Midsingles Magnet Ward Outline

Midsingles Program Outline

With a growing number of 30-something Singles in the LDS Church, many areas are responding by having specific Midsingles activities (and wards) to better meet the needs of 30-something Midsingles. Currently, over 50% of singles who were once active at age 30 in a YSA Ward go inactive in the Church by the time they turn 34, if there’s not an established Midsingles Program/activities and/or ward in their area.  In each stake on the stake rolls there are , on average, 250-600 30-something Midsingles. Yet often only a handful or dozen 30-something Midsingles are active, many times sitting alone in a family ward.

So they try to attend an all-age Single Adult 31+ activity or dance, and see no one in their age  range in attendance, instead seeing primarily people who could be their parents or grandparents attend. Currently in many areas, less than 5% of active 30-something Midsingles attend all-age 31+ Single Adult activities.

As a result, many 30-something Midsingles feel kicked to the curb after leaving the YSA Ward and feel the Church has no place for them. To better reach out to 30-something Midsingles and ensure YSAs stay active in the church after they turn 31, some stakes, under approval of their local Area Seventy, have created a Mixed Midsingles/Family Ward or Midsingles Magnet Ward.

The first such Mixed Midsingles/Family Ward was created in Huntington Beach, California, the Huntington Beach 1st Ward Midsingles, in January 2004. There are now 15-20 such wards across the country.  These Mixed Midsingles/Family Wards that already exist (as shown in the outline) are family wards for ALL AGES.  However in addition to regular ward boundaries for all families of all ages, Midsingles within the stake can also attend the ward as well. Like a magnet school, this is a magnet ward for Midsingles. This allows the benefits of serving in the church with people of all ages, yet at the same time, you have a core group of 30-something Midsingles for social support as well in the ward. It’s the best of both worlds.  For a visual example of how this looks on a map, go to http://www.tinyurl.com/hb1boundaries .  Below is an outline of how such a ward works and describes how there are other approaches that can better serve singles of all ages in addition to the existing all-age 31+ Single Adult format.

Overall Characteristics of a Mixed Midsingles/Family Ward

1)      A Mixed Midsingles/Family Ward is a magnet ward where all 30-something Midsingles in the stake, attend the same existing family ward together. So there are family ward boundaries for families of all ages, and then Midsingles (and their children if they are single parents) living within the stake can also attend that ward as well.

2)      Typically, a Mixed Midsingles/Family Ward is done only on a stake level (or 2 stakes if they have the same feeder YSA Ward) meaning only Midsingles (and their children if they are single parents) within the stake boundaries can have their records in the Mixed Midsingles/Family Ward. For 2 stakes using the Mixed Midsingles/Family Wards concept , an example would be the new Oak Marr Ward in Oakton Virginia Stake which covers Midsingles in both Oakton and McLean VA Stakes with the same boundary as the Langley YSA Ward which cover both stakes.

3)      However, Mixed Midsingles/Family Ward boundaries do not cover the entire region of stakes or entire Metro Area (i.e. like one Mixed Midsingles/Family Ward to serve all of Las Vegas). Each stake is ideally to have their own Midsingles/Family Ward.

4)      Just like the YSAs, Midsingles are encouraged (but not required) to attend the Mixed Midsingles/Family Ward. However, it should be said that the Midsingles who “love their family ward” should consider attending the Mixed Midsingles/Family Ward instead to help other Midsingles who need their example and support.

5)      Attending the Mixed Midsingles/Family Ward is considered a privilege, so less active records of Midsingles are to remain in their home family ward. All less active Midsingles records in the stake are not meant to be transferred over to the Mixed Midsingles/Family Ward.

6)      Typically, Midsingles home teach and visit teach each other in the ward. This allows Midsingles to better support and fellowship each other, and is not viewed as being restrictive or reclusive from other ward members. In addition to Midsingles home teaching and visit teaching each other, Midsingles may be given additional assignments to home teach or visit teach other families in the ward.  Generally home teaching assignments to Midsingles falls under the stewardship of the Elders Quorum, while home teaching assignments to older Single Adults falls under the stewardship of the High Priests.

7)      Mixed Midsingles/Family Wards should ideally be located in the same building in the same YSA Ward that feeds into it, to help with transition from the YSAs into the Midsingles. YSAs number one concern, when turning 31, is that they will never see their YSA friends again.  Having both the YSA Ward and Mixed Midsingles/Family Ward in the same building  seems to work best since it allows them to “rub shoulders” with each other even though they are meeting at different times on Sunday. It also makes it easier to plan any joint YSA/Midsingles activities. This also encourages the YSAs to actually transition over to attend the Mixed Midsingles/Family Ward when they turn 31. There is no more ambiguity with Midsingles floating around in the early 30s, since now everyone knows what ward they will be attending when they turn 31. More importantly, having the YSA Ward in the same building as the Mixed Midsingles/Family Ward, helps single guys in their early 30s the most, since often the dating pool of men in their early 30s are often women in their mid to late 20s attending the YSA Ward.

8)      Midsingles, like any other ward member, can hold regular “family ward” callings, like serving in EQ, YM/YW, Relief Society, and other ward level callings. Many Midsingles/Family Wards have Midsingles called in Elder Quorum and Relief Society Presidencies, Ward Clerks, and YM/YW Advisors, etc.  Most Mixed Midsingles/Family Wards encourage Midsingles not to have a Primary or Nursery calling which allows Midsingles to attend the Midsingles Sunday School Class, and not feel stuck having no opportunity to fellowship with other Midsingles during the entire 3-hour block of meetings.

9)      Midsingles can also have specific Midsingles callings as well. There is much more involvement and commitment by the Midsingles if these are “set apart” callings, as opposed to approaching Midsingles duties as assignments on some sign-up sheet.

Different Phases of a Mixed Midsingles/Family Ward

Phase I Approach (with 10-30 active Midsingles in the stake)

Here are some examples of current Phase I Mixed Midsingles/Family Wards:

Cypress 2nd Ward Midsingles, Cypress California Stake

Oak Marr Ward Midsingles, Oakton Virginia Stake

Redlands 3rd Ward Midsingles, Redlands California Stake

1)      Midsingles meet with other families together in the Mixed Midsingles/Family Ward during Sacrament Meeting and  Priesthood/Relief Society.

2)      Midsingles have a separate Midsingles Gospel Doctrine Class (using the same manual and lesson as the regular Gospel Doctrine Class) taught by a Midsingle. This allows gospel principles taught with a Midsingles point of view. Midsingles can better support each other and learn better to apply the gospel principles in their lives, and know there are not alone.

3)      Midsingles also hold a weekly (or biweekly or monthly) Midsingles FHE. Depending on the demographics of the Midsingles in the stake, Midsingles hold FHE on Monday Night. If however, most Midsingles are single parents, then at the discretion of local leaders, Midsingles FHE can be held on a Sunday Night (or another night) to allow single parents to be with their families on Monday Night, or Midsingles FHE on Monday Night with single parents having FHE with their children on another night. Some areas where Midsingles meet in the same building as the YSA Ward, have a joint YSA/Midsingles FHE once a month in addition to weekly Midsingles FHE on the other weeks of the month. Keeping YSAs and Midsingles completely separate and isolated from each other, means YSAs will develop a negative and often “creepy” view of Midsingles, which makes them hesitant to transition over when they turn 31. Therefore, consistent yet occasional interaction, between the YSAs and Midsingles, develops a much smoother and successful transition since they are friends and more familiar with each other.

4)      A Midsingles Advisory Couple is called from the family ward (or within the stake) to help assist the Midsingles. They are considered to be like the “Mom and Dad” to the Midsingles, and help in supporting and attending Midsingles activities. They may oversee and support different Midsingles committees to lighten the load of the Bishopric. But their role is more of a supportive role, and not a role to dictate what Midsingles activities can or can not be done. Leadership for Midsingles activities is decided on the Midsingles Committee and Bishopric level.

5)      Monthly Midsingles Correlation Meeting is held usually once a month where all Midsingles, Midsingles Committee Chairs, Midsingles Advisory Couple(s), and Bishop (and wife) and member of the Bishopric attends. There they plan, schedule upcoming activities, address concerns, and report back on previous activities and/or assignments.

This is a different meeting than the Stake Single Adult 31+ Correlation Meeting. Typically, a Stake Midsingles Liaison or Rep is called to attend the monthly Stake Single Adult Correlation Meeting to report back to the Stake about activities of the Midsingles and coordinate between the Midsingles and older Single Adults. Likewise this Midsingles Correlation Meeting is also different from Ward Council. Ward Council focuses on ward-level correlation (both Midsingles and Families) between the different auxiliaries in the ward, whereas the monthly Midsingles Correlation Meeting focuses on strictly Midsingles related activities and committees.

Phase II Approach (with 30-100 active Midsingles in the stake)

Here are some examples of current Phase II Mixed Midsingles/Family Wards:

Westdale 2nd Ward Midsingles, Santa Monica California Stake

Chevy Chase Ward Midsingles, Washington DC Stake

Newport Beach 1st Ward Midsingles, Newport Beach California Stake

1)      Same 5 points apply from Phase I in Phase II Mixed Midsingles/Family Wards

2)      Now with more active Midsingles attending, more Midsingles Committees can be organized with chair and committee members as “set apart” callings. Here are some examples: Midsingles Temple Committee (to plan a monthly or quarterly Midsingles Temple Trip), Midsingles Fireside Committee (to plan a monthly or quarterly Midsingles Fireside), Midsingles FHE Committee, Midsingles Dance Committee (to plan a monthly or quarterly Midsingles Dance. This can also be planned on a regional or cluster level too), Midsingles Institute Committee (to plan, attend, or promote a local or regional Midsingles Institute Class), Midsingles Dinner Groups Committee, Midsingles Linger Longer Committee, etc, etc, according to local need.

3)      An additional Midsingles Advisory Couple may be called to assist the Midsingles.

Phase III Approach (with 100+ active Midsingles in the stake)

Here is an example of a current Phase III Mixed Midsingles/Family Ward:

Huntington Beach 1st Ward Midsingles, Huntington Beach California Stake

1)      Applying the same points in both Phase I and Phase II Mixed Midsingles/Family Wards. However, with the ward approaching half Midsingles/half Families, the need for a separate Midsingles Sunday School Class may or may not be needed, since there are already multiple Gospel Doctrine Classes being taught. Most attending these Gospel Doctrine Classes will be Midsingle.

2)      In addition to the Midsingles Committees mentioned in Phase II, additional Midsingles Committees can be added according to local need. Here are some examples. Midsingles Transition Committee (newly minted Midsingles in their early and mid 30s called to identify and befriend older YSAs in their late 20s in the stake to help them make the transition over to the Midsingles when they turn 31), Midsingles Reactivation Committee (supports and helps less active Midsingles in their 30s to become active again), Midsingles Sports Committee, Midsingles Culture Committee (plan to attend community culture events), Midsingles Super Date Committee (plan Midsingles Dating activities on a ward level), Midsingles Family History Committee, Midsingles “Girls Night Out” Committee, Midsingles “Menrichment” Committee, etc.

3)      A third Midsingles Advisory Couple may be called to assist the Midsingles.

Benefits of a Mixed Midsingles/Family Ward Over a Traditional Midsingles Ward (ages 31-45)

1)     Single parents in their 30s and their children in the stake can attend the Mixed Midsingles/Family Ward together, whereas only never been married Midsingles, Midsingles without children,  and/or Midsingles who don’t have full-time custody of their children can only have their records in a traditional Midsingles Ward.

2)      Plus the mixed Midsingles/Family Ward allows for never been married Midsingles, divorced Midsingles,  and single parents in their 30s to all fellowship together (along with the rest of the family ward).

