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Posted 16 Apr 2001   For week ended April 13, 2001
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Sent on Mormon-News: 09Apr01

By 'Editor, LDSCaNews'

Lethbridge Open House Great Success

LETHBRIDGE, ALBERTA, CANADA -- The second annual community open house held by the Lethbridge Alberta West Stake was a great success. Held 29 March 2001, activities were held in all three meetinghouses on Lethbridge's West Side.

Shortly after Tyler Mandin, a local Institute director, was called as the stake mission presidency two years ago, one of the ward mission leaders approached him with an idea to hold a ward open house.

Intrigued by the idea and pleased with the ward mission leader's enthusiasm, Mandin suggested involving the other two wards which shared the meetinghouse. He asked the ward mission leader for an organised list of his ideas for the open house, so he could present it to the stake president the following Sunday.

President David Koegler, the only stake president on the West Side since the stake's inception in 1997, was a convert to the Church in Ontario and delighted to hear of this ward mission leader's plans. Koegler was determined however that this should be a stake-wide event, convinced that it could have more of an impact.

Directions were then passed on to the stake council and assignments handed out to individual wards. Despite the lack of planning, the inexperience of organising an open house, and a sudden blizzard last year, the open house saw 15 people between the three buildings whom were not members of the Church.

Learning from mistakes of the previous year and from feedback submitted by stake members and leaders, the stake council set at once to prepare for the following year's open house.

The Institute building, which housed to young single adult wards, would be advertised at the nearby University of Lethbridge as hosting a free barbeque and free pool and foosball. The lowest turnout from 2000's open house was at the Institute building, and local leaders were afraid it was because activities didn't cater to the personalities of the university students.

The other two meetinghouses, which house five family wards, would feature interactive displays throughout the chapel allowing visitors to learn more about Church programmes, such as youth activities, the Primary, the Relief Society, and priesthood quorums. The material centres and bishop offices were also opened so visitors could have a better feel of what happens in each room on a typical Sunday.

Twenty-five people not of the LDS faith, more than the entire stake's turnout for 2000's open house, showed up last week between these two meetinghouses. Though exact number of non-members at the Institute building were not recorded, it was estimated a total of over 300 people had attended.


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