Sunday, May 31, 2009

Church Bus

A number of people in our ward have trouble getting to church on Sunday due to transportation issues. A map of our ward and the ward next to it looks like two slices of pizza. The crust area is where the more settled members (including both bishoprics) live. A mix of people live a bit below the crust--students, settled members, poorer non-students, etc. And the tips of the pizza--downtown Cincinnati.
The church is not on the crust, but it's near it, which puts it several miles from downtown. The bus system in Cincinnati is lousy, especially on Sunday mornings (I home teach a couple that spends more time on the bus getting to church and back than they do at the 3-hour block of church). Members with cars try and help out, and all two active members in our ward who live downtown and have cars pick up other car-less members. Another member who lives near the church drives downtown to pick up a lady he home teaches, and drives her to church--he probably spends an hour each week picking her up and dropping her off from church. He wasn't at church today, and his ride ended up taking a taxi she really couldn't afford. Our EQ president also gives rides to two or three people each Sunday, but he's moving away in a couple of weeks. Many other members give rides to others. There's too much demand for rides, and not enough people to give them.
I know other non-LDS churches have church buses that go around and pick everyone up for church on Sunday. Could such a concept work for LDS wards in big cities with bad public transportation? How would the church manage this? Or are there other ideas of providing semi-convenient ways for these people to get to church?


Katrina said...

I agree! I have wondered about this concept ever since my mission. There is such a great need, particularly in our ward. Maybe gas money could be budgeted into a separate fund for this and it could be someone's calling to go pick people up. True, as Sis. Kaufmann says, we need to serve each other, but as you say, the demand is so high that it can't be completely met.

alison said...

Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven...

Unlike many others, our church isn't a church of convenience, but a church of sacrifice and service.

While we were in WI, several times families that we home taught called for a ride to church. We had a car that sat 5, and 5 people to put in it. Church was 30 minutes away, and gas was expensive, and we didn't have that in our budget. We did it anyway.

We debated whether or not to purchase a car when we moved, and deliberately found housing that would be close enough to bike or walk to. Among several other factors.

I think that if it's important for members to attend church regularly, members (not only those who desire a ride) can make whatever sacrifices they need to. And that blessings will come.

Tim said...

I agree that sacrifice is important.
I have a great amount of respect for members that spend 3 hours every Sunday on buses just so they can attend church, or who take an hour every week out of their incredibly busy lives to give people rides. This isn't just an occasional thing--this is every single week.
I think the Lord expects us to sacrifice--but he also expects us to use our brains. On my mission, I spent a lot of time tracting. That was sacrifice. Meeting with people we had appointments with? Not so much sacrifice. I enjoyed that. Yet what do you think the Lord preferred? I'm pretty sure he liked us to sacrifice less and perform more.
This is the only ward I've ever been in where a bus (or a large van) would be very useful. And that bus would fill up every week.