Sunday, February 7, 2010

Ain't-a That Good News?


So, last week I wrote this brilliant post on the subject of kids throwing tantrums in Sacrament Meeting. Oh, my heavenly stars. How it was adored! And by "adored" I mean I've had so many notes attached to bricks and thrown through my windows I'll soon have enough masonry to finish that aroma-therapy nook next to the solarium. Now, if someone will start tossing decorative pillows and cucumber face masks at my house, I'll be set.


But I stand by my post, girls. And I'm standing by this one, too, even though it may result in an entire guest room with attached bath hurtling across my lawn.


Today I speak on the subject of the sort-of new Relief Society ice breaker known as "The Good News Minute." This activity replaced the less-popular "Quit Your Whining Hour," which I feel was an inspired change.


However, I have learned through sad experience that, when left to "govern themselves" in the implementation of a new and lovely practice, women occasionally show the good judgment and decorum of a flock of concussed magpies.


In the months since the Good News Minute became a feature of our Sunday meetings, we ladies have re-defined "good news" in so many ways Webster finally gave up and published a separate dictionary just for Mormonese.


(Frankly, it was about time. Our use of the word "true" alone would occupy 268 linear inches in your standard dictionary. And don't even get me started on the number of internal organs we like to describe as "full.")


For example, over the course of one month, a young sister in my ward offered, as her "good news," weekly updates on the progress of construction on the new Cafe Rio down the street. The best of all possible news-es came when the restaurant opened a full TWO WEEKS early! Such rejoicing! Such celebrating! And who needs the Spirit in Relief Society when you have dreams of pork enchiladas to sustain you?


One week I was visiting my mother's ward in Utah, and her bishop (who was hiding from the High Priests' group because he'd already had one nap during Sacrament Meeting) announced as "good news" that BYU had won their football game that weekend.


As a graduate of the University of Utah as well as someone who believes football is for guys who couldn't get jobs knocking down buildings with their heads, my testimony was sorely tried that day. Ok, not sorely. But it was tweaked a little, and I'm sure that counts.


"School started!" "Christmas is past!" "My conviction was overturned due to a lack of sufficient evidence!"


It's all such GOOD NEWS! And the women in my ward react with so much enthusiasm I expect half of them to build a human pyramid while the other half leaps around the room in cheer kicks and hurkies. Many of these ladies are seasoned, people! They aren't as limber as they used to be.


My beloved sisters of the Relief Society -- I say that to practice for when I'm called to the General Board, which is a distinct possibility on account of I e-mail my phone number to Julie Beck every week in case she lost it the last time -- I implore you to search a couple of your fuller organs to see if they might contain an ounce of common sense.


"Good News" in Relief Society should be taken from a different list than the one used in, say, your therapist's office. Or your mammogram. Or your Bunko club (which of course doesn't exist any more because we were asked to disband them, which we very righteously did, and if you say otherwise you'd best back it up with a gift of $10 or less).


Have a little consideration for the teacher who has to follow your announcement that adult undergarments are on sale at "Bladders-R-Us," or that your little fungus problem is finally under control and it's reasonably safe to sit by you again.


No practice hymn in the world is going to kill the image planted in the minds and overflowing spleens of the sisters in that room by those questionable Doses o' Good News. The teacher could have the Three Nephites there as guest speakers, could have an actual Jaredite Curelom spinning the Liahona on its nose, and the only thing the class will come away with is a vague, troubling curiosity as to where, exactly, that fungus was growing in the first place.


All right. I've said my piece. You can start lobbing projectiles through my screen door now. Although, if you wouldn't mind, could you throw Cafe Rio pork enchiladas instead? If I see that you've included black beans and their special 'salsa fresca', that'll be the best news I could possibly hope for.


49 comments:

Kristina P. said...

Oooh, how I LOVE The Good News minute!

I love hearing about the girl in my branch who went from a size 4 to a size 2, or that the new season of "So You Think You Can Dance" has started.

I already have a piece of not just good news, but GREAT news to share next Sunday. There are now Double Snuggies for sale on the Home Shopping Network!! RS, here I come!

L.T. Elliot said...

"the good sense and decorum of a flock of concussed magpies"

ROFL! That is the single best description of this moment EVER. Ha ha ha!

