Thursday, September 30, 2010

Bishopric Reorganized

As members of the Bloomington 7th Ward extended a vote of thanks to Ryan Barton for his service since February 2009 as 2nd Counselor in the bishopric, they also raised their hands to sustain Roy Stephen to the position, called to serve by the spirit of revelation and in accordance with the Law of Common Consent.

A lifetime scouter, an avid fisherman and golfer, and most recently the Young Men's president, Brother Stephen is no stranger to service in a bishopric. While living in Oakland, California he was in a Vietnamese branch presidency. Soon after moving to Bloomington, he was called to serve as a counselor to Bishop Dean Christensen and later to Bishop Jim Ottesen.

In between fishing trips and golf games, Brother Stephen will have duties relating to oversight of the YM/YW program, Scouts, music, Activities Committee, fast offerings, stake farm, preparedness, Deseret Industries and the cannery.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Avery Makes the Wright Choice

On Sunday night at the Bloomington Stake Center, Avery Wright took part in an ordinance as old as the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Surrounded by family and friends, the 8-year-old "made of sugar and spice and everything nice" was baptized by immersion and confirmed by her father David Wright in obedience to the Lord's commandment, and to receive the many blessings promised to her as a member of the church. Avery is the youngest daughter of David and Gentry Wright and a 3rd grader at Bloomington Elementary School.

In the words of President Gordon B. Hinckley, it is now the duty of the members of the Bloomington 7th Ward to help Avery "become a strong and faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - a young woman who loves the Lord, who understands the gospel, who fellowships with the Saints and who partakes of the beauties and wonders of the gospel of Jesus Christ."

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Stake Picnic Marks End of Summer

The weather was clear and hot, the dogs were tasty, the music lively, conversation relaxed and comfortable and dark glasses were prevalent among nearly 1000 members, family and friends who enjoyed the annual Bloomington Stake picnic - marking the final day of summer - on Tuesday, September 21. There were lots of activities, including a bounce house, to keep the kids enthused; and, as the old saying goes, "a good time was had by all!"

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Scouts Celebrate 100 Years

More than 4000 Scouts of all ages, including those from the Bloomington 7th Ward, the Bloomington Stake and the general scouting community took part in the 100th anniversary celebration of the Boy Scouts of America on Saturday, September 18 at the Washington County fairgrounds. Through A Year of Celebration, A Century of Making a Difference, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Venture Scouts enjoyed the daylong celebration of the incredible impact of living the Scout Law and the dedication of young men throughout the country to five of Scouting's core values: leadership, character, community service, achievement, and the outdoors.

The day was filled with noisy fun and challenging games testing skills and abilities. Cub Scouts learned how to make catapults, swords, shields and how to read a map. They even got to battle in mass chaos (whose idea was that) with 3000 of them going at it simultaneously. Bloomington 7th had no injuries and blue beat yellow! The closing ceremonies - with live music, an address from President Monday and fireworks -were the best ever!!! All the leaders are still recuperating . . .

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Young Women Reorganized

Cindy Stephenson (center), who recently moved into the ward with her family, has been sustained as President of the Young Women’s Program. According to Sister Stephenson, "this is the first time I've been in YW's . . .ever!! It's going to be an all new experience!"

She will be assisted in her new assignment to help each young woman, ages 12-18, learn the gospel and develop strong testimonies "that they may come unto Christ," by 1st Counselor Linda Felder (right in red), 2nd Counselor Karin Smith (left in green), and Secretary Mary Jean Carson. Also sustained (but not pictured) were Debbie Harrison as Beehive class leader and Lori Schall as teacher of the Mia Maids class while Paula Bown will continue as Laurel class instructor.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Toe-tapping at Tuacahn

Nearly a dozen sisters from the Bloomington 7th Ward donned a uniform of black slacks and white shirts to serve as Tuacahn ushers for a performance of “Crazy for You!” This unusual - and unofficial - Relief Society activity was a perfect end to the long, hot summer. It was hard not to smile throughout the performance which included a number of familiar Gershwin tunes and lots of dancing. In fact, it was so much fun to “step out” together, the sisters are going back on September 22 for “Tarzan.”

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Meet the Stephensons

Bob and Cindy Stephenson have lived in St. George for 11 wonderful years. With their recent move across Man-O-War Bridge, they are pleased with their new neighborhood and look forward to getting to know another ward family in the Bloomington Stake.

As a young man, Bob served a mission in the Washington DC/Virginia area, then returned home to attend Utah State University where he graduated with a degree in Landscape Architecture. Cindy received an associates degree from Ricks College, then almost completed a bachelors degree in English Literature at Utah State before her studies were interrupted when she met and fell quickly and madly in love. Bob and Cindy were sealed in the Oakland California Temple and have enjoyed 31 delightful and eventful years. Throughout their married life the Stephenson’s have lived in lovely places from the east to the west -from Maryland to Oregon and a several places in-between.

Bob and Cindy have been blessed with 5 wonderful, talented children, all who have served or are now serving missions.

Eldest sons Rob and Joe are both married with children and both families live in St George!

Only daughter Anna was married in June and now lives in Logan with her new husband, where they both work and go to school.