3)      Midsingles do in fact move on and get married in the Mixed Midsingles/Family Ward. The Huntington Beach 1st Ward Midsingles, for example, averages 9-10 marriages per year.

4)      Traditional Midsingles Wards (ages 31-45) especially in Utah skew older over time into a late 30s/40s crowd with many singles in their 50s attending, which deters early 30-somethings from attending the ward.

5)      Traditional Midsingles Wards (ages 31-45) especially in Utah are often overwhelmed with ward hoppers and constant visitors, which makes it difficult to identify the needs of Midsingles within the ward, and creates an atmosphere where everyone gets lost in the shuffle.

6)      Focusing on Midsingles only within the stake (and with every stake having their own Mixed Midsingles/Family Ward) means Stake and Ward Leaders can look after Midsingles in a manageable size rather than being overwhelmed by constant Sunday visitors and ward hoppers.

7)      Traditional Midsingles Ward often covers one Metro Area or Region leaving Midsingles spread out and not connected with each other.

8)      Also it’s worth mentioning sometimes the dynamics of a regional traditional Midsingles Ward (31-45) or Single Adult Ward (31+) leaves a higher percentage of singles who lack emotional awareness and boundaries, or invade personal space that often deter more well-adjusted singles to attend the ward. However in a mixed Midsingles/Family Ward setting, the percentage of such singles is less of a factor, so more local well-adjusted Midsingles in the stake will attend the Mixed Midsingles/Family Ward.

Benefits of a Mixed Midsingles/Family Ward over an all-age Traditional Single Adult 31+ Ward

1)      With the focus of Midsingles being mainly 30-something Singles (31-early40s) allows for joint activities, so that the YSAs and Midsingles can socialize together from time-to-time to help with transition and encourage more dating. However having an all-age Single Adult Ward 31+ limits such crossover social opportunities.

2)      While in some Metro Areas, where there are a large percentage of singles over 30, it may still make sense to have a regional all-age Single Adult 31+ Ward. But know that despite good intentions to include everyone, within a year or two of creation of the ward, most 30-something Midsingles will eventually leave the ward feeling uncomfortable attending the all-age Single Adult Ward with those old enough to be their parents in the same ward. So you end up mainly with singles in their 40s and 50s on up in attendance.

3)      As such, having an all-age Single Adult 31+ Ward may not be the best option to help 30-something Midsingles make the transition from the YSAs. In addition to an all-age Single Adult 31+ Ward, the stake should also consider a Mixed Midsingles/Family Ward as well to help 30-something Midsingles.

Benefits of Midsingles being 31-early40s over a 31-45 (or 31-50) approach

1)      In some areas, Midsingles are defined as singles 31-45 (or 31-50) . However there are some drawbacks to that approach.

2)      With Midsingles being 31-45, it creates a 31-45, 46+ split which cuts the 40s in half. So you have a 44-year-old not being to talk to a 46-year-old or forced to attend different activities. This also is perceived by some as there are only 2 Groups,  “Us vs Them” or “Midsingles vs Older Singles”, so singles in their late 40s feeling stuck as outcasts only allowed to socialize with singles that are older than them, and feeling they are now in the “oldest” Singles group.

3)      Over time the 31-45  (or 31-50) group tends to skew older into a late30s/40s crowd which leaves the early 30-somethings feeling left out and out of place.

4)      Single men in their early 30s often go inactive or don’t participate in 31-45 activities (let alone 31+ SA activities) if they know there’s no opportunity for them to meet women in their late 20s at these activities. Having occasional YSA/Midsingles activites help ensure these men stay active and are able to acclimate to attending strictly Midsingles (and eventual 31+ SA) activities.

5)      Even it’s only a few years difference, the dynamic of Midsingles being defined as more 30s-focused (31-early40s) means the Midsingles are more focused on 30-something Singles. This is in contrast sometimes to 31-45 activities which can focus on 40-something Singles in some areas since in reality the real age range is often 3 years or so older than the stated age range (meaning people up to 47-48 will continue to attend 31-45 activities).

6)  A better and smoother approach, since singles in each decade (30s, 40s, 50s, 60+) have different social needs, would be to have to a separate 40-something Singles activities group (late30s-50) on top of the 30-something Midsingles (31-early40s).  This allows for overlap between the two groups so people in their late30s-early 40s have a transition period  to attend both 30s Midsingles activities and the 40s Group activities too. So a never been married guy at age 39 may align himself more with the 30s Midsingles, but a divorced Mom of 5 kids at age 39 may feel more comfortable with the 40s Group. Transition between groups is considered more as a continuum than an abrupt 31-45, 46+ split. If you are on facebook, check out our stake’s 40-something activities group http://bit.ly/hbstake40singles and 50-something activities group http://bit.ly/hbstake50singles as examples of something you can do in your area.

7) Of course, 30-something Midsingles and 40-something Singles can still socialize with each other at all-age 31+ Single Adult activities.

Social Needs to Each “Decade” are Different

Here’s the breakdown by decades:
30-something Midsingles — increasingly never been married. With bio clock ticking, looking to find someone of a similar age to get married and start a family
40-something Singles — on average, divorced with teenage kids. Looking to remarry and have a blended family with someone else.
50-something Singles — on average, divorced with grown kids. Some men in their 50s want to remarry, but increasingly more single women in 50s are content remaining single, and prefer activities that are not focused on finding a dating partner.
60-something Singles — widowed or sometimes divorced. Most not interested in remarrying. Most are uncomfortable attending 31+ SA activities. Prefer activities earlier in the day.

That is why there’s the rationale for “decade” singles groups which works much better instead of a 31-45, 46+ split  you see in some stakes, which splits the 40s in half. So each decade (30s Midsingles, 40s, 50s, 60+) each have their own activities.  In the Southern California area, here is our breakdown:

30-something Midsingles/Family Ward (31-early 40s) with occasional joint activities with the older YSAs to help with transition.
40-something Singles activities group (late30s/40s)
50-something Singles activities group (late40s/50s)
Elite Singles (60+)

There’s also overlap so people on the cusp can double dip and attend both groups (like someone age 39 attending both the 30s and 40s Groups or someone 28 can attend both YSA and 30-something Midsingles activities) to help with transition. Singles from the region attend our “decade” groups too. Now in addition to these groups, other nearby stakes for the region, still have all-age 31+ Single Adult activities, with the idea that singles can attend BOTH — their peer “decade” group for their core support AND venture out to an all-age 31+ activity too.

Consider it similar with other auxiliaries in the Church like Enrichment with the smaller groups and then everyone coming together too. Same approach! So, it’s not Midsingles vs. Older Singles, or all-age vs. Midsingles — it’s BOTH.

As a result, we are getting a much better turnout of singles (as a whole) from the less actives, newly divorced, single parents, non-members, or active Singles who usually never attend SA activities,  who are attending these decade groups. Many of these people would never initially attend a regular 31+ SA activity let alone set foot inside an all-age 31+ Single Adult Ward.

Once people feel secure with their own decade group activities, THEN they are willing to venture out to all-age 31+ activity occasionally. This is because it’s no longer “the end of the world” creepy experience at an older SA activity with Midsingles lowering expectations and can just support the cause since there’s already a local 30s Midsingles scene for their main social support. Same concept applies to the 40s Singles, 50s Singles, and Senior Singles 60+ who all love attending their own decade group activities that supplement all-age 31+ activities too.

So the end result is a Midsingles Program (along with having “Decade” Groups) that actually builds and supports the 31+ Single Adult Program.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q. Is this Mixed Midsingles/Family Ward concept currently being done and approved , or is this something that’s just being purposed?

A. All wards listed in this outline are all approved to have this format and are currently operating as Mixed Midsingles/Family Wards. Approval of such wards is left to the discretion and approval of the local Stake President and then Area Seventy (and then First Presidency).

Q. In the recent addition of the Church Handbook, only designates singles in two categories – Young Single Adults (18-30) and Single Adults (31+). In fact the term “Midsingles” is not even mentioned. If so, where do Midsingles fit in then?

A: As stated in the Midsingles Program Outline above, Midsingles (ages 31-early 40s), along with other potential decade groups, are subsets of the all-age (31+) Single Adult Program.  Repeatedly Church Leaders including members of the Twelve and Seventy have recognized the Singles Program is NOT an one-size-fits-all approach.

In that spirit, Section 17.2 of the Church Handbook 2 states, “Stake presidents, bishops, and branch presidents have discretion to make simple adaptations to certain Church programs”  and that “leaders should always seek the guidance of the Spirit in making adaptations.”

Increasingly in many areas to better serve 30-something Midsingles, local leaders are seeing a need to have specific Midsingles activities and/or Midsingles Wards that supplement the all-age Single Adult Program.

Q. This sounds overwhelming and a lot of work. How can we start slow?

A. If you have a handful of active Midsingles in your stake, you start with using the Phase I Model (by having the 5-10 active Midsingles in the stake, all attending the same family ward together with their own Midsingles Sunday School Class) and then grow from there. The Stake (or Region) can still have all-age 31+ activities in addition to 30-something Midsingles activities too (and then eventual “decade” group activities). The next step in the decade approach would be to have simple monthly activities for the 40-somethings for the region and then add additional decade groups (50s and Elite Singles 60+ ) according to local need.

Q. Doesn’t having a Midsingles Program (or decade groups) “discriminate” or “take away” from the Single Adult program?

A.  Actually, our experience has been the opposite. Having a 30-something Midsingles Program along with separate Decade Group activities (40s, 50s, 60+) in the long run has actually increased attendance at all-age 31+ SA Activities. The reason being is certain segments of singles respond better and appreciate activities with singles in the same age range, while other singles like all-age activities. By providing both approaches,  more singles (as a whole) are attending singles activities and staying active in the Church and have more opportunities to date and eventually marry.

Q. We have so few active singles attending already. How do the new categories help?

A. It sounds counter-intuitive, but if all you have are 31+ SA activities (since it doesn’t meet the needs of all singles) by including everyone, then few people attend. If you have more narrow age range activities along with all age activities too, then a lot more singles attend and participate in activities.

Q. Will having a Mixed Midsingles/Family Ward overwhelm Bishops and the family ward?

A. If every stake had their own Mixed Midsingles/Family Ward, there wouldn’t be the need for Midsingles to ward hop and overwhelm the ward. Having Midsingles in the family ward is an asset and not a liability.

Q. Why not just have Midsingles activities instead of the Mixed Midsingles/Family Ward?

A.  While having Midsingles activities are a good start, in many areas, Midsingles activities are only done once a month, which means there’s no momentum in Midsingles getting to know each other better. Many Midsingles comment how they feel they are back at square one at a monthly activity, feeling like they are always “new” at the activity. However in a Mixed Midsingles/Family Ward setting, Midsingles see each other on average 2-4 times a week between church on Sunday, FHE on Monday, Institute during the week, maybe a weekend activity, so Midsingles in a Mixed Midsingles/Family Ward setting feel more close and connected to each other. Activity and retention rates are much higher in a Mixed Midsingles/Family Ward than just having Midsingles activities.

Of course, on a stake level, there can be smaller Mixed Midsingles/Family Wards (with as little as 5-10 active Midsingles in the stake attending the same family ward together), and then regionally,  larger 30-something Midsingles activities can still be planned to achieve a critical mass as well. It doesn’t have to be one or the other. You can have both approaches. By having Mixed Midsingles/Family Wards on a stake level allows more stake involvement in identifying, reaching out, and fellowshipping local Midsingles as opposed to only having regional Midsingles activities or committees which can miss or not identify local Midsingles in need.

