The Waynesboro Stake Seminary Kickoff for 2013 was held in August at the church in Waynesboro. It was impressive. 80 students were there, with their leaders. Some traveled over 2 hours one way to be at the meeting.
The mural leaning against the wall was equally impressive. The mural included two missionaries supported by a Book of Mormon, with the title “Stand Up, Stand Out”, the stake seminary theme for 2013/2014.
After introductions, students divided into smaller groups. They made Title of Liberty type banners. On the banners they named themselves, names like Choose the Right and Moroni’s Warriors. They also listed words they chose to represent themselves like family and faith (and food and fun). Finally each group member signed their name to the banner.
Next, groups separated to class rooms where leaders had prepared activities. For example, Sister Ware directed an activity on Scripture Mastery. The Book of Mormon is the course of study this year. Classroom activities centered on principles and stories from the Book of Mormon.
Since the opening kickoff meeting student and leaders have developed interesting ways to promote their theme. One activity was to paint the Beta Bridge. The Beta Bridge is near the UVA campus. Each day hundreds of UVA students walk over the bridge on their way to school. Others walk or drive by as well. Since 1926 it has been an accepted location for public forum, sort of a center for sophisticated graffiti. Early one September morning, two seminary classes converged on the bridge and, in a little over an hour, it was transformed into a low “Stand Up, Stand Out” billboard.
One of he seminary teachers captured the moment and shared it on You Tube. Here is the link:
We learned about how another seminary class lived the theme. We visited a seminary class held in a home in the rural area of he county. In the classroom was a poster with the theme written in the center. Each morning the class members shared “Stand Up, Stand Out” experiences. After sharing an experience they are able to put a sticker on the poster. When the class covers the poster with stickers they will celebrate with a field trip.
The morning we visited the class two experiences were shared. Both took place at the high school. One experience involved a student who said, “Your church is false. My dad went to a class and learned all about it.” The member student explained she knew it was true and said she could help him know it was true as well. Next, a boy and a girl said the subject of Mormons came up in a class. Incorrect things were said about the church by the students and the teacher. These two students made statements to correct inaccuracies and explained their connection with the church. The girl said she was scared to death, but felt good about what they did when it was over.
The seminary program in Charlottesville is doing a great job of helping young people develop an understanding of the church through knowledge and spiritual experiences. You can feel the spirit when you are around the students and their leaders.
These students are blessed by learning to “Stand Up” and “Stand Out.”