You see, this is the joy of being a dark, no-good, grouchy ol' curmudgeon. I have no good news and were I to, I would not share it. I would NOT eat green eggs and ham. I DO NOT like them, Sam I am.

Twinmomwv said...

As a sister who has been confined to the Primary room for the last 2 1/2 years The Good News Minute is not something I was aware of. In my ward of a-couple-of-newly-weds-and-mostly-nearly-deads I can only imagine what is being shared.

And to think that I thought I was missing out on some spiritually-life-altering moments by not being in Relief Society!

Brooke said...

The very first person I seek out whenever I move into a new ward is the Primary president - and I BEG her to call me as a Primary teacher. Why?? Well, for one thing, it allows me to have a guaranteed snack hour every Sunday. But it also ensures that I can manage to avoid exactly those sorts of "lessons" that you are referencing.

If I have to fake a high-pitched squeal and bounce up & down while hugging another woman, all because she just told me she finished scrapbooking pictures of her son's Pinewood Derby victory, I might just puke on her pumps.

If they ever decide to put General Board callings up for a vote by church members, I'll head up the Washington chapter of your campaign!

Migillicutty said...

Thanks a lot for that... I had NO idea Cafe Rio is selling the black beans WITH the 'salsa fresca'! :)

April Mitchell said...

Wow! I have been banished to Primary and have not been to Relief Society in 6 months. We didn't have the "Good News Minute" and I hope we don't have it now. Can't they just share all their "good news" on facebook like normal people?

Gloria (The Mamafamilias) said...

If I lived close to you, I would SO stand by you on this post (and the other one). Or at least behind you when the bricks start flying. Once again, you are my hero. And can I just say, I love being Primary chorister.

DeNae said...

OK, before they revoke my CTR decoder ring, I have to say, some women are sharing really uplifting, neat stories during the GNM. Unfortunately, they're doing it in the hall.

Jenny said...

I'd never heard of the Good News Minute before now. Does that mean the church on my Island isn't true?

I'm new to our RS presidency, so thanks for the warning. I'll file it away that "good news = bad idea!"

aunt dyanne said...

hate to burst all your bubbles here - but President Hinckley did state along with the general board of the Relief Society that the "Good News Minute"... was to go the way of the Bunko clubs... sorry, don't have a specific referene for ya'all - but the "commandment" came down about 2 years ago... just after I was put in the Stake RS Presidency... I'll try and find my letter from the First Presidency and pass it on - in the mean time - tell your "leaders" they are breakin' the mormon laws and that you don't have to share, nor listen to any more "good news" at least not at church.!!!!!

my WV is gabical... is that like biblical gab?

MommyJ said...

I promise... good news sharing moments are much worse in young women... I promise I am NOT kidding when one of my girls shared, when asked if anything great had happened that week... "I overheard a bunch of boys saying that I was, like, hot."

Um, so, yay for positive self esteem?

The Garden of Egan said...

Well, now that you mention it, I think I saw some Depends on sale at Walgreens.......is that next to your new Cafe Rio? That will save so much time for those spiritual sistas.
Please post what the good news minute is for next Sunday! I'm sure I'll be able to get through the week with my cup full.

HalfAsstic.com said...

Crap... *desperately searching for your address and phone number for Mexican take out*. ;-)

Momza said...

In our old ward in Meridian, the RS Pres did away with the "good news minute"--she saw it as taking time away from the Teacher. I WAS THRILLED to have it gone!
It was a complete waste of time.
I'm so with you on this.

InkMom said...

Seriously, I was so confused when I started reading your post because I have NEVER even HEARD of the Good News Minute. Seriously. And I'm in the Stake RS presidency and everything.

But if we did have it? It might be just enough to cause me to save up and go nurse my baby for the first 15 minutes of Relief Society. And then, once she's weaned, train her to strategically fill her diaper just in time to avoid such a monstrous waste of time and brain cells.

One of the things I love about Julie Beck is how no nonsense she is. Her talk at the last RS session was just so . . . perfect. Do what you need to! Have meetings when it's convenient for the sisters in your unit! Don't overschedule! I love the drift towards a less prescribed program, but a more structured curriculum. Just teach the Gospel, people!

Just SO said...