Q.  So, how does this work internationally?

A.  Obviously, a Midsingles Program (let alone a decade group approach) may not work or make sense where the Church is still young and developing in some areas of the world. However, there are at least unofficially, or sometimes official Midsingles activities, held throughout Europe, Canada, the UK, Russia, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. A Midsingles (and decade group approach) could also work in established areas in Latin America, the Philippines,  Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan as well.

Q. How does a Mixed Midsingles/Family Ward concept work in an urban stake where the majority of members are already single?

A. A Mixed Midsingles/Family Ward could work in an urban stake. If the Mixed Midsingles/Family Ward becomes a Midsingles majority ward, it could become a strictly Midsingles Ward or two separate Mixed Midsingles/Family Wards can be formed on both ends of the stake to create the right mix of having no more than half Midsingles/half families attending each ward.

Q. How does a Mixed Midsingles/Family Ward concept work in a rural stake with outlying wards and branches?

A. If there are at least 10 active Midsingles in the stake, and they tend to live in the center of the stake, a Mixed Midsingles/Family Ward could work. Midsingles in outlying areas can stay in their home ward or branch, and if able, can attend Stake (or Regional) Midsingles activities.

Q. What about single parents who have teenage kids with busy schedules? Wouldn’t it be difficult to attend a Mixed Midsingles/Family Ward?

A. A Mixed Midsingles/Family Ward is geared primarily for 30-something Midsingles with primary aged children and Midsingles without children. If single parents live on the other end of the stake with teenage kids, it makes sense to remain in their home ward and just attend Midsingles activities.

Q. Can YSA aged single parents attend the Mixed Midsingles/Family Ward?

A. At the approval of the Stake President, Bishop of the Mixed Midsingles/Family Ward, and Bishop of the home ward, a YSA aged single parent may transfer their record over to the Mixed Midsingles/Family Ward.

Q. Why not just have all the singles 31+ attend the same family ward together?

A. While the concept may seem it would appeal to all ages, the reality is a stake in Southern California tried that approach, and with different singles in different ages having different social needs, activities were poorly attended, most 30-something Midsingles stopped attending within a year, leaving only a handful a 50-something Singles attending the ward. Therefore, a Mixed Midsingles/Family Ward concept works best solely focusing on 30-something Midsingles.

If you have any questions with this outline, feel free to contact me, Matt Campbell at campbellmfendt@hotmail.com or contact President Frank Parker, Huntington Beach California Stake President at fparker@socal.rr.com .

As of November 2013, here are the current list of known Mixed Midsingles/Family Wards:

Newport Beach 1st Ward Midsingles, Newport Beach California Stake
Westdale 2nd Ward Midsingles, Santa Monica California Stake
Elliott Bay Ward Midsingles, Seattle Washington North Stake
Chevy Chase Ward Midsingles, Washington DC Stake
Prospect Park Ward Midsingles, Redlands California Stake
Arlington Ward Midsingles, Riverside California Stake
Carrollton Ward Midsingles, Silver Spring Maryland Stake
Oak Marr Ward Midsingles, Oakton Virginia Stake
Simi 4th Ward Midsingles, Simi Valley California Stake
Pinnacle Ward Midsingles, Las Vegas Nevada Spring Mountain Stake
Boulder Creek Ward Midsingles, Mesa Arizona Boulder Creek Stake
Long Beach 4th Ward Midsingles, Long Beach California Stake
Atherton Ward Midsingles, Long Beach California East Stake
Sunset Ward Midsingles, San Francisco California West Stake
Tiger Mountain Ward Midsingles, Bellevue Washington South Stake
Hickory Hills Ward Midsingles, Lenexa Kansas Stake
Broomall Ward Midsingles, Valley Forge Pennsylvania Stake
Saratoga Ward Midsingles, Saratoga California Stake
Green Hills Ward Midsingles, Nashville Tennessee Stake
Republic Ward Midsingles, Springfield Missouri South Stake
Coppell 3rd Ward Midsingles, Carrollton Texas Stake

For a listing of all Midsingles Conferences, Midsingles Wards, Midsingles Dances, and local Midsingles facebook groups which will have more info on local Midsingles activities, located now on the LDS Midsingles Blog. And also, feel free to join the LDS Midsingles of the World facebook group to connect with other 30-something Midsingles from around the world. http://bit.ly/midsingles

 

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78 thoughts on “Midsingles Magnet Ward Outline

  1. I understand how the mid-singles units work and I think they are a great idea. However, the references which you make about the older age group of 45 plus being grand parents hitting on young ones is not very nice. I feel that the singles programme is becoming very ageist.
    I am the Stake Single adult representative for 535 singles. The age range is 31 to dead. I feel each one of these singles is entitled to the best programme which can be delivered. Constant remarks about older people make me wonder what will happen when the mid-singles reach the exit age. Will they stay on or be told to move on?

    There are many singles who like myself are outside the “mid-singles” age but are far from the sterotype you are casting us in. I wonder what will happen to you when you reach the upper limit if the mid-singles group? Also the next age group seems to be forgotten in the light of the “mid-singles” which seems to be in the invogue thing.

    There are also a lot of older singles who are less active. Is there a drive to get these people back?

    • In response to Leslie. I do sincerely apologize for offending you and anyone else. I really was just writing about my own experiences and trying to make light of the situation. It was also 3:00am and I was on so that tends to tear down any bariers or filters I may have. I do not intend to devalue anyone in any age group, we all have value and we are all needed in the church. I am the only Single over the age of 18 and under the age of 80 in the small branch where I attend. While I love these Sisters and Brothers very much I do not feel like the over 50 group, (which is almost everyone), really get where I am coming from. I try to get to know them, but I feel like they look at me like I am some wild thing they can’t quite get. That is far from who I am or have ever been. I often, as I am sure anyone reading this can relate to, feel very alone.

    • Dear Sister Lesley,
      First, I apologize if some of the remarks are hurtful to you; however, much older brethren hitting on much younger sisters is a fact that contributes to the falling apart of the single community. In my opinion, attending any event in which the 95% of the attendees’ age range above 75 years old is quite discouraging, not comforting and depressing!!! I live in the High Desert and this drastic percentage is another fact that keeps our much younger community of singles away and inactive.

      Second, I agree with you that “these singles [are] entitled to the best programme which can be delivered” and for that reason, it is A “MUST” to ensure that everyone feels comfortable and have a sense of belonging to the events they attend; and, that is why the primary is divided into groups, and that is why we have young women and young men, and that is why priesthood has its meetings aside, and that is why relief society is what it is … etc.

      Since you said that “… [some are] are outside the “mid-singles” age but are far from the sterotype you are casting us in,” I believe you (who represents 500+ singles) should join hands with those who are in the same age range and do something about it (like Matt) for the benefit of others who are less active.

      Lastly, you stated that “[t]here are also a lot of older singles who are less active” and I will tell you why, because they feel they do not fit in -such as myself! Regardless of what you are looking for (friendship, relationship, expand your network, have fun, etc), having a place to go or to attend in which one can feel fully comfortable, make friends (who have similar life experiences), chat, have fun, or find a partner (within our respective age group) is “a must” in order to bring these people back.

      Kindly,
      Jackie
      .

      • The reasons why the Primary are divided are for the different developmental stages of the children. R.S. and Priesthood for obvious reasons, that I don’t feel I should have to explain here, and the YW and YW for the same reasons. However, Sunday School for adults is combined – all ages and all stages. Poor rationale for a seperate program. Some of my best friends right now are in their late 60’s and early 70’s. I actually don’t care for some of the single adults in my ward who are in my age range (36 years old) – very stuck up. The real solution would be to provide a program that would bring people together from a region, and that mid-age range includes people in their 40’s. If someone goes inactive because there are old men at activities, it means that they have a weakness somewhere in their testimony, or confidence that they can be guided to meet that special someone.

      • Well put Sister Jackie.

        I know that the leaders who are discussing this issue and praying about it will be led by the Spirit to do what is right and whatever they decide I will go along with whole heartedly. Ultimately I think we can all agree that Heavenly Father wants what is best for all of his children no matter what stage of life they are in or what their marital status.

        I have had wonderful experiences in both the YSA and Family Wards, but I feel that I learned more and grew more in the YSA and I will tell you why. I was sealed to an RM at 19, a little over a year later we had a daughter. He became very abusive and in the end the kindest thing he ever did for us was to leave. The people in the Ward who I thought were my friends no longer spoke to me. I think they thought divorce was contagious. I went to the YSA and even though I was the only one with a baby they welcomed me. I learned so much there about how to serve and became strong there as I was given increasingly challenging callings.

        When I was 27 I moved to a different town and changed to the small branch I am in now. Not long after we moved in an announcement was made that there was to be a Valentine’s Day Dinner “for couples only” between that and the Daddy Daughter activities that my daughter would never be invited to I felt a little left out. It didn’t stop me from coming to church. It didn’t stop me from serving in the church. I’ve gotten to know these people and I can honestly say that I love them and I think that most of them love me. I know that you cannot take these things personally because most people don’t mean anything personal by it. It just is what it is, we all have foot in mouth disease at times, (for example see my first comment:). I believe my experience in a YSA strengthened me and solidiified my testimony enough that I could move on to where I am and remain active even when I felt like I had no friends. Had I not had a YSA to go to after my marriage ended I am not sure if I would have continued to attend church. For this reason I like the idea of a MSA Ward, it can potentially bring back those who are not yet strong enough to stand on their own, it can give us opportunities to strengthen and uplift one another in a different way. When your testimony is strong enough you can rely on that alone, but so many of us need the extra help.

        And who knows maybe I could even get a date! :)

    • Lesley, in the outline it addresses the concerns you share about having different groups appearing ageist. Having a Midsingles program for 30-something Midsingles along with having separate activities groups for 40s, 50s, and 60+ singles, does not mean there are no longer 31+ Single Adult activities. These groups supplement and not replace the 31+ SA Program.

      So it’s dual approach — there are specific activities for each decade (30s Midsingles, 40s, 50s, 60+) AND then there also all-age 31+ activities too. It’s both.

      To ensure the 30s Midsingles are moving on when they approach 40 to the 40-something Singles group , as stated in the outline, there’s overlap between the two groups so people (late30s-early 40s) as a transition period can attend both 30s Midsingles activities and the 40s Group. So a never been married guy at age 39 may align himself with the 30s Midsingles, but a divorced Mom of 5 kids at age 39 may feel more comfortable with the 40s Group. Same concept with older YSAs in their late 20s checking out a Midsingles Dance or activity to start getting their feet wet.

      Here even though I’m not 40 yet, I’ve have been working hard to build the local 40s and 50s activities groups. These groups have been given the same amount of attention as our local 30s Midsingles group. As a result of having specific age range groups, every month we see more inactives, non-members, newly divorced, active singles who typically never attend SA activities, attending these decade group activities. Some of these singles would initially never attend a 31+ Single Adult activity. So it’s another way to reach out to different singles than using the one-size-fits-all approach.

      If you are on facebook, check out our stake’s 40-something activities group http://bit/ly/hbstake40singles and 50-something activities group http://bit.ly/hbstake50singles as examples that something you can do in your area.

    • This mid singles movement is quite interesting.What WILL evolve as this group outgrows the parameters? Will there be a 46-61 year old group? Already I see well meaning opinions of creating 27 to 36 year old groups,32-42 year old groups,and 30 to 50 age groups. NOWHERE in the standard works is there “revelation” on categorizing the Church by age factors.The exception on age is baptism and Priesthood levels but that is a General Handbook of Instruction item.

      • As stated in the outline, once 30-something Midsingles approach 40, they can also start attending a 40-something Singles activity group.

