend's house when the sister missionaries came to the door. They talked to us and gave me a copy of the Book of Mormon, and then they visited with me every day. I saw all the film strips, had all the discussions and, 17 days later, I was baptized.
"The missionaries cared about me, and they were there. That is how we feel about our quorum members. We decided to let them know that we care about them."
The turkey dinner was the result.
The quorum president described what he and his counselors did:
"1. We met as a presidency and set our plans. We prayed about activation and we talked about it. Then we set our plan and looked at every detail.
"2. We took the plan to the quorum and got their views on it. They agreed to it.
"3. We worked out the plan, set the pattern and made assignments. We prayed a lot about how to extend the invitation. We planned the menu from soup to mints.
"4. We printed invitations on Ian's computer. They were individual, personalized invitations. Then we personally delivered them. We were happy with the response. Most of the brethren and their wives were pleased and felt they would be there.
"5. Two days before the dinner, we made a second visit. We invited prospective elders and part-member families, as well as single mothers with children.
"6. We involved many of the ward members to cook, serve, perform music and to meet, shake hands with and friendship our guests to add to the occasion."
Brother Ringwood, who manages a bakery at nearby Billingham said, "We expected success. And we got it along with a delicious dinner. Some of our members have since been made high priests, and we expect to build our quorum with new and activated men. It was a wonderful and fun time with a spiritual highlight. It is exciting to see things happening.
"It was a success even before it happened for the quorum members were lifted and enthused. The entire branch enjoyed the upward motion of the quorum and appreciated being involved. This was action activation."