“Our Sacrament Meeting Program-Newsletter,” Ensign, Oct. 1997, 69
Though printing a weekly sacrament meeting program is not required, some wards and branches choose to do so. Our ward has found it helpful to combine the program with the ward newsletter. A folded sheet of paper printed on both sides allows four half-pages, so if a half-page is used for sacrament meeting, the other three can be used for news. We include:
Area news, such as dates for the Know-Your-Religion series, the Family History Library schedule, or multistake activities.
Stake news, such as youth dance schedules, upcoming firesides, and calendar items for the coming week.
Ward news, such as planned socials, temple excursions, youth activities, Primary Achievement Days, choir practice, and other events. We also include a section on ward members who have recently been sustained to new callings, people who have moved into the ward, babies who have been blessed, and children who have been baptized.
Special news about ward members, such as an announcement of an upcoming mission, recognition for achievements, or other noteworthy events. Once a month we also print a list of birthdays.
We like to focus our news on what is coming up rather than on past events. It seems to work best when we call to get the information we need rather than wait for others to bring it to us. Flexibility is also important. For example, one fast Sunday we honored a request from a homebound ward member to print his testimony in our program-newsletter. Another time we included a recipe many sisters had requested. Sometimes we have even listed items that have gone into the lost-and-found box.
Doing these things has helped us improve the use of a Sunday program and eliminated the practice of a separate monthly newsletter.—Jo Ellen Ashworth, Bountiful, Utah