        A better and smoother approach since singles each decade (30s, 40s, 50s, 60+) have different social needs, would be to have to a separate 40-something Singles activities group (late30s-50) on top of the 30-something Midsingles (31-early40s). This allows for overlap between the two groups so people in their late30s-early 40s have a transition period to attend both 30s Midsingles activities and the 40s Group activities too. So a never been married guy at age 39 may align himself more with the 30s Midsingles, but a divorced Mom of 5 kids at age 39 may feel more comfortable with the 40s Group. Transition between groups is considered more as a continuum than an abrupt 31-45, 46+ split. If you are on facebook, check out our stake’s 40-something activities group http://bit/ly/hbstake40singles and 50-something activities group http://bit.ly/hbstake50singles as examples of something you can do in your area.

        That is why there’s the rationale for “decade” singles groups which works much better instead of a 31-45, 46+ split you see in some stakes, which splits the 40s in half. So each decade (30s Midsingles, 40s, 50s, 60+) each have their own activities. In the Southern California area, here is our breakdown:

        30-something Midsingles/Family Ward (31-early 40s) with occasional joint activities with the older YSAs to help with transition.
        40-something Singles activities group (late30s-50)
        50-something Singles activities group (late40s-60)
        Elite Singles (60+)

        There’s also overlap so people on the cusp can double dip and attend both groups (like someone age 39 attending both the 30s and 40s Groups or someone 28 can attend both YSA and 30-something Midsingles activities) to help with transition. Singles from the region attend our “decade” groups too. Now in addition to these groups, other nearby stakes for the region, still have all-age 31+ Single Adult activities, with the idea that singles can attend BOTH — their peer “decade” group for their core support AND venture out to an all-age 31+ activity too.

        Consider it similar with other auxiliaries in the Church like Enrichment with the smaller groups and then everyone coming together too. Same approach! So, it’s not Midsingles vs. Older Singles, or all-age vs. Midsingles — it’s BOTH.

        As a result, we are getting a much better turnout of singles (as a whole) from the less actives, newly divorced, single parents, non-members, or active Singles who usually never attend SA activities, who are attending these decade groups. Many of these people would never initially attend a regular 31+ SA activity let alone set foot inside an all-age 31+ Single Adult Ward.

        Once people feel secure with their own decade group activities, THEN they are willing to venture out to an all-age 31+ activity occasionally. This is because it’s no longer “the end of the world” creepy experience at an older SA activity with Midsingles lowering expectations and can just support the cause since there’s already a local 30s Midsingles scene for their main social support. Same concept applies to the 40s Singles, 50s Singles, and Senior Singles 60+ who all love attending their own decade group activities that supplement all-age 31+ activities too.

        So the end result is a Midsingles Program (along with having “Decade” Groups) that actually builds and supports the 31+ Single Adult Program.

        As for “revelation” on categorizing the Church by age, remember current Nursery, Primary, Young Women, Young Men, Young Single Adults, and Single Adults (including 30s Midsingles, 40s Singles, 50s Singles, and Elite Singles 60+ which are subsets of the Single Adult Program) are all not mentioned in the “standard works”. And yet according to the direction of Area and local leaders, there can be approved specific programs and activities according to age since people in different ages have social and spiritual needs. It’s also worth stressing again that having different “decade” groups does not take away or lessen the need to have “all age” 31+ Single Adult activities. It’s a dual approach.

  2. This is such a great idea. My friends and I refer to the Single Adult program as the “30 to infinity program”. When you go to a Single Adult conference it is always heavy on “the infinity” age group. And you are standing there thinking “Why am I here? Heavenly Father I thought you loved me? Why are people still doing the Macarana in 2010?” Then if you spot a 30 something guy in the pack you might as well not even bother, he’s like a baby giselle in a pack of hungry lionesses because every woman there acts like she is ready to pounce. I’m shy and will always hang back and wait for someone to aproach me, but all that ever seems to approach are the Grandpa types. I guess maybe they think that if you are still single at our age you are just sitting there thinking, “Hey, You’ve got a pulse!” And if, by some chance, the baby giselle looks in your direction and makes any effort to move toward you the pack will take him out. On the drive back from such an event you are inevitably shaking your head in disbelief that you have wasted another weekend and at least $40 bucks, So yea, bring on the midsingles wards and activities, save us all.

  3. I am a midsingles just recently kicked to the curb by a YSA ward and it really hurt. That particular YSA was was letting 30 somethings remain in the ward because we live in a small town and a mid singles ward are an inconvenient distance. My bishop called me in last Sunday and said the Area Authority told the Stake President, who told the Bishop that we 30 somethings were no longer welcome. My Bishop was heart broken because he didn’t want to lose active people contributing to the ward and tell them they aren’t welcome at church. I agree that the church doesn’t know what to do with us, and frankly I am headed to inactivity. However I was just curious, where you got your statics (the first 4 paragraphs) . I want to be able to back up all that you have said . Thanks

  4. AMEN AMEN AMEN!! Dear Brethren – PLEASE don’t forget about us and leave us hanging out there with no place in this church. Times have changed and there is a HUGE need. Many of us are poised and ready and willing to step up. Please give us the chance. As I’ve aged from one singles category to the next, I have gone through a lot of processes. Upon returning to the YSA program at age 26 I didn’t feel like I belonged as a divorcee. So, I went to a home ward and “HID” from the singles. The first few SA activities I had enough courage to attend, I got asked out and hit on (nicely enough) by men old enough to be my father. (uh, ew.) So, for the past 10 years of single hood, I’ve been forced to stay in a home ward. GRATEFULLY – Seattle started a MID singles program 3 years ago and I’m finally, FINALLY making and dating friends in my own age group. Unfortunately, I have to drive an HOUR to get there, but it is worth my time and gas to go and be a part of the church again and really feel like I “fit in” somewhere. There are 300 MID singles in my stake and 200 MID singles in the stake right next door. In my ward there are 29 MID singles and only 2 of us are active. Do you see a problem here?? I actually, for the first time EVER in my life, went in active for a few months last year. I just could not bear to be in my home ward with loving families. Husbands and wives holding hands, kids running around. (Yes, I know families have their problems too.. but still) I was alone (and I have a great ward!). I was bitter and angry and would sit at church with tears like razor blades streaming down my face. So, I quit going where so much pain is caused. Isn’t church supposed to take away the pain? Thank Heavens for patient and loving Home Teachers who never quit coming, well that, and an undeniable testimony of Jesus Christ. So, I kicked my own hind end and got myself back to church in 4 short months. So, I support the MID singles program. I am my stake MID singles rep for our quad stake region (pilot program in the NW). We are here, we want to serve and we need to be put to work. Let us bring in the sheep.. the ones ALREADY in the fold and have wandered away. There are THOUSANDS of them!!

  5. Amen Lara! I can totally relate!
    I have been single again for 7 years and during that time lived in Europe and 3 different states and 7 different family wards. When I lived in Colorado, I felt like we had a great group with lots of activities. I used to host FHE and other activities at my house (which was also a preschool) and included activities for the children. My boys really enjoyed all the times we hung out with other children of singles and honestly I received more help and support from other singles than the majority of my home wards. My testimony of the church is too strong to stop attending just because of the lack of support and understanding in a family ward. Regular home teachers are just a dream in most wards, and most sisters feel uncomfortable reaching out as well. I have learned that when you move to a new ward and are single you are pretty much a nobody until you are able to contribute a lot ..and lately with some interesting challenges in my life, I am just barely keeping my nose above water in managing my career and family to reach out like I used to.

    I would love to attend a ward like that or at least take part in more kid-friendly activities. After 7 years of dumpster-diving in ysa and mid-singles programs, I am less interested in marriage than in just finding good friends and doing what I can to strengthen the other struggling single parents out there. My oldest just turned 13 and is active in scouts so maybe such a ward would not make sense for me, but I wish I could feel a sense of community with my fellow brothers and sisters who are pressing forward while enduring many challenges alone.

    I consider being a single mom a gift in many ways and I hope the church finds a way to help all kinds of singles come together in ways that build faith which in turn builds the kingdom even more! The more the church is able to diversify and reach more demographics, the greater the church will grow. I work in a field with tons of great nonmember singles and would love to have occasion to bring them to activities where they would feel most comfortable.
    I will pray that the brethren figure it out! The scriptures say it is the church’s responsibility to take care of the widow and fatherless. Most “widows” today are single moms or dads who are stretched to the brink emotionally, spiritually, physically and financially trying to be mom and dad to their children. they often go without the support they need in a family ward because of stigmatizm or fear. I know we can do more to bring everyone together!

  6. I am a 36 year-old female who because of demographics of the places I have lived, have attended “family wards” since the age of 27. I find it amusing, and then annoying when newly graduated single adults enter a family ward, and lament and complain to a great extent about how horrible the experience is. Many feel that they are breaking new ground, and that they have to “teach” the ward how to deal with them. Because I am single, and in a leadership position, I hear about it. I hear the same complaints over and over about older men, and how the Priesthood leadership in the ward is ignoring them, etc…. What they do not realize is that many of these Priesthood leaders are balancing a family, work, and church calling with some members having more serious problems than socialization into a ward. That is for the individuals to facilitate, and other organization to encourage. Not the Bishopric. I have found in the past, that if I ask these newly graduated singles to help fill a need (not just a calling) with a person or family in the ward with real problems, the self-centeredness disappears, and they seem more happy and content with their new situation.

    In the church, it is important to remember that it is not where you serve, but how you serve. Over the past 2-1/2 years, I have served both in the Primary and as a leader in one of the auxiliary organizations. I loved the Primary, and I find my current calling challenging, rewarding, and very humbling. I’ve been in situations that I have never experienced before, and I have learned much and changed inside. I also held the same leadership role in a singles ward, and the focus was very, very different. It was about keeping the women coming, and making sure the activities were “fun” enough to warrant attendance. I felt more like an activities director.

    While I do know that if I were married, I would have greater social opportunities with members of the ward, I find my social calendar very full and satisfying. My friendships are with people of all age ranges, and differing marital status. This is how it should be. I also know that my contributions and participation in the ward are valued and appreciated.

    At first, I thought the idea of a Mid-Singles ward a good one, until I read the outline you submitted. I thought about all of the good and bad experiences that I have had over the last 10 years, and realized that I would never have had them or grown from them if I had been in this type of ward. I think that they have been good for me. It has caused me to think outside of myself, look for opportunities to serve, and lose myself in a greater cause.

    By separating a group out for special treatment, it reinforces the same mind-set that is found in Young Single Adult wards. Family wards make a person grow and stretch, many times in very uncomfortable ways. And I know from personal experience that inactivity in that age range does not have as much to do with being in a family ward, but choices one makes in life, and how strong of a testimony one has. If you allow your testimony to diminish through unwise choices, and excuses for not attending church, you will become less-active.

    I do feel that there does need to be a better organized mid-singles program, but regionally. Not on a stake level. I also believe that the age range needs to include those in their 40’s. They are in a mid-range as well. In Denver, we have an “unauthorized” mid-singles group organized by individuals. However, if you don’t know about it, you don’t go. I didn’t know about it for the first two years I lived in Denver.

    In summary, I have learned that church is not all about “me.” It’s to help me in improving myself, and reaching out to serve others, to meet a need, and consecrating ourselves in the service of the Lord. I think that when more of these graduating singles learn this, they will find the transition not so difficult.

