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I remember it vividly, still. I was at Primary and our teacher said that we were having a ward fast for my father. A day or two prior, my father had the industrial accident that killed him and he was in the hospital fighting for his life.

This announcement from my teacher shocked me because I did not know about the fast ahead of time. Usually, I knew about everything in the ward and stake because my father was always in some sort of leadership position that always gave him access to all pertinent information. (In a past blog posting, I related how he did the Sacrament bulletin.)

In our family we ALWAYS knew about EVERYTHING. But suddenly, I was not one of the information haves anymore. I was one of the information have nots.

The transition was abrupt and startling to me. My mother never remarried and she did not serve in any leadership callings. This is not surprising with her being single and trying to raise five kids.

With my father gone, we never knew about much of anything after that. What is more, it has stayed like that my whole life, except when myself or my husband served in a leadership position or when I was the one constructing the bulletin every week.

It was most acute as a single woman. This held true even though I was still an active member. I do not know how many times I went to church only for someone to ask me why I did not go to the ward party the prior day or so. My answer, “Because I didn’t know about it!”

Well, how could I not know about it if I was active? Well, easy really. If I was a few minutes late or did not get a bulletin, I would have missed all the announcements. Working in the Primary or the Nursery would also deprive me of announcements. Nobody announces these events to children.

And, it only takes two weeks to be completely out-of-the-loop. And, that goes for anyone, not just single women.

I am not alone in feeling this way. Recently, I was out to lunch with a bunch of adult single women, mostly widows, all very active sisters. They all complained about not knowing about what was going on too. We commiserated with each other for a while.

I mentioned this to a local leader and he seemed to get angry that we all thought we were being kept uninformed, like leadership was somehow derelict in its duties.

If you are in the know and you do know what is going on, it is hard to understand those of us who feel outside the communication loop. But, I assure you, it is not my imagination and it is a serious problem. In fact, recent events have made it an emergency.

Next: Part 2: This is an Emergency!

This blog series will conclude every day with an assignment. There will be an assignment for both those who serve in some sort of leadership position and an assignment for members. Since we routinely rotate in and out of callings in the church, both are relevant for you. You just may not be able to complete the leader assignment right now if you are not currently serving in a leadership position.

Assignment for Leaders: Think about the information channels your ward currently functions under. How is information conveyed to members? Who and what information may be slipping through the cracks?

Assignment for Members: In the paper system of the past, leaders had to provide members with the information they needed. In the digital present, the responsibility has shifted to you to access it digitally. Start thinking that you are responsible for getting the information you need and do not wait for it. Resolve to seek it out, as much as you can.

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