Several years ago, while living in Texas, I was privileged to serve in what was then called stake public affairs (currently called stake communication director.) Those years were such a sacred time of service, connection. and miracles.

There were many sweet experiences as I had the opportunity to get to know a variety of church leaders of other faiths, civic leaders. and nonprofit organizations that were striving to bless the lives of many in our area. Thus, when I had the opportunity to listen to a podcast with Kurt Francom and Maria Duncan, those memories started flooding back into my mind and heart.

If you are currently a stake communications director, then this is a must-listen-to podcast that will help inspire you in your efforts. But if you are not currently in that calling, please read on because there are many opportunities for the “average member” to participate in strengthening our communities and the supporting the efforts of the stake communication directors.

The Duties

There is a lot that you could become involved in as the stake communication director, thus, you need to know the scope of what your calling could be, then counsel with the stake priesthood leaders to determine the scope of work for your stake. The main areas that are usually considered for focus are internal communications in the stake, interfaith, governmental and education activities.

Inspiring Interfaith Work

I was impressed by the variety of insights, impressions and activities that Sister Duncan has engaged in over the years as she as served in several stakes.

In her interfaith work, she regularly visits other churches and their leaders, discovers their needs, is inspired by their work, and also connects them to her stake president.

Because meaningful relationships take time to form, this calling typically is for 15 years. As she visits churches, they may have needs in general or need service help. As a stake communication director, she is able to award them food grants through special deliveries and the bishops storehouse, and assist them with their volunteer needs and other needs. Many of the volunteer needs are met by the church or civic organization putting a request on

In Sister Duncan’s current stake they have a variety of people that work with her on the stake communications team. There is a graphic designer, newspaper writer, youth specialist, social media manager, JustServe leaders, education specialist, interfaith leadership, and a member of the stake presidency.

She has worked hard at finding inspired and inspiring ways to use the youth specialists. From writing articles for the local paper about events, running social media and engaging in service in the needs of local churches.

She has found some “best practices” when it comes to visiting another church in general and some specifics with youth.

Sister Duncan recommends that you visit the specific church in advance to ensure that it will be a positive experience for the youth. It is so powerful when the youth discover that you can feel the Spirit in many places where good is found.

Additional valuable tips regarding visiting other churches are to dress like they do for their church services, participate in the singing, and listen to the Spirit—because it will be there—as they teach truth. She wants to be just as quick to visit other people’s worship services as we are to invite others to visit our church.

It Doesn’t Require a Calling

You may be intrigued by the work of the stake communications director, and maybe even wish it was a call you would receive. Guess what? You can participate as a “regular member.” We don’t need a specific calling from the bishop or stake president to make meaningful connections with people of other faith traditions.

In the December 2023 Liahona, there was a great article on ways we can participate in interfaith efforts.

 “What can we do to follow prophetic counsel and participate in interfaith collaboration as individuals, families, and wards or branches? Here are four ideas to get you started:

1. Do a service activity, such as a blood drive. In California, USA, members of the Church joined fellow Christians for an interfaith blood drive. Then–Area-Seventy Elder Robert N. Packer said, “This is being done because there’s a lot of love between this Catholic community and the Latter-day Saint community.”

2. Plan and participate in an interfaith day camp for children or youth. Some Church members in Manila, Philippines, participated in an annual interfaith camp by the Religions for Peace Asia & the Pacific Interfaith Youth Network. The camp provides “leaders with the tools they need to work together to address myriad problems that young people face.” Interfaith camps and activities can provide opportunities to unite with others, where we can all feel the peace that comes through serving like Jesus Christ.

3. Participate in local food drives. Walker N., age 7, from Alberta, Canada, said: “Our city does an interfaith food drive every year. We pass out fliers and then pick up the food left on the doorsteps. When we delivered the food to the depot, I felt really excited. My mom said that feeling was the Holy Ghost.”

4. Participate in interfaith concerts. Megan C., 18; Ethan M., 19; and Romy C., 17, from Florida, USA, participated in an Interfaith Music Festival with the goal to “help people from different backgrounds to become friends.”

Can you see how fun it would be to participate in community outreach and service in this way?

The Power of The Temple

Temple open houses are a wonderful opportunity to bring members of other faith traditions in to have a peace-filled experience.

Ideally, bring someone who has been a part of our outreach and connection prior to the open house. When we have developed a friendship first, their experience will be more powerful because they won’t be wondering if we’re trying to convert them. They will know we are just wanting to share a sacred experience with them.

Sister Duncan found this to be true during several temple open houses where she brought special guests:

“They were able to have powerful experiences because this wasn’t their first time having a connection with our church because we already had a foundation of friendship and love.“

There is a great power of bringing other faith traditions to our temple open houses.

It is of note that there is a “VIP Week” where there are closed tours with a general authority for civic and religious leaders. If you are friends with someone who serves the community in that capacity, reach out to your stake communication director and see if it would be appropriate to invite them to this special tour. Either way, be sure you take the initative to provide them with an opportunity to visit the temple. Whether it’s a public or private tour, it’s such a beautiful experience.

You will discover what Sister Duncan has discovered:

“When God cares about something, it is easy, way easier than it should be and He magnifies our efforts.”

Alliances of Love

During my time of service on our stake public affairs team, I not only developed friendships across religious and political lines, I discovered the powerful alliances that were created for our community to strengthen it during joyful and difficult times. Thanks to these alliances, during the aftermath of hurricane Harvey, our little Texas community had access and support of donations organized with food at the Catholic Church, clean up tools and products at the Baptist Church, and works crews organized by our church. Our community came together in a powerful way to support, strengthen and bring hope to the many heavy hearts impacted by that storm.

A beautiful byproduct that comes from these alliances is the support and hope that also helps during the storms of life.

Beth Young is a convert of 46 years; served a mission in North Carolina; has been married for 36 years to her sweetheart, Bob; has five adult children and two grandchildren. She raised her family in Texas for 25 years where she served in various capacities in church and in her community. She moved to Utah six years ago and loves writing, teaching, and inspiring others to make changes to their physical, mental, and spiritual health. Beth is the owner of 5 Pillars of Health, serves as the written content manager at Leading Saints, and is a master gardener.

How do we help leaders

Pin It on Pinterest