    • These Mixed Midsingles/Family Wards that are already in existence in the outline are family wards for ALL AGES. However in addition to regular ward boundaries for all families of all ages, Midsingles within the stake can also attend the ward as well. Like a magnet school, this is a magnet ward for Midsingles. This allows the benefits of serving in the church with people of all ages, yet at the same time, you have a core group of 30-something Midsingles for social support as well in the ward. It’s the best of both worlds. For a visual example of how this looks on a map go to http://www.tinyurl.com/hb1boundaries

      Some of these wards do include singles in the early and mid 40s, however an age range up to 50 means no one in their early and mid 30s will attend and negates the purpose of ensuring YSAs transition successfully when they turn 31.

      Here in addition to the 30-something Midsingles (31-early 40s), we have also a separate 40-something Singles activities group (late30s-50) that has monthly activities where we get around 60-70 in attendance. (As well as we also have a 50-something Singles activities group (late 40s-60) and the “Elite Singles” or Senior Singles 60+ with their own activities.) This on top of regional SA 31+ all-age activities.

      Larger Midsingles activities can still be planned regionally while at the same time every stake can also have their own Midsingles Magnet Ward.

    • I completely agree about the Gospel of Christ not being about “me”. I’ve served in RS, YW, Primary, Activities committee and have been an ordinance worker, and currently have a stake calling. I get it. I know it is about serving. I show up and support singles activities (31 to dead) in my area. _I_ have a strong testimony and was only in active for 4 months.. which was FOREVER in my book. I challenge you to find out the numbers in your ward/stake/region. If they are not like the rest of the world, than GREAT! You are doing it right and we all need to take your lead. However, being as this church is not about me, when I look around, I wonder why the heck that other 90% of singles are NOT at church. It isn’t a handful, it is a majority. The fact remains: When YSA’s leave that comfortable, fun, social setting and enter into a Family ward, we lose them. YOU may have a strong enough testimony, but it appears that 90% of singles DON’T. We aren’t asking for an exclusive club, but rather asking for the church to stretch and grow with us as this is a newer developing group. Divorce rates IN the church are WAY higher now. It’s just a problem that needs addressing. You said that Priesthood leaders are busy taking care of their own families, perferct, who is taking care of the family-LESS people??? WE need to take care of our own, so we need to be organized and have callings specific to our needs so we CAN/will be obligated to take care of our own. Just food for thought.

    • I cannot thank you enough for this post, nor could I have said it any better. I would like to add that Matt’s focus continues to unnerve me and make me feel uncomfortable. Only once did he mention the truth of the situation: you can have a mid-singles mixed-family ward if your stake and area authorities decide. This is not our decision. We are to bloom where we are planted. We are to follow our priesthood leaders. We are to ask Heavenly Father to help us be happy wherever and whatever our situation.

      I cringed as I read over the possible “committee” options. I thought about trading my calling in primary for a position on the “Midsingles “Girls Night Out” Committee” or the “Midsingles Super Date Committee”. Wow, I’d rather go inactive. There is no substitute for growing up and finding your place in this gospel is a part of growing up. I wouldn’t trade my experience in a family ward for anything, seeing as how I am actually part of a family there. That never happened in the YSA ward.

      Also, I find portions of the rationale for a mixed ward a laughable double-standard on men and dating. We are supposed to openly embrace the concept of a mixed ward that meets in a building where MEN over 30 can continue to date women at least 10 years younger than them. We are, however, supposed to run screaming from men who are over 30 and want to date women in their 30’s. Frankly I find either scenario distasteful. What’s even more distasteful is that you put it in the framework of helping these poor men in their 30’s to remain active!

      In closing, I’m grateful that your priesthood leaders see fit to have a program that you enjoy. Stop dangling that carrot as an option for the rest of us, when it clearly is not. If any of you have questions about your program as-is, take them to your bishop, high council representative or stake presidency rep. They will help you understand what is going on and let you know if there are any opportunities for change.

      Good luck!

    • Genevieve, preisthood leaders and Area 70s themselves had asked me to write this outline up as to better understand how this Mixed Midsingles/Family Ward approach works and how it might be implemented in their area.

      If you personally prefer to stay in a family ward alone and teach primary by all means no one is forcing to move into a mixed Midsingles/Family Ward if you don’t want to.

      Also, the creation of Midsingles Committees are left to the local need and support of local Midsingles and local leaders. Girls Night Out Committee is simply a once a month (or quarter) event where Midsingle women get together in some social activity. Likewise a “Menrichment” Committee could serve the same purpose since most Priesthood Quoroms don’t provide social opportunities for men. “Super Date” Committee is where either once a quarter (or month) Midsingles pair up (guy ask gal or sometimes gal ask guy) and all meet up together somewhere and then may split off into separate dinners or activities. It’s just a way to foster interaction and get people to date in a low key matter.

      Lastly, who said anything about men dating women 10 years younger than them? Typically a guy in his early 30s is more likely to date women in their mid to late 20s. (Simply put, a newly minted 31 year old Midsingle guy will be more apt to date a 27 year old in the YSA Ward than a 38 year old woman.) Who say anything about women in their 30s not being able to date older men? (Everyone can still attend all-age 31+ Single Adult activities too if they want) Frankly, these “poor men” in their 30s are the most vulernable to go inactive in the Church and a mixed Midsingles/Family Ward approach helps them to remain active which will more even out the active single guy/gal ratio in the Church. Having a more even M/F ratio allows then more oppurtunity for Midsingles to pair up and eventually get married.

    • Janelle,

      I am so glad that u find people who are struggling in the church amusing and annoying. I don’t think Jesus Christ himself would be pleased with this attitude! We covenant each week when we partake of the sacrament to bear one another burdens and to always remember Jesus Christ. I am so glad as a single person that you don’t feel out of place in your ward. I am happy that you take pride in your leadership role. However, pride is not always a good thing!! The people in my ward are great people and they love me very much and I love them!! We have an awesome Relief Society with great sisters who truly care for one another. However, it doesn’t complete the empty hole that I have in my life because I feel the need for companionship. We are commanded by the Lord to be married and we can’t achieve the highest degree in the celestial kingdom, if we are not married. I am also 36 years old and I am still searching for my eternal companion. I have attended the Singles activity in my area and NO one my age attends because people who attend the activities are older than my parents. I am not going to find my eternal companion in that age group of people. We feel very out of place and want and want to have companionship.I too have several friends in their 60’s but the are not marriage material. I know that I would love the support and have the opportunity to attend activities with people my own age and possible begin to date again. I as a Mid Single don’t think that I’m selfish for sharing the desires of my heart and letting the Brethren of church know that I have needs that the church is not meeting. The brethren love us and want people to attend church and be happy and feel accepted and needed. I was very hurt by your negative remarks!! I don’t mean to hurt others or be malicious in my thoughts or deeds, I just want people to feel welcomed and loved. It is hard when the church is so family centered and u have no one. I do know that if we are faithful and endure to the end, we won’t be denied any blessings in the next life if we don’t marry, I still want to try my hardest to due my part while Im on this earth1!

  7. Wow, FINALLY!!!!!!

    When I found myself divorced, with two very young kids, at 32yrs old in an “ALL 100%” beautiful “family” ward I felt SO OUT OF PLACE (sad, lonely, envious, uncomfortable, and so “not” belonging) that I started attending to SA dances to meet single people with whom I could relate/identify myself and with whom I could build a social network (as a “relatively” young single parent).
    Nevertheless, these people were “very much older” than I was, and the things in common were minimal. Several of them (without purposely intending to criticize or offend anyone) kept on reflecting (in diverse ways) a sour and cynical attitude about their lives as “singles” in a church that highly values “marriage and commitment.” Well, after these experiences, I felt that I did not belong to this group either; therefore, I stopped attending these gatherings and thanks to my diverse callings I did not became inactive.

    However, now after finding myself close to the border of these age group, I lift up my head and say “thank you dear Heavenly Father for sending instruction to the leaders in the church” in order to guide the steps of our single community!

    I STILL have an active, happy, and positive personality who loves making friends. This is the best thing that has ever happen!!!!

    Thank you Matt for sending me (and all of us) this information and for all the work and effort that you put into this labor of gathering and uniting single brothers and sisters who are such an important part on our Father’s plan and in His church.
    .

  8. Thanks for your work Matt. I’m praying for the leaders of our church to make the right decision today.

    And just to note, I’m a mid-singles in Las Vegas. I attend UNLV as a Doctoral student in Music. The YSA ward for UNLV is just that–YSA. And though I still feel like I belong there, the rules state differently.

    My records have been in a Las Vegas family ward for almost a year and I’ve never been called by the Bishop, member of the bishopric, the RS pres, a home teacher of nothing. I guess when they look at their records they think I’m just some empty name.

    When I was the RS President in my YSA ward—-when I saw a name on my rolls that I didn’t know–I sought them out. I think that is what we are supposed to do, right.

    Anyways, even though technically I’m inactive because I haven’t been to church in awhile. I’m not inactive in my heart, soul and being.

    Good luck to you.

  9. I already feel like I am looked at as different and if I am put into a different ward and seperated away from the marrieds in the church I feel we would be missing something that could teach us a lot. Right now when singles get together, yes I see bonding and lifting each other up, but having been in the singles scene in Utah for over 10 years, I have seen the activities and the many of the singles in their wards, find as they are separated out, that there are so many different types of candy in the store so that if one doesn’t taste just perfect they can throw it away and come back and get another piece and so that is why we are seeing multiple marriages and divorces in the church now. They are not taking marriage and covenants seriously. I believe to keep the singles grounded we need to remain in our family wards and find other avenues to reactivate those lost sheep who don’t fit in. on two levels. First finding the lost sheep and welcoming them back with active singles and second educating the marrieds on how they treat and talk to the divorced or never married single transitioning into the family ward. We need to stand united. We are a church that stands together not separated. I can see it at the college level, but after that, healing can be done in family wards and should reach out in our callings there. Just an idea.

    • These Mixed Midsingles/Family Wards that are already in existence in the outline are family wards for ALL AGES. However in addition to regular ward boundaries for all families of all ages, Midsingles within the stake can also attend the ward as well. Like a magnet school, this is a magnet ward for Midsingles. This allows the benefits of serving in the church with people of all ages, yet at the same time, you have a core group of 30-something Midsingles for social support as well in the ward. It’s the best of both worlds. For a visual example of how this looks on a map go to http://www.tinyurl.com/hb1boundaries

    • I agree we need to seek out those sheep who have strayed. HOWEVER, we need to have something for them to DO. Family wards are great, I love mine, but we are social people. Humans need other humans to connect with. If people don’t feel comfortable doing something in a social setting, they stop doing it. So, if church is uncomfortable, you are already inactive or have a weak staying power to be single in a family ward, you stop going. However, imagine, you have been feeling terrible about life, you decide it’s time to get back to church, you walk in, get ignored, and go home. That didn’t work. Now, imagine, you walk in, get greeted by the MIDSingles rep, who sits by you, walks you to class and when you look around, you see 5 other mid single people. NOW you have a support group who “get’s you”. As you continue to come to church, add fhe, and then some activities at the regional level, your testimony grows and soon YOU are a leader again.

  10. “it’s not what your country can do for you, it’s what you can do for your country”…the same rule applies here. i do not want this good effort to get contentious…

    i am a 31 year old mid-single that sits alone in a family ward each week. i am not headed to inactivity, but am grateful that the church is moving forward on plans to arrange for more mid-singles wards and different approaches.

    thanks for all the time and efforts in putting this together. please keep the hope and faith as we are all needed in the gospel.

  11. To Janelle,

    “Different developmental stages” that is the reason! Good point! I love psychology. In fact, psychology books make reference to this important issue; that is, authors such as Myers; Davis & Palladino; Alder, Proctor, & Town, etc. confirm that these types of “different developmental stages” which ALSO occur in adults (at different developmental stages of their life) as well. However, for “obvious reasons, that I don’t feel I should have to explain here” (as you wrote) either :o)

    I am glad that you “categorize” having your “best” friends (whether single or married) within “their late 60’s and early 70’s; however, it puzzles me that such a “caring” soul (like yours) “actually [doesn't] care for some of the single adults in [your] ward” – for whatever reason it might be (that is not christian-like attitude!).

