This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Last spring, as her LDS congregation was gearing up to launch yet another "special" Sunday school class on "marriage and the family," then-Atlanta Ward Relief Society President Bryndis Roberts made a mental inventory of the mostly African-American Mormons sitting in the pews.
It appeared to Roberts that between a half and two-thirds of her LDS congregants were single parents.
Instead of the traditional marriage class, then, Roberts proposed a new offering called "Strengthening Single Parents" and the Ward Council heartily approved.
The class, set to begin this month and run for 12 weeks, will include "discussions on budgeting, discipline, conflict resolution, anger management and other topics," Roberts says. "It is adapted from LDS pamphlets 'Strengthening the Family' and 'My Foundations: Principles, Skills, Habits.' "
The class will be taught by Adrienne Thompson, an African-American counselor in the current Stake Relief Society presidency for adult women in the region.
Roberts, one of the founders of the FEMWOC (Feminist Mormon Women of Color) blog, has a new position in her ward, helping address members' welfare issues.
She is delighted to see the single-parent class take off. Roberts says it fulfills her desire "to develop initiatives that focus more on the needs of the large number of single mothers we have in our ward."
The question is: Will other Mormon wards throughout the 15 million-member faith follow suit?
Peggy Fletcher Stack