I have to say that I really enjoy the good news minute. But in our ward it's usually really good news like so and so's grandson got a mission call etc. I don't think that anyone has ever shared something that wasn't really considered good news. Thankfully.

Kaylie said...

Problem in my ward is, we're a quiet bunch o' sistas. So we have the GNM which is almost always followed by strained silence until finally someone charitably speaks up to fill the embarrassing pause.

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

As far as I can tell, the GNM is designed so that you can share sentences from your family Christmas letter ("Little Johnny got off his braces and will soon be 2nd chair in the chess club." and "Walter got a raise again and will probably soon be promoted to ruler of the universe.") one week at a time. You know, keeping the holiday spirit all year long.

p.s. When you're in the red chairs, remember us little people, and write some kind of proclamation of our coolness and our exemption from visiting teaching and such.

Maureen said...

FINALLY! You said it all, girlfriend!

Kazzy said...

My bishop hubby says it is supposed to be cut now, because it was a Bonnie Parkin thing that was fun for awhile but has eaten into the rest of the meeting too much. Plus, it does get creepy.

Charlotte said...

So what your saying is that the bowel movements of my family are not considered good news to everyone in the ward. Is sex life all the table, too? Surely I can mention our family's score on rockband?

I think I enjoy being in primary.

Christy Gibson said...

I loved your post! If it's supposed to to done away with, why doesn't our stake do away with it? It seems like our stake is always a little behind the times. That's good news right there, knowing we should be doing away with it.

Oh, by the way, I'm making Cafe Rio Pork for my Bunco group tomorrow night if you want to sub!

Kimberly said...

Ah, the advantages of being stuck in Primary. And here I've been thinking that was a BAD thing. Thanks for taking the edge off my bitterness, you're a doll.

Lacy said...

One more example of why Primary is the absolute best calling in the church! OH, and ya gotta love Christy LOL!

Margaret said...

I have to agree with you. I am not sure when they started that segment that they were meaning to share all of those things.

Sarah said...

I find the GNM to be one of the most obnoxious inventions of the century. If I wanted to know all of the "good news" of the ward I would just read the stupid news letter, or the announcements for that matter. I just can't find it in myself to squeal with glee every time someone announces that their missionary only has 600 days left before they come home.

Karen said...

I am SO jealous! I'm coming to your ward from now on.

The lovely ladies of the Anaheim 4th seem to be on a perpetual mission to bring each other down with the saddest news they can think of. As secretary, I'm constantly torn between the tough choices of passing around kleenexes or gagging people with them.

M-Cat said...

Haven't had to listen to a GNM for over a year. Again, why YW is the only true calling.

However, when and if I ever have to go back with the old birds in RS - I've started a list of fun GNM that will keep everyone entertained and enlightened.

Beka said...

Ahhhh, remember a few weeks back when I went and shared a little too much in the comments box and we all had a nice fast for Beka, and her ward, and her tolerance level?! You see I wasn't lying! Or exaggerating! :-)

Up here in the frozen tundra, we have also wised up and deleted that train wreck from our agenda. So now we're free to gripe about the temperature of the room and all that I had shared that day when I clearly could have benefited greatly from a vacation, or massage, or an exemption from visiting teaching!

I love this post, and the one about sacrament meeting! You are very inspired.

wendy said...

Just goes to show what heathen I have become. Never heard of the "good news minute" Really?? In RS?? Hmmmm
guess that shows you I haven't been to RS for awhile. Hey, I went in October.
and.....seriously....NO BUNKO.
shhheeeesh.

I got lots of repenting to do, therefore, there will be NO BRICKS or enchiladas thrown at you house.

Rebecca said...

Just downright funny! Can you now do a post on how to give an appropiate testimony? Last Sunday just about killed me...

East of Eden said...

I have to say, that I enjoyed this post as much as the take your screaming kids out of sac mtg post. I find the good news minute an unnecessary distraction in RS, as that seems to be the dumping ground for everything and that seems to suck time up like a bounty paper towel. I'm thankful that our ward does not do this, and hope that they never do. So, you get no bricks from me, but that q-cumber mask sounds divine! :)

AS Amber said...

I've only been to my RS a few times so I can't remember if we do this or not.

The only good news I could think of sharing would be if "bag-lady" moved back into my ward. Now THAT would be some good news!