    Lastly, “if someone goes inactive” IT IS NOT “because there are old men at activities” (which can vary depending on what each person is looking for, and which I said it is a “CONTRIBUTING” factor), NEITHER DOES “it means that they have a weakness somewhere in their testimony or confidence that they can be guided to meet that special someone” (as you wrote) -at all!!! Several inactive members have a very strong and powerful testimony within their hearts; however, the issue of not “fitting in” has a lot to do (also as a “contributing factor”) with their falling apart from the flock and ‘FOR SOME’ displaying apathy, and becoming sour, and cynical in their interactions is all what they do.

    OF COURSE – MY COMMENT is not intended to be hurtful (to anyone) but realistic from my point of view. I thank you for taking the time to read my post which deemed to be controversial – to you.
    .

    • I speak from experience from the active and inactive standpoint, from having served in leadership and very minor roles. If my response seemed short, it wasn’t meant to be. (One of the drawbacks to online communication.) I have been across the whole spectrum, and every day I realize how easy it would be to chuck the whole thing because I have been there. Especially if I had continued to carry my anger about feeling left out in my family ward. It was destroying me spiritually and emotionally – little by little. It’s a fragile thing when you are single in the church, and when presented with really, really good options (sometimes better) for dating and marriage outside the church, it makes it that much harder. Especially when you are a female member of the church.

      And, wow, why would you call me “un-Christian?” It did seem mean-spirited. You have to be careful when you make that comment. It can always be turned right back around.

      I never purported to be perfect, neither was it implied.

      Right now, I struggle with a couple of men who have moved into my ward who have recently married non-member women that have no intention of ever joining the church. I look at all of the beautiful 30-ish women in our ward (there are about 8, including me) who are active, strong, and wonderful. With all of the good LDS women and options out there, why did they choose to marry outside of the covenant? That is now my current beef, and when I see them sitting alone at church, it’s hard for me not to be cynical.

      However, I stick to my premise above about choices and activity in the church. I see it in married and non-married people. I was also responding to other comments to other postings referring to complaints from other women, and making a reference to my post (not my response to you).

      We all have different situations, but the adversary doesn’t really have to re-invent the wheel to try to derail us. As I listen to the stories of others, and knowing of my own experiences, the same things work on most people. That is why we should not be ashamed to discuss them. What one person has successfully navigated can help someone who is struggling now. I have also felt all of the feelings you criticized me about mentioning, and have used them as excuses for not attending church. I have a hard time believing that nobody else has felt them.

      And you are right. Adults have different developmental stages. Even 30-somethings have varying degrees of maturity and social and emotional development. But we are adults, and at a certain point, we are expected to function and adapt in an adult world. The differences I was speaking of were pertaining to the responsibilites of the Priesthood and the responsibilites of the Relief Society. YW & YM programs are set up to prepare the youth for these responsibilities. Most wards outside of large Mormon populations have combined youth programs, and they are not segregated by age within each program because there are just not enough youth (as is in my ward). That is what I meant by not needing to explain, however, I see that maybe I should have.

      Finally, my point that just because there are people the same age and stage as you in a ward, doesn’t mean personalities always “click,” and you don’t enjoy socializing with them outside of church activities, or they do not feel the need to include you in their friend circles. I found the same type of “clique” situation in YSA wards, and it is REALLY bad in my current ward among the young mommies. We have been given the charge to love one another, not hang out with everyone.

      I have found great friendship in women in a their advanced age who are also single (never been married, widowed, divorced) who are feeling very much the same way we are, and are looking for the same breaks. Just because they are older and have a little more experience doens’t mean that they should be ruled out, nor should I rule them out as friends. I have gone to them for advice on things, many having served in the calling I am in now, and they have been a great source of strength. I also should have mentioned that some of my other close friends that I “click” with are women in their late 40’s who would most likely be left out of these programs.

      As far as mixing of ages in Relief Society, this topic was recently addressed in the recent R.S. General Conference, and is a constant struggle. The real problems arise at the ward level. I will admit in my own ward, people didn’t know me until I was put into Relief Society, and I had been in the ward for three years. I was just another warm body filling a seat. I went to church because it was something I was supposed to do, not because I particularly enjoyed it. It is frustrating, but the change happened becuase I changed my perspective, and became more outgoing, mostly because I had to, and I had to remember THEIR names. The ward really isn’t doing anything differently, and I get more attention now because people want me to do things for them. (I’m a realist that way.) And it is in the doing, serving, and being involved that I have found great peace, and the restoration of hope in my future that includes a worth Priesthood holder. I didn’t have that before, and I have had that restored. You can’t criticize me for that, because that is testimony.

      So now, that I’ve taken the time to defend myself, here you have it. I didn’t think your comments controversial. I didn’t think mine were either. I have a difference of opinion on the subject that you have, and I was just making my opinion and experience known. I’m not much for pulling snippets of things out that people say, and building an assumption or argument about it. If this were an in-person conversation, there would probably be more agreement than disagreement on many issues as they pertain to being single in this church.

      I have so many other experiences and ideas to support my opinions, but this is already long enough, and I am spending time on this that I should be putting into my homework. I’m trying to balance a Masters program with everything, and I’m procrastinating. I do wish you well, and hope that this smooths my perspective out for you a little bit.

      • I am glad that you do not have “to carry [your] anger about feeling left out in [your] family ward, anger is a poisonous thing.

        First, the term was a “not christian-like attitude” not “un-Christian.” That is because you stated that you “don’t care” about “some of the single adults in your ward.” Besides, I agree, “you have to be careful when you [write a statement or a] comment [for] It can always be turned right back around.” (One can always retract from what is said; however, a written statements is taken as it is) (uh? right back around?!?!) ;o)

        You should not “struggle with a couple of men who have moved into [your] ward who have recently married non-member women that have no intention of ever joining the church. THAT IS THEIR BUSINESS AND THEIR CHOICE, NOT YOURS and so not your “beef.” You open a window for me to understand why some single people are so cynical – that is because they are too busy worrying about others’ choices.

        Furthermore there are few complains in this blog and if you were not “making a reference to my post,” then you should not feel offended -right?! Besides, I did not critisized you about anything other than defending and counter arguing my point challenged by you – and my point is: “welcome mid-single activities!!!”

        Unlike you (using excuses for not attending to church), I have always attended to my ward and served where the Lord has needed me. I am glad you agree with the books! “Adults [do] have different developmental stages” and diverse psychological, social, and emotional needs. For that reason, I support all the effort that Matt has put forward to highlight these challenges (and for doing something about it) which most of us agree on. Taking this into consideration, I applaud that Matt has taken the time to separate the SA into decade groups – “WITHOUT” excluding anyone. Just check out his/the single(s) website(s) – it is impressive, indeed.

        Lastly, I personally do not look about “clicking” with anyone. I consider that, for as long a person can have a happy, positive, and have an enthusiastic personality, everything else will fall into place. It is sad that, in your ward, this issue is “REALLY bad” – I believe, everything is about attitude and perspective! Beware, bad attitudes are dreadfully contagious :o) !

        Wish you well and greetings from CSUSB!
        .

        “It does not matter were you go …but… what matters is WHAT YOU DO when you get there that makes a difference” Unknown.

  12. Thank you so much for putting together this website and giving the mid-singles of the LDS church a voice! I pray the leaders are given eyes to see this population within the church. It is a growing demographic that needs much more support and attention. I just moved to NYC a couple of months ago from AZ. In Phoenix, there is not a mixed mid-single/family ward yet (although there is the Elliot Grove 31+ ward that I and many of my friends wouldn’t go to due to the “creepy” factor).

    BUT there is a mid-singles fireside every month, mid-singles institute, mid-singles FHE groups, and they just had the first mid-singles conference in November. A lot of these activities were developed by the YSA stake in Tempe–AND independently by individuals–to help meet the needs of the 31-33 crowd that had been included in the YSA wards but were about to be kicked out due to instructions from SLC. There are usually 150+ mid-singles that go to the monthly fireside.

    I lived in a community north of Denver for almost a year as a mid-single. There were slim pickings in my family ward. I never heard about any YSA activities going on in the stake (in a college town). I went to a Valentine’s Day 31+ dance in a neighboring community. I was completely new to the area and knew few people. After seeing only a handful of people my own age, sitting next to middle-aged women, and seeing a couple in their 60s or 70s getting down on the dance floor, I decided to leave. It was so traumatic being there that I bawled the whole way home! I was like “Is this all that I have to look forward to in the Church single’s scene now?!?!” I did get involved a bit in the Denver mid-singles crowd while there. They developed it independently of the church b/c there was nothing for mid-singles being organized by the church! They get the word out on Facebook, there is a good group of people involved, and there have been some marriages come from it. Even so, it was a 1.5-2 hour drive for me each way to attend activities, so I didn’t go very often.

    Now, I’m living in NYC as a mid-single. My ward in Harlem has a few mid-singles, and we do have some social interaction outside of church, organized by individuals. According to my home teacher (who is also a mid-single), ONLY 10% of mid-singles in Manhattan are active. There is a HUGE population of single working professionals and artists living in NYC, and it’s a crying shame there is not an infrastructure in place for LDS people in this demographic to meet each other.

    It is far too easy to just date outside the church b/c one is constantly meeting singles everywhere else in the city, but not at church, or in church activities! I am willing to bet that the majority of mid-single LDS people (the 90% who are inactive) have taken this option. Personally, I am going out with non-LDS guys, b/c those are the men I’m meeting and those are the men who are asking me out. Not serious about any of them, though. I would really rather be dating within the Church, b/c I want to eventually marry within the Church. I just don’t know where to go to be meeting LDS men my age!

    I have heard of only ONE mid-single/YSA combined activity so far, and no mid-single specific activities. Basically, if a person wants to be with other singles, they have to go to the YSA activities to do so, or interact with people in their own wards. That works OK for the still-single early 30’s crowd, most of whom are recent grads from the singles wards & get the info from friends or Facebook invites. But that’s about it.

    There are definite, specific needs for the people in the mid-singles demographic, and NOW is the TIME to step up, recognize them, and do something to keep this flock in the fold. Without involvement, people suffer, and they slip away.

    Thanks for providing a forum for us to have our voices heard.

  13. Sounds like there is alot of mixed emotions about midsingles wards. I think it is great to know that people are developing another avenue for people to meet other people in their own pier group. To help people to meet others to socialize with and date.
    I have found the midsingle groups nice and have met many great people and I have met many great people through the SA events as well. I think the more people have social networks and outlets the happier they will be. I attend dances for both SA and Mid Singles and look forward to dancing with many friends of mine who are all ages. I hope the mid singles program can move forward and help more people.
    Good luck and keep up the good work

  14. P.S. I just found a Manhattan LDS Mid singles group on Facebook and started a new group, LDS Midsingles NYC as well for those in Manhattan, the 5 boroughs, and surrounding areas of NYC. It’s a start! :)

    • With already the Manhattan LDS Midsingles Group created, maybe your new facebook group could be renamed the “Tri-State Midsingles (NYC, NJ, CT)” serving the entire NYC Metro Area to avoid any confusion. Just a thought. Good luck Kristen and let me know if you need any help.

      • Argh, I can’t figure out how to change the group’s name on FB. Good idea, though, I’ll keep trying.

