Wow - amazing worthwhile in the works. Yes, believe it or not, I'm talking about 1pm meeting times for church. I never liked late afternoon meetings. I (used to) like getting meetings out of the way early in the morning so I could start ticking off my to-do lists, but I have to say that today was fabulous.
We slept in - which proved to be a merciful blessing for Ryan who had another migraine (pretty standard practice for him), and then I had all morning to prepare myself and the kids for church. Mostly, I loved being able to start my fast and then spend time thinking about the Savior and his power to answer prayers before even leaving for church. (Fasting for two meals being part of our worship the first Sunday of each month, the unused food goes to those without.) I just felt so much more prepared to feel the spirit. The meetings have also been switched around so that the 3-hour block for our congregation now starts with the separate men's/women's classes first, then the joint men's/women's class and then sacrament with the whole family. This can be very difficult with younger kids, but there are merits as well. I found as I studied scripture with first, my ward sisters and then with all of the adults, I felt much closer to those with whom I was going to partake of the sacrament. This was especially poignant to me as this Sunday, being fast Sunday, was also testimony meeting, where members of the congregation can stand and bear witness to truths of church doctrine as they've experienced them in their lives. I felt more love and compassion to those I was worshipping with in that last hour than I had before in similar meetings.
I also loved that I was taking the sacrament and renewing my covenants to remember Christ after having just left two wonderful lessons - one on faith in Christ, and the other on events in Christ's life.
Yep, rail all you want - I may have been tempted to join you in the past - but I'm loving the late meeting schedule! Can't wait to go back next week!