Clark recently returned from a mission in Chile, and plans to complete his associates degree at Dixie then finish his college education elsewhere.

Youngest son Brian left in July for a mission in Ventura, California.

Bob and Cindy have both served faithfully in the Church throughout their married life, each serving in a variety of callings. She has taught and served as president in Primary, and as a counselor in Relief Society. He has been in a bishopric and together they have served in the nursery, in scouts and as chairmen of the activities committee.

Bob has been in real estate development for the last 18 years. With the downturn in the economy, he has returned to residential landscape design and repair, as well as website SEO optimization for companies wanting to increase their online presence.

Cindy has what she honestly believes to be the best “job” in the world. For the last 7 years she has had the blessing and privilege of being a hiking guide for a local health spa. This means she gets to hike 3 to 6 days a week in the glorious red desert of St George!!! The added benefits of this 'job' is she gets to share her love and appreciation and beauty of the area . . .plus, she often gets to share her feelings about being a member of the Church. She gets to hike, exercise and meet new people from all over the country, all in the name of 'work.”

“We have been greatly blessed and know all our blessings come from a loving, compassionate Heavenly Father, whom we love to serve,” notes Cindy.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Allen Scott Lives to Laugh Another Day

There probably aren’t many people who get the unique opportunity to see the reaction to their passing from this life while still among the living, but Allen Scott is certainly among that number! Last week, the story of Brother Scott’s death went through the ward like wildfire. No one knows how the rumor got started nor could anyone verify the story - not from the bishop, the newspaper . . . even local mortuaries had no information. Finally - after numerous calls and e-mails from worried ward members - the bishop called Sunnie Olsen, the Scott’s daughter to inquire as to the health of her father. She responded, her mother . . . and her father were very much alive and enjoying some vacation time on a California beach. When Sunnie called her parents to relay the story, they all enjoyed a good laugh. Now Brother Scott can say, as the American author and humorist Mark Twain is reported to have said after reading his own obituary in a hometown newspaper, “the report of my demise have been greatly exaggerated!”

Monday, September 6, 2010

Brianna is Baptized

Brianna Stanley, youngest daughter of Gary and Diana, was baptized and confirmed by her father on Friday, September 3 to become the newest member of the Bloomington 7th Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Those in the circle of priesthood holders were Bishop John Goldhardt, Brianna’s uncle DJ McDonald and her grandfathers Ken Hayes and Lynn Stanley.
According to her proud momma, “NeeNee (a nickname given to her by Lane when he first started talking) turned 8 on June 15, but we delayed her baptism until my parents could be here from Georgia. She was very excited about her baptism and talked a lot about wearing white clothing that evening and being clean.”

Brianna is in 3rd grade at George Washington Academy, where her favorite subject is art. She's an avid reader who is currently enjoying the books Eragon and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Catching Up: Meet the Hollowells

Bob and Carol Hollowell are understandably proud of their family, consisting of four handsome sons: Jordan, Baron, Montana and Bronco! According to a parent who tries her best not to sound boastful, each is making his place in the world in different, but distinct ways.

At the moment, Jordan is serving as a zone leader in the Thailand Bangkok Mission and due home in April, 2011. Baron is about to venture out into the world, too, leaving soon for a short term humanitarian service mission in Brazil, one of 25,000 volunteers traveling abroad with Cross Country Solutions. Montana, at age 17, "is involved in everything," says his mother. Indeed, it would appear so as this senior at Dixie High School runs cross country, placed first in the Utah State horticulture test, tries out for the Madrigal Choir and for a part in his school’s production of "Phantom of the Opera." At the same time, he is fielding a choice of college scholarships for both sports and academics. Bronco, at age 13, is also a fierce competitor in cross country, placing 2nd at Dixie Middle School. "I don’t know what I’d do without him," states his devoted mother. "I don’t want to brag, but personally, I think he is the best kid in the world."

Husband and father Bob Hollowell recently took a job at Hafen Insurance, where he shares office space with Valerie Swanson, another member of the Bloomington 7th Ward. Carol, a graduate of Oregon State with a degree in exercise sport science, works part time selling telecommunications services. In their spare time, the couple enjoys hiking, golf, taking care of neighbors in need and spending time with their sons.

Both from Bend, Oregon, Bob and Carol were raised in the church. He served a mission to Indiana before they were married in the Portland Temple, then each served in a variety of callings including in the Young Mens and Young Womens programs. He also served as Elders Quorum president and she as a chorister ("but, don’t tell Dori Wilkerson," she jokes). Along the way, however, they left the church . . . until they moved to St. George where they are currently serving as Webelos leaders and gradually coming back into full activity.

Two years ago, Carol’s uncle fell ill with kidney disease and desperately needed a transplant. Carol stepped up to offer this gift of life, but was not a match. Still anxious to help, she offered her kidney to a 2-year-old stranger in Salt Lake City on the condition her uncle be moved to the top of the list until an appropriate match could be found. "It was a powerfully spiritual experience," notes Carol. Now 4-years-old and doing well, little Amelia is the main reason the Hollowell’s moved to southern Utah. "We wanted to be close to her, but couldn’t bear the thought of living in Salt Lake City. We're glad we found St. George. We love it here and have already made many wonderful friends."