  15. Great work Matt! The only thing I would say is really in response to many of the comments. Please remember that attendance at any of these proposed wards and activities are at your choice. Just because your stake has a mid-singles magnet ward doesn’t mean you are required to attend. It would be helpful for everyone if people would try it to see if it fits for them, but its not required. Like what Matt said earlier, a never married man at 39 might feel more comfortable with the 30-somethings but a 39 year old divorced mom with 5 kids might feel more connection to the 40-something group. That is the joy and awesomeness of creating things in this way. Years of trial and error have shown what works and how to best meet the emotional and spiritual needs of a large group of people. Does that mean it fits everyone? Probably not. Free agency applies here just as it does for those who choose to stay in the church or become inactive due to their circumstances. But I would hope that we could uplift and help each other to achieve the most we can rather than tear down and say if it doesn’t fit for me, it shouldn’t fit for anyone.

  16. I’m still not sure why they cant create a 26-36 ward. Then you have 18-31, 26-36, and 31+ The 26-36 is a transition ward. It solves the problems of older guys dating younger girls, the problem of 31’s being afraid of 31+ wards and going inactive, as well as keeps the age transitions moving without fear of taking the next step. I think the midsingles combined with a family would would be a mistake in some situations. I personally wouldn’t want to be combined with a family ward no matter what. Singles ward bishoprics are dedicated resources for singles, whereas a mixed ward the Bishop has to deal with family ward issues as well. In a singles only environment, everything from lessons to activities are catered towards that age group. I’m not sure why this is so hard to try, the church has the resources to give it a shot, but for some reason it has to take websites like this to get anything going. My vote, singles only 26-36 transition wards.

  17. II am a 34yr professional single mother of two teenagers from a 14yr marriage. I feel I fit just as well with my 30 year old friends as my 40 year old friends. I know of many single parents who are in their 30’s raising teenagers within the church. I feel to stereotype people based upon their age is pure ignorance. Many within out Midsingles group who are 40 are dealing with the same issues as those who are 30. I feel to narrow the Midsingles to one decade is not realistic. I also wonder how families will transition out of the nurturing bubble of the Midsingles back into a family ward. I know that I live an hour away from most of my close Midsingle friends and the relationships that have been built mirror those of extended family. My teens are often a driving force for me to attend activities; they have attended dances with other youth of Midsingles. Raising teens and preteens alone is difficult, yet to feel pushed out of a ward during this transitional time in life might reflect negatively in the long run as the single and youth feel abandoned. To move from one ward to another has a different impact than changes in ward boundaries or removal based upon age. I do understand the emotional transitioning of wards since my children and I have attended 8 wards in 5 states in the past 14 years.

    • That’s why Naomi, 30-something Midsingles with teenage children are encouraged to stay in their home ward and just attend Midsingles activities (as mentioned in the FAQ). Also, these decade groups (30s Midsingles, 40s, 50s, 60+) supplement and not replace ongoing all-age 31+ SA activities. There is still plenty of opportunity to socialize with singles of all ages that those activities, at the same time there can be decade groups activities too.

  18. I just turned 40 and have a 2 kids, 13 and 10. I have been attending our Mid-singles ward for a few years. There seems to be a LOT of never married guys who would no more look at a mom than fly to the moon. I’m anxious to meet guys who have maybe had kids of their own and are interested in committing. The guys here seem to be commitment-phobes. Maybe older guys (40-50) are the answer. It seems that a man rarely looks at a woman who is even a few years older

    • Sarah, in your case, a 40-something Singles activities group would be a good fit for you. In the 40-something Singles activities group here in our stake, you start having guys who have been married before with kids and are looking to remarry with someone else with kids to have a blended family. Many guys in their 30s who are never been married still hope to marry someone else without any kids and start a family on their own. That’s why we find a decade group approach works better (than a 31-45, 46+ split you see in some areas) since the 30s Midsingles (31-early 40s) group and the 40-something Singles group (late 30s-50) each have different social needs.

  19. I think this is a great layout and obviously lots of thought went into this. Unfortunately what is not being addressed are the choices of many men, and maybe women too I suppose, that has led to so many mid-singles. Why are there so many mid singles and so many never married mid singles? Is it because the church doesn’t offer enough programs or because individuals have chosen their status therefore taking the opportunity for marriage away from another?

    I don’t know people – I’m excited to hope that this type of program will come to my area but at the same time it makes me sad it needs to exist at all…

    • Michelle, how about neither? Just because one is single into their thirties doesn’t mean that somehow they’ve chosen to “be that way,” and it doesn’t mean that we need coddling from church, either.

      And wait–what? “Chosen their status therefore taking the opportunity for marriage away from another?” Huh?

      Social forces change things. Our society is different nowadays than it was 100 years ago or 50 years ago. And honestly, have you looked around at church lately? There are about 10 single girls for every single guy. Realistically, nine of those women will probably not be married any time soon, and that’s assuming all the guys aren’t shy, and that every single guy will somehow have the good fortune to live in the same place as at least one person who shares his interests. If you’re a little different in this church, it’s considered a huge mark against you, and gossip can be vicious in a singles’ ward. Plenty of people can make it through their 20s unmarried for one reason or another that has nothing to do with how much they *want* to be married.

      Whether or not midsingles being single is their fault, how and why is it a problem that the church is seeking ways to make sure that their needs are met?

      • Wow Stacy – that’s quite the caustic reply. In no way was my intention to blame, point fingers or hurt feelings. My point is simply this – I have always been active in the church. I went through my YSA program faithfully and saw over and over again many of my male buddies get caught up in having fun, dating every girl that crossed their path, putting off their education and nursing broken hearts for years. So when I say “chosen” status I saw that with confidence. Maybe you nor I have chosen to be single into our 30’s or what have you but show me a man who has stayed committed to the gospel who has not, on some level, chosen his single never been married status. Outside of a significant issue I doubt you can find one. These are tough times and we need to stick together and encourage and uplift one another. That’s why I’m glad to have someone thinking and talking about these programs but I maintain that the problem lies with individuals and not the church’s lack of teaching us, preparing us, or providing some measure of opportunity. In my ward of nearly 900 I am the only active single person under the age of 55 and that is an incredibly lonely place to be. Is that the church’s fault or individuals?

    • Hi Michelle,
      A friend and I had the same discussion long ago and this is what we concluded: We denoted, (as full time divorced mothers: who own (and maintain) a home and are committed to higher our education) that we cannot (and most likely would not) settle for less. This is why, we have found that some SA have chosen to return living with their parents instead of becoming financially independent; also, we found that others have chosen not to improve themselves (intellectually). That conclusion was a bit discomforting because we also noted that (almost unconsciously) we have already raised our personal “standards” (according to our individual and developmental growth) when talking or thinking about commitment. This also made us aware that we were drastically narrowing our likelihood of ever getting involved in a relationship. For that reason, we attend these events with the purpose of having fun and expanding our friendship network. (Who knows what will happen in the future? Despite of the outcome I am very happy to know that by getting separated into decades, it will be easier to find more things in common to share with people who are at our same age.
      I just wanted to give you my point of view.
      Take care,

      • Lastly, I wanted all of you to know that from my ward, I have invited and encouraged several people to come to our small gatherings. Thus far, three members (who NEVER ‘NEVER’ have attended a singles meeting … have done so recently!! This is very uplifting because they knew that the meeting was focused on a middle singles age group!!!
        This is wonderful!!!! This thing WORKS!!!

  20. I agree that the key needs to be meeting people’s needs over pushing marriage. I have seen my share of people being divorced, remarried and redivorced over the years. I know many of us would rather stay single than be remarried to someone only partially compatible. i have two wonderful boys who I cannot afford to disappoint. The church is not responsible for people’s choices, maturity levels or the lack of suitable dating choices and it is a waste of time to obsess about it. There are some things we have to take on faith and make the best of it with what is in our power. Of course it is probably easier for me to say since I have been married, divorced and dated enough to see it all

  21. Michelle wrote : “Maybe you nor I have chosen to be single into our 30’s or what have you but show me a man who has stayed committed to the gospel who has not, on some level, chosen his single never been married status. Outside of a significant issue I doubt you can find one. ”

    I don’t think it is fair to say this about a man unless you say it about a woman, we need to respect that both men and women are in this situation of being single and that most would not have made that choice.

    • Actually I did say that in my original post – women as well as men have a role, a responsibility, and a piece of the puzzle. We all learn at different rates, and we receive our blessings when the Lord determines that it is time – for some of us sooner then later. All of those male buddies I made reference to have married in the last few years and are the most ridiculously happy guys you would ever want to meet. My point is and absolutely will remain that until they were ready, until whatever clicked that needed to click THEY CHOSE to stay single until nearly kicked out of the YSA ward – that seemed to be the great motivator. It was not due to lack of opportunity or interested girls or even lack of girls they were interested in. I can’t say the same thing for myself or other single girls I know.

  22. Thanks for this post. It was very informative. I do have a few concerns about your outline, though. (I only skimmed the comments because there were so many of them and they were lengthy, so if this has been addressed, I apologize.)

    On Point 6 in the characteristics of a mixed ward, you note that mid-singles should home and visit teach each other. This seems to me that it would promote separation between the single and married members of the ward, because there would be fewer opportunities for interaction between the two groups. How have you addressed this in the wards?

    Also, on Point 4 of Phase I, you refer to a couple called to be like a “Mom and Dad” to the mid-singles. I find this to be infantilizing, in much the same way that singles in the church are already viewed (tacitly or even openly sometimes) as not fully adult yet, despite having jobs, educations, and sometimes children, just as the married members.

    Other than these two concerns, it sounds great! I object to the entire concept of singles’ wards, but that ends up having a critical mass problem. This magnet ward idea sounds like it would solve the critical mass problem without ghettoizing the singles.

    • Keri, our experience has been most Midsingles like being home taught or visit taught by other Midsingles. However, Midsingles are often in addition to home teaching and visit teaching other Midsingles, are also given assignments to home teach or visit teach other families in the ward too. With Midsingles serving in most auxarilies in the ward (EQ, RS, YM, YW, Ward Council, Ward Clerks, Ward Activities Chair, etc, etc), and sitting side-by-side in Sacrament Meeting and Priesthood/Relief Society there is a lot of interaction between the Marrieds and Singles in the ward. We also have Linger Longers every Sunday (except Fast Sunday) with Midsingles Linger Longer on the 2nd and 4th Sundays and then 3rd Sunday Linger Longer is for the entire Ward family to allow both Marrieds and Midsingles to socialize and interact with each other.

      As for the Midsingles Advisory Couple is not meant to be viewed as infantilizing, but more as an extra set of hands to help out with set-up of activities, to help with fellowshipping and lend support. Also in any areas, many Midsingles live far from family and home, and appreciate the fellowship from a Midsingles Advisory Couple. With the Bishop busy with needs of families of all ages in the ward, the Midsingles Advisory Couple can serve as an advocate for Midsingles activities, needs, and concerns that can be addressed in the Ward Council Meeting. Also to be candid, an advisory couple can also be a neutral party, “above the fray”, to help neutralize and resolve concerns Midsingles may have with each other in the direction or planning of activities in the ward, or smooth out any “cliques” in the ward.

      • I’m confused–do you really think single people can’t figure out conflicts on their own?

        I must say, the idea of an advisory couple reporting/advocating for singles in ward council instead of a singles rep annoys me, because it’s still infantilizing.

        That said, I loved our advisory couple in the Seattle 5th ward. Brother Hall had been the bishop of one of the singles’ wards, and he and his wife were enough older than most of the singles that they had children about our age–which made them more as substitute parental figures. Not in an infantilizing way, but rather in a way that I wish my parents were nowadays, if they were members of the Church–enjoyable company, a family feeling, wise advice when necessary, someone I felt comfortable going to for blessings (Bro. Hall, specifically, of course), and completely equal, as well.

