The Rise of Desire for Church Shuttles – Lomabeat.com
The dark, bold letters “NOT AUTHORIZED” are displayed under the First Year Vehicle Policy on the Point Loma Nazarene University Parking and Driving web page. It’s here that freshmen find they are not allowed to bring vehicles onto campus at any time.
This creates a challenge for freshmen looking for local Sunday church services as they cannot drive themselves if they have an interest in going.
Kylee Pimm, a freshman in International Peace Studies, has been looking for local church services to attend every Sunday since arriving on campus this fall semester.
“It’s very difficult not to have a car in the first year to get around; I had to find a ride with a high school student [to church] each time, one being a random person who carpooled, ”Pimm said.
The only resource some freshmen have for getting to local church services is their resident assistant if they have a car and offers them a ride.
Denise Haight, an upper primary education major, is a freshman RA at Hendricks Residence Hall and owns a car on campus. Having both been invited by residents to travel and being a first year without a car herself, she relates to the difficulty of finding transportation to attend church services.
“I was once in their shoes, so I have the pain and the desire to go out to church and everywhere else,” Haight said.
Haight admitted that she felt compelled to say yes to residents who requested rides, and that offering rides could become an expectation of residents over time.
“In reality, I know that I cannot and should not [offer continuous rides]because that then becomes an expectation and it’s not my job to be their Uber. Being in a Christian college, I see and feel the need to be part of the community and families of the church, ”shares Haight.
Haights said several students asked him if churches had shuttles that could take them to services.
“Unfortunately, most of them don’t. I want it [students] so I can go to church but I can’t take everyone to church, ”she explains.
She sees local churches offering shuttle services as a solution to the problem.
“I think churches should put some money aside to hire a shuttle service for church services… I personally know that a lot of my residents would use it regardless of the time and day because they just want to go. at church, ”says Haight.
A popular church that many PLNU students attend is Park Hill Church, located in the Arts District of Liberty Station.
By e-mail, the Park Hill Church Connect team responded, “We understand that some students rely on shuttles to get to church during their first year, but we are unable to provide service. shuttle bus. “
One local church that provides shuttle services to PLNU students is All People’s Church. The church is a thirty-minute drive from the university, located between La Mesa and downtown San Diego.
First-year finance major Ben DuMars uses the All People shuttle service. He shares that he leaves Brown Chapel on campus at 10:15 a.m. Sunday morning for the 11 a.m. service.
“Very few know that the All People’s shuttle exists … about thirty [students] use the church shuttle, ”said DuMars.
When asked if he would benefit from the university offering its own shuttle services to local churches, DuMars said it would help him have more options at churches that might be closer to PLNU. Pimm added that the shuttles run by the university would reduce the stress of not getting to services on time.
The conversation of PLNU potentially offering shuttle services to churches was brought to the university’s transportation manager, Pat Francis, via an email interview. Francis started working in the department in 2001 and has held the management position for six years. He supervises the university vehicles and the shuttle schedules.
When asked if the transportation department was considering offering a shuttle service for students on Sundays to local churches, he replied, “We have already considered the possibility of ‘church stops’. The challenge is to determine the criteria for these stops.
Two of those criteria include popularity and driver shifts, which are restricted by the state of California.
Francis explained, “If we started the Sunday shuttle service earlier [in the day], we had to reduce those hours later in the day, which is when we have a lot of runners.
The transport manager wrote that the University Services Directorate met regularly with the ASB, Residential Life and the PLNU Student Senate to adjust the shuttles accordingly over the years.
For students who are struggling to find transportation to their churches, Francis said, “On this particular issue, we strongly encourage students to work with their churches. We all strongly believe in being part of a local church community.
Haight adds that local churches offering these services will help the community as a whole, and calls on them to start offering shuttles for PLNU students.
“The value of being part of a Christian community is to come together. When the local churches have a large population of Loma students who cannot come to the service, [those students] this community misses, ”said Haight.
By: Katie Morris