Imagine a group of 600-800 women who have never sung together preparing a song for performance in less than three hours! It’s the BYU Women’s Conference Instant Choir, a beloved tradition of #byuwc. Mormon women arise before the crack of dawn to unite their voices and hearts in worship. The choir then sings at the opening session of the conference. (This year, the opening session talk will be given by Sister Sheri Dew. For those who can’t join us, like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter @MormonWomen, where we’ll be sharing some snippets from her talk, as well as some links to past talks. See highlights from numerous other talks throughout the conference.)
[p.s. I don’t have photos of the instant choir because I can’t get up that early!]
Another unique element of BYU Women’s Conference is the service projects. What’s unique about service projects? The sheer numbers of humanitarian kits, blankets/quilts, cards, and more that are completed in such a short amount of time. Every year on Thursday night, for three hours, sports fields are turned into service project areas, a veritable beehive of activity.
Through the course of the conference, you can also see women doing loom hats, fleece blankets, and other “Take, Make, ‘n’ Return” projects.
There are also service learning rooms scattered throughout campus so that women can listen to talks and participate in service with other women. Lastly, from noon to 3:00 p.m. and from 5:00-8:00 on Thursday, Sharing Stations display a multitude of service ideas via booths. The BYU Women’s Conference website has dozens of links to past Sharing Stations. (Mormon Women had a booth several years ago!)
It used to be that the projects included international needs, but there has been a deliberate shift toward local needs — as a model to show Mormon women how endless those needs are. “Even in Utah” the needs far overwhelm the capacity of what women at BYU Women’s Conference can accomplish. I remember last year looking at a list of organizations in need of blankets and quilts. Many of them say that they have a CONSTANT need for these things.
The hope is that LDS women can leave BYU Women’s Conference inspired and energized to work with their local Relief Societies to build faith, strengthen families, and provide relief in their own lives and communities.
BYU Women’s Conference provides many service ideas at their Pinterest page.