Mikki said...

Ok, why haven't I popped over here sooner?
Maybe I'm fortunate to be in the nursery these days, I'm missing all those good news minutes.
Which ward do you attend?
I'm in the northwest too.
BTW, adored the linked to post. My children are the 0-60 lightning bolts.

Jessica said...

The church is full of fun things for you to blog about! Keep them coming. Reality is so much funnier than fiction, especially at church.

The Damsel in Dis Dress said...

The good news minute is still going strong over here, 20 minutes from church HQ. We must have missed the memo. But it's okay. It's been nothing except pregnancy and mission call announcements for quite some time now.

Except--There was a GNM last October, when it was announced that one of our YW had been named Homecoming Queen at the local high school, and that when we passed her in the hall we should properly bow and scrape.

Maybe it's time to liven things up with an announcement of my currently hangnail-free state.

Rebecca said...

Came over hear via Annette's blog, and I love this post!

Reading down the comments, I see that we were supposed to end the GNM? I'd love to find that reference, as they introduced it this past year here.

Although, when I've heard them they've been nice.

Molly Doe said...

In my last ward, the Presidency started requesting that we limit good news minutes to something spiritual, a.k.a. I was able to go to the temple this week.
Which made the minute a lot less fungusy.

Melanie J said...

We don't have the Good News Minute and I'm SO VERY HAPPY about that. We have a weekly bulletin with a note begging us each week to share the accomplishments of our sisters and no one does. We're either apathetic or modest. Or else no one reads the bulletin. But I'd hate to see that little pocket of quiet disrupted by the Good News Minute. Unless it means skipping the practice hymn because OH-My-Freaking-GOSH our pianist doesn't practice EVER and it's been painful all three years I've lived in this ward. Bless her heart.

tammy said...

I had completely forgotten about the GNM until now. For some reason my RS stopped doing it. I'm sure it didn't have anything to do with me announcing how many blog followers I had each week.

Amber Lynae said...

Oh I want to share my good news. I'm in primary. (Unfortunately, I'm sure that is bad news to the children that have to put up with my less than par piano playing.)

Charlotte said...

Our primary once tried good news minute in opening exercises. Three kids raised their hands to share their moms were pregnant (none of the moms had told anyone yet) and one mentioned something about barf. Last time it was tried in Primary.

Lara said...

In our teeny branch, it would never work anyway. There are only 9 sisters in RS (I'm technically in YW, but show up for RS opening exercises, since I only have one YW).

But, in my ward in Utah the GNM was only about potty training. Seriously. I guess that's exciting. Maybe.

PS....thanks for the song implant. I am no longer singing Habanera as it has been replaced by Ain't-a that Good News.

Serene is my name, not my life! said...

Okay, so I laughed. It's SOOO true!! Sometimes someone will state their good news and I'm left with my mouth hanging open. Which I'm told is very unattractive.
Loved this.

Sara said...

I must admit that for the most part our "good news minute" seems to function WELL. I have yet to hear anything remotely trivial shared. Past wards, however, don't even want to go there! Yikes. Just scary!

my pocketbook said...

we did away with the good news minute (like 10 minutes!) a long time ago. hallelujah! supertastic! amen sista!
p.s. i lurve your style!

andrea said...

Discovered you on MMB...I nearly died laughing over the concussed magpies line! So hilarious. I have no idea if my ward does this as I've been in the nursery for 3 years. (Yes, 3, and I love it and never, ever want a different calling!)

I do however, get my mom's RS newsletter from her old ward (she's old and computer illiterate). Contained in that newsletter are the results of their GNM. I think in the past year, I've shared maybe 5 pieces of news that I thought she might care about. So much fluff!

Theresa Rodriguez said...

I found your blog and can I just tell you how happy it makes me in life to read your posts. I must admit I have on occasion been an offender of the Good News Minute malfunctioning comments. I like to blame it on my word vomit disease. I am however going to be much more aware of the things that come out of my mouth because of the excellent points you shared in such a charming way. Thank you for that! It's very needed in my world. :)

Anonymous said...

Help!! Does anyone actually have a reference that states we are not supposed to have a good news minute? i've heard that we arent supposed to but i have an uprising on my hands. Help!!! Please!!