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Messed Up Ward Boundaries


Duncan

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The fair city that I live in has a lot of members moving in and out for work, school etc. I would say that our ward boundaries are like a wheel where every ward gets a piece of the downtown area. So our ward boundaries are very long and narrow. If you could afford to take the bus, which like a huge amount of people living in the downtown area do it takes about an hour to get to. I live in the middle of our ward boundary and we get called every sunday to pick up people who live on the opposite end of the boundary and the travel back to the building which isn't even in our boundary.We don't mind because we can easily afford it but others can't. There is another ward that is worse then ours for this. Their building is not even close to being in the ward boundary and so the activity rate is seriously less then 30%. It would be like living in Salt Lake City and then travelling to I dunno somewhere heading toward St. George only to attend Church in Logan, Utah. The downtown branch idea is a logical option but if we took members away to staff if we wouldn't have enough members in the wards, the idea is not to weaken to the strong in order to strengthen the weak. We have about 30% activity rate in our stake and most of the baptisms come from the far away poorer areas. This mission has the lowest retention rate for the Area and I have to say that transportation is huge factor. Another issue is with so much transition of the leadership, those people IMO don't really care, I mean why would they they are only here for a short time and then move on. Since the Stake was started in 1979? we have had 4 Stake Presidents, none of whom still live here, or from here, and when all 4 were released they moved away. So those of us who do stay are kind of left picking up the pieces of their decisions that don't affect them and the Stake have said in my prescence, "it is too much work" when talking about changing ward boundaries. How do you solve all this? How do you not build boundaries around where people currently live, only to move away in a short time but the boundaries remain?

Edited by Duncan
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We had a situation in our stake where the ward boundary of one ward "didn't make sense". The decision on changing the boundaries was made by a special committee, not one person (stake president). Of course he had to approve the final product. I assume that it was also approved by the church as well.

So the SP may consider forming a group of individuals within the stake to take on this task.

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If the wards are like the spokes of a wheel with downtown at the center, I don't see why the boundaries can't be more efficiently drawn. Maybe wards North, South, East, and West with a central downtown ward. Of course it all depends on the number of active Melchizedek Priesthood holders. Perhaps it is just the downtown area that has the move-in move-out problem? Maybe keep it as a branch and not a ward. Perhaps survey the active MP to see how long they've lived there and come of with a statistical model to guide.

Growing up in Dallas Texas, we had only one Stake in the 70's and we had branches in southern and eastern Oklahoma. We saw them at Stake functions and iirc, their youth made it an overnighter to go to the Stake dances. But we had rapid growth and while our Stake seemed to retain the Oklahoma branches, by the mid 80's the Dallas area had at least three Stakes.

Edited by BCSpace
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do it yourself. That is, draw up a new set of boundaries that makes sense, that does not overly weakens wards and stack the deck for other wards, after you have finished your project mail a copy of it to EACH Bishop, and Counselors, High Council Members and Stake President. Then you just sit back and accept what ever happens, and if nothing happens, well that is in fact what happens and you must accept it.

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do it yourself. That is, draw up a new set of boundaries that makes sense, that does not overly weakens wards and stack the deck for other wards, after you have finished your project mail a copy of it to EACH Bishop, and Counselors, High Council Members and Stake President. Then you just sit back and accept what ever happens, and if nothing happens, well that is in fact what happens and you must accept it.

all great ideas! How many active Melchizedek Priesthood holders does a ward need?

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Perhaps it is just the downtown area that has the move-in move-out problem? Maybe keep it as a branch and not a ward.

That was my thought. It might be better to make it a branch. I always liked small branches. It was like having a big family.

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How about draft up a proposal where members can choose to attend what church they'd like and attend the meeting block of their choice. Their sabbath observance can be a reflection of their individual free agency.

Phaedrus

//Off the top of my head I can't think of another religious denomination that mandates members religious attendance geographically.

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