99 minutes | Oct 7th 2020

How I Lead as Stake Communication Director | Interviews with Linda & Joe Musso, Rick McGee, and Deanna Carpenter

Public Affairs is now the Global Communication Network, but while the callings have changed titles, their charge to bring the Church “out of obscurity” continues. Stake communication directors, assistants, councils, and specialists around the world serve in their communities and help people better understand who we are and what we believe, building relationships with government, faith leaders, and other community organizations.

Linda and Joe Musso

Linda Musso serves in Pueblo, Colorado as stake communication director and as the stake Just Serve specialist and her husband Joe Musso serves as communication specialist on the high council.

Highlights

6:15 Getting started in the calling
7:25 The goal is to build relationships and they found that by finding a common interest and common problem they could avoid agendas
8:30 They had intended to serve a mission but chose to immerse themselves in this full time instead
9:20 Homelessness was reaching a crisis point in Pueblo and they reached out to the Church for assistance, working with the community to get involved
11:35 After winter, the shelter closed and they began looking for other needs to serve the homeless. They approached the county commissioner, who helped them move forward with a project for a shower/laundry trailer and they were able to make connections and create positive publicity.
17:30 They joined with an ongoing food drive (“Feed the Five Thousand”) and approached other churches that had not previously been involved in the community project
20:40 Messiah presentation every year along with a new Nativity project
21:30 Arranging for the shower trailer
25:00 Working with the Father of the local Catholic Church, helping with their community garden, and joining with others in that congregation to serve in the community
28:10 Highlight of being asked to pray in an interdenominational meeting
29:50 You have to lean on Him completely for direction, and serving so many different kinds of God’s children makes you want to do even more

Rick McGee

Rick McGee currently serves as the communication media specialist of the Southwest Missouri six stakes coordinating council, North American Southeast Area, and as his ward elders quorum president in Springfield, Missouri. He is a realtor and has made great connections in his community, which includes many evangelical churches.

Highlights

32:30 Known as “the Mormon realtor” in the area; very few Church members in the community, which is at the center of the evangelical movement
35:00 Not serving as missionaries or trying to convert anyone, but creating relationships
36:15 Experience of introduction to the governor, connecting him with Kansas City Chiefs Coach Andy Reid and Elder Gifford Nielsen of the Quorum of Seventy
40:20 Networking doesn’t require being an extrovert, just a desire to connect
42:10 Creating relationships with the media; experience when missionaries were all coming home due to Covid-19; linked official style guide and request to share the correct name of the Church; does tours of the building when media comes for an interview; emphasizes key points whenever doing interviews
47:00 Sharing your connections to benefit other churches as well
48:00 Family vacation destination, Branson, Missouri, is also in their stake and they are able to draw from the talent there for a Nativity event every year at the stake center. It’s a little more flashy than what we usually see, but intended primarily for nonmembers; print postcards and share with other churches; includes a large luncheon event involving other churches and charity organizations
57:00 Putting together an annual award for someone in the community and set up a smaller “dinner of ten” for them
1:01:35 Experience connecting with the local Assemblies of God church, where the pastor offered a beautiful prayer for them
1:03:50 If you have connections, help the communications council by making those connections for them
1:04:40 Quote from President Thomas S. Monson
1:05:45 The example of people outside our faith builds his testimony and he feels the love of Christ building in his heart from meeting and working with them

Deanna Carpenter

Deanna Carpenter and her husband are part-time service missionaries for the Arkansas Bentonville Mission, working with the Global Communication Network and their stake to create interfaith and other service opportunities.

Highlights

1:07:20 How Deanna and her husband got involved in working with public affairs as service missionaries for the past three years
1:09:20 Developing relationships take time and require consistency so this calling should not be a short-term position
1:11:15 It can help to look for someone for this calling who loves service and already has community connections
1:13:00 Being personable and relatable

  • Truly ministering instead of going in with an agenda
  • 1:15:15 Experience meeting a sister from the local Catholic church which led to a great relationship, connections, and recognition
  • 1:18:05 Using her own very real-life experience to connect with others
  • 1:21:35 Look for what others need and listen to them, then serve at the level of their needs and expand from there to find what else you can do for them
  • 1:25:25 Think about the individuals and not just the agency: you say you’re Christlike so serve the individual just as Christ would

1:26:50 Tips for creating this sort of position in your community

  • Find someone who has real respect for the goodness in other faiths and faith cultures, who is accepting of people who are different
  • Recognize there are no boundaries in the community
  • Following up afterward is important to make sure everything is handled the best way possible
  • Ongoing projects are more fruitful than one-time projects
  • Don’t pass the baton too fast
  • Be willing to use your address as the contact information for others in the community

1:34:50 She is seeing more Christlike behavior in the community and wants to be able to bring that back into our community

Links

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