        So I think that it makes a difference in how it’s implemented, as well. Back in the days I was in the singles’ ward, I can’t tell you how many times I got treated like a teenager by a bishopric member or his wife, who were both younger than me (they were *maybe* 22; I was at least 26 or 27 at the time). It’s highly prevalent in the church and can easily happen, and it’s something to be aware of happening in a situation like that.

      • Stacy, single people just like married people I’m sure on their own can solve their own concerns. However, single people just like married people in the church can also be passive aggressive too and it doesn’t hurt to have a non-Midsingles point of view sometimes in planning activities.

        Typically in these Mixed Midsingles/Family Wards, at the Monthly Midsingles Coorelation Meeting as stated, ALL Midsingles, Midsingles Committee Chairs and Reps, report back directly to the Bishop.

        However, since not all Midsingles can be in Ward Council discussing Ward-level activities and/or issues on a weekly basis, the Midsingles Advisory Couple fills that role. Typically with some members of the Relief Society Presidency, EQ Presidency, Ward Clerks, and/or YW or YM Presidencies being Midsingle, Midsingles are “in the room” at Ward Council. It’s that Ward Council is for Ward level (Married and Midsingles) Correlation while the Midsingles Correlation Meeting pertains to Midsingles only.

        Your example of your advisory couple in Seattle illustrates the type of Midsingles Advisory Couples that are needed in making Midsingles feel equal, welcome, loved, and wanted.

  23. I really like this idea and I would move or change jobs if it meant that I could be a larger population of LDS mid-singles – esp singles who are in a similar situation – I think the biggest problem is the dispersion of mid-singles. They are scattered so thinly it seems it would be hard to create this wonderful idea in many places. I really hope it can work out.

    • That’s the beauty of this program though — is that as long as you have 5 to 10 active 30-something Midsingles in the stake, you can have a Mixed Midsingles/Family Ward with your own Midsingles Sunday School Class. Then if need be, bigger activities can be planned on a regional level. While some stakes start small, current less-active Midsingles or Midsingles who tend to “float” around, now feel they have a place to go, and will start to attend this ward. Also long term, as more YSAs “graduate” when they turn 31, now they all have to place to go to help with transition. So this concept is not only meant to serve current 30-something Midsingles, but also will benefit the YSAs in the stake down the road.

  24. I think it sounds great. I also think some people posting on here just want to complain. Complaining doesn’t contribute anything positive, and “backing it up” with your opinions and personal experiences doesn’t change that. Be open to trying new things. I’m sure this program has been but together with prayer and guidence from the Lord. Thay’ve tried it out and they have the statistics to back it up. So let’s move forward!

    As a never married newly “mid-single” person who’s friends are mostly in this catagory; most of us are looking to develop good social groups and to date! And there’s nothing wrong with that! So anything that helps is a blessing, not to mention fun and rewarding.

    So let’s all enjoy it!

  25. Janelle,

    “Finally, my point that just because there are people the same age and stage as you in a ward, doesn’t mean personalities always “click,” and you don’t enjoy socializing with them outside of church activities, or they do not feel the need to include you in their friend circles. ”

    Wouldn’t that be the reason some of the men have married people who aren’t one of thoes 8 beautiful women in your ward?

    Besides there is NO WAY you could know if they will ever join the Church.

    So much negativity….

    Happiness is a choice, and is not based on situation or experiences.

  26. THANK YOU!! What a wonderful idea to supplement a family ward. I divorced in my 30’s with two teenagers and a preschooler and I’m really stuck. I don’t fit in with the older couples who just have teens and I don’t really fit with the young families who have children my youngest’s age. I avoid the singles dances because I’m tired of being mid life crises bait. Now, I don’t go to church for the social scene. I never have and I’m there to learn and to serve those I’m with, but that doesn’t change the fact that I want to remarry and I”m not going to date someone who wants to use my family so they can feel young and needed. Now my area has recently developed an aggressive mid singles program for the various stakes but we do not have a ward for our age group.

    The other benefit to a family ward for mid singles to go to is that we have kids. And many of us don’t have the time to go to a bunch of activities to meet others our own age because we are trying to be good parents as well as juggle work/visitation schedules. The other benefit I see is that its very common for people to not marry until their 30’s. I know its not common in the church, but I’m a wedding dj and its common outside the church. That means that we single mom’s are competing for the dwindling active single men in the church with those women who have not yet had a chance to marry. With three kids, I look like I come with “baggage” and I don’t get much interest just going to activities and dances from the other men in the 30+ age range. In a ward environment, we’d get to see each other serving one another and build better relationships.

  27. lol, this is too funny. I have been in YSA hybirding when joined at age 27 to SA. I was hit on in both groups. Being hit on has never been the issue. It is how the person “hits on” the other that I have found offensive. Surely, Heavenly Father does not see us as discriminating among the groups. I have enjoyed dates, afffection, and friendship no matter what age I have been. Personally, I discrimate more with being around spiritually positve persons than someone who happens to be within my age range. Negative and inappropriate behavior comes in all ages ,sex, and packages. I love b eing a member of this church ;however, I am often offended by hypocritical behavior from married and single members. We all need as many prayers and blessings that we can get…

  28. I think the big thing people need to realize is the purpose of these types of programs.

    Jeremiah 23:3-4
    3 And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.
    4 And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the Lord.

    The purpose of these types of programs is to Gather In, those that feel alone, afraid, neglected. For those that, through all their wanderings, do not know how much Heavenly Father loves them.

    They need to know, that Heavenly Father loves them and knows each of them by name. Heavenly Father has a plan, and each one of us is part of it, regardless of marital status.

    And so everyone knows my point of view, I am single, never married, no children and am in the mid-singles age range.

    There is a great work to be done. If we focus on helping it along, we will find our companions, in this life or the next.

    • Thank you so much for posting this. I think it brings a great perspective. That this program isn’t just about “me” or “you” but everyone. We all need to feel like we fit somewhere in the church. And while some have been able to find a fit in other places, many have not and need to know there is a place for them.

      There is a great work to be done, in many ways, and I hope that we can all support it and be happy for those we bring back/into the fold in whatever way that happens.

  29. I think this is a great idea. When I hit the age of no longer being to go to my YSA ward I had the choice of a family ward or an older singles ward. I didn’t want to attend the family ward because it would get me no where socially and they would discuss issues that I am not currently dealing with. However, the older singles ward is no better. Most people are ten plus years older then me. I feel so out of place. I don’t want to sociallize with people that are old enough to be my father. There are few people if no one there my age. Most people are talking about retirement and their teenage kids. This is not the stage of life I am at. I want to be around people that are close to my age.

  30. the discussion on singles in the Church always will be an issue of grey areas and seemingly endless comments on gaining clarity.I was Elders Quorum President of a 31+ singles ward and the issues and needs were rather lengthy.Overwhelmingly; the number of visitors age 55 and over started to dictate agendas that overshadowed the needs of the members who were formally in the stake boundaries. I refused to let my Quorum evolve into an eccliastical freebie moving service where individuals calling from thirty miles away thought it was my responsibility to oversee their moving from one residence to another address that was even farther away. I vote if this is to work there should be a uniform Church wide gameplan in place.

  31. This past week, there was a great article in Mormon Times in regards to singles wards and “The singles Ward Hoppers” I think it would be great for all to read and I think that the church is taking a lot of things in to consideration due to this extreme problem. We should all support the Prophet and instead of creating a group to create resistance, support how the Lord has laid out his wards and when the church comes up with a testing group, support it 100%, realizing it is for a purpose. The article was well written and laid out the Lord’s work and plan quite clearly so that no one is lost in the Lord’s work and for our own growth in the Gospel.

    • Ward hopping is problematic in YSA Wards and in traditional Midsingles only Wards in Utah (there are only 3 traditional Midsingles Wards in Utah). That’s the beauty of this Mixed Midsingles/Family Ward approach is that if every stake had their own Mixed Midsingles/Family Ward, there would a much less of a need to ward hop. Then while there can be ward level Midsingles activities, there can also regional level Midsingles activities as well, so Midsingles can stay in their own Mixed Midsingles/Family Ward in their stake on Sunday, and then attend regional Midsingles activities as well to socialize and meet with other Midsingles outside of their stake.

  32. i have more of a question rather than a comment, i was wondering where and how i can locate the nearest mid-singles ward near me? I cant seem to locate any meeting information for these wards. i have already tried mormon.org. i am in the riverside area and i have heard that there is one in or near this area but can not locate it.

  33. In the last year, there have been two mid-single (not mid-single / family) wards that have been created or are being created: The Charles River Ward in the Boston and Cambridge MA stakes, and the Potomac ward in the Mount Vernon VA stake. It looks like the first presidency doesn’t think that the family ward / mid-singles magnet approach is the only way to go.

    • Actually the Charles River Ward in the Cambridge MA Stake is not a Midsingles Ward with an actual age cap for 30-something Midsingles only, but an all-age 31+ Single Adult Ward. Likewise the Potomac Ward in the Mount Vernon VA Stake is also not a true Midsingles Ward, but a Single Adult Ward for singles 31-55. These two stakes are unique in that they have a large number of singles without children, so a traditional Single Adult Ward may make sense to better serve these singles.

      However, as stated in the outline, these wards like all the other older all-age 31+ Single Adult Wards over time at some point will skew older into mainly a 40s/50s scene. This will leave newly minted 30-something Midsingles feeling out-of-place and many Midsingles will opt out in attending these Single Adult Wards. It’s not to say that traditional Single Adult Wards don’t have a place in some stakes, but some stakes who currently have a traditional all-age Single Adult Ward are also looking into having a Mixed Midsingles/Family Ward as well to help 30-something Midsingles to better make the transition from the YSAs. Then once Midsingles approach 40 or so, then they can choose to move on over to attend the all-age 31+ Single Adult Ward.

  34. Hi people

    I only have 1 question…is the Midsingles program sustained by the first presidency?

    Would really like an answer, and if so, can you please give me a reference where I could find it

    Thankyou

    Loving all of the comments, they’re so interesting.

    • Yes, all current Mixed Midsingles/Family Wards follow priesthood channels from Stake President to Area Seventy and then the First Presidency for approval. Currently, the First Presidency is leaving the approval of the 30-something Midsingles Mixed Midsingles/Family Wards or other Midisngles activities at the discretion of local Area Seventies. Remember, Midsingles is NOT a new program, rather it is a subset of the current all-age 31+ Single Adult program.

  35. Maybe I missed it but am I understanding correctly that there are NONE of these type wards in Utah?? If that’s the case, it’s very frustrating. It’s pretty hard to be active in the church when you don’t feel at home in any type ward available to you.

  36. This is the most comprehensive explanation of the singles program I have ever seen. It is great and explains how the program works. Thanks for putting this together.

  37. Thank you for all the wonderful information and comments. I wondered how the midsingles ward is functioning after these past 10 months? I have approached our Stake with this possiblility. We have a YSA ward sponsored by 2 stakes, and a lot of inactivity with singles, they have started a 24 – 32 age group to help with loss of members. The 31+ make almost half of our stake population and we have high inactivity. This program seems a good idea. Thanks again. Janine

    • Hi Janine, the original post for the outline of the Mixed Midsingles/Family Ward was posted back in January 2010, but several Mixed Midsingles/Family Ward have been in operation for several years. Huntington Beach 1st Ward Midsingles for example started back in January 2004. These wards like any other wards can have their up and downs, but by and large, these Mixed Midsingles/Family Wards are working great with several new Mixed Midsingles/Family Wards created this year.

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