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Stake and ward boundaries?


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Just curious if you have seen, in general, the pizza type divsion over larger cities (DC, Chicago, etc.) where the members in the suburbs are part of each ward - to help address the needs of some members in the city.  Denver is so spread out, it's stakes I think are like four rectangular pizzas (excluding the small mountain branches and wards which comprise a single stake around Golden, CO).

What models are in place in your ward/stake?

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More than the "pizza" shaped wards I've seen quite a few members assigned to attend some inner city wards as "missionaries". I don't know that it works very well but then again, I don't think it was the worst idea either.

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yep! and the buildings are on the outskirts of the ward, with one building (that has two wards meeting there) isn't even in the boundaries of one of the wards. People who have to take the bus to church can't, due to the time or money. It's beyond ridiculous. Plus, they just built another building in the south end next to the temple and so everyone that has cars have a short distance to drive, or at least can drive to the other buildings, whereas people that can't or don't drive can't get to church for whatever reason. SO, you rely on people picking you up, or spending an hour getting to church, 2 hours there and then an hour getting back. So, if anyone wonders why we have 2/3 inactivity rate, that's why. Right now there is one bus that would get you to our chapel/temple site, but you're looking at yeah, an hour there and and hour back. So, a downtown branch would make sense, actually two. However, there are rumours of boundary changes so we'll see. From what I was told they built the boundaries around certain individuals who lived there at the time but time marched on and the boundaries really didn't change much. So, we are left with this higgledy piggledy system

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2 minutes ago, Duncan said:

yep! and the buildings are on the outskirts of the ward, with one building (that has two wards meeting there) isn't even in the boundaries of one of the wards. People who have to take the bus to church can't, due to the time or money. It's beyond ridiculous. Plus, they just built another building in the south end next to the temple and so everyone that has cars have a short distance to drive, or at least can drive to the other buildings, whereas people that can't or don't drive can't get to church for whatever reason.

When our ward was split for the first time, the dividing line ran east-west. The ward building was dead center of the northern (my) ward, just one of many advantages that my ward was to receive. Over the next few years, the southern ward flourished & mine did not. At least twice, parts of the S Ward were transplanted into ours, in order to stave off the necrosis.

None of it helped in a meaningful way. It couldn't overcome an old guard, apathy and a persistent Culture of No.

Over twenty years later, we were sewn back together again.

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I usually see boundary makers try to spread out the haves / have-nots across different wards -- speaking in terms of spiritually, economically, stability, etc.  Which frequently results in some very creative looking boundaries.  And the effectiveness of things may or may not work over the long term as folks move, neighborhoods change, etc.

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Inner city of Salt Lake is facing demographic not spatial problems.

In ten years, single active females will make up more than 50% of the central city stake.

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No clue what this is about, I have never seen it.

Sounds like an attempt to create diversity?

Our stake came that way!

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3 hours ago, Jane_Doe said:

I usually see boundary makers try to spread out the haves / have-nots across different wards -- speaking in terms of spiritually, economically, stability, etc.

It would have been fairly difficult to do that for us. Travel in any direction and you'd have lower, upper, mid class neighborhoods.  Our only clear divisions were more rural to the north and heavy suburban to the south.

As far as mixing demographics, I'm confident leaders acted with the best possible intentions.

In the 1980s, my in-laws lived in a state where uber-wealthy neighborhoods were carefully gerrymandered together, forcing the military base to drive to a ward building that was over twice as far away. That was some bad juju there.

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Posted (edited)

These are odd concepts to me. I was still serving with our stake presidency when we dissolved all the wards in our city and instituted new ones about two years ago. Boundaries were discussed in detail, but the focus was almost exclusively on numbers and the presence of someone who could be a bishop. I don't recall once having discussed incomes in any way. We did discuss public transport, and that resulted in one of our universities being assigned to a certain ward over another because it would be easier for those living on campus to get to church by bus.

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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Yes, I've seen that.  In my last stake things were divided up differently  and switched just before I moved in.  One ward was pretty much retirement condos.  I understood they once had the most active Melchizedek priesthood holders of any ward on the world.  The problem was they had a ton of health needs and a lot of deaths and the ward just couldn't keep up.  So they divided the ward into the surrounding wards.

In this stake we have long skinny wards to take in some areas that really struggle in other ways.

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One of the established official criteria for setting ward boundaries IS to include both economic and other kinds of diversity.   Sometimes that slams right into the guidance that students who attend the same high school, should be in the same ward, another of those general criteria.

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2 hours ago, rpn said:

One of the established official criteria for setting ward boundaries IS to include both economic and other kinds of diversity.

Can you provide a reference for that, please? We just went through this process in 2019, and I have no memory of that. It all seemed to come down to what I think was called a 'shepherding ratio', which is the number of full tithe-paying MP holders divided into the total ward membership.

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Sometimes that slams right into the guidance that students who attend the same high school, should be in the same ward, another of those general criteria.

Again, this is completely alien to me. We have six public high schools within just the metro portion of our current ward boundaries (up to year 10) and four public colleges (years 11 and 12). We likewise have two Catholic colleges (years 7 to 12) and one Protestant college (also years 7 to 12). We have LDS students at all 13 of these schools. We also have kids at church who, for one reason or another, travel outside the ward's boundaries to attend schools, both public and private.

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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Our stake is more like puzzle pieces than a pizza.  The lines are all over the place, with two different trailer parks carved up so they can be spread out over more than one ward (I'm guessing because those areas tend to use up a lot of resources).  It means that ward boundaries don't always make sense by looking at them.

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1 hour ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Again, this is completely alien to me.

It can be hard on the kids who go to the less attended schools. One year we lived in Utah with my grandma and because of late entry, my sister and I ended getting bused to a different school. Got home later in the afternoon, so not much playing in the neighbourhood because they were already off doing something.  It is different Imo when everyone is spread out because everyone is in the same situation of few, if any church friends at school, so they try harder to connect at church. 

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4 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Can you provide a reference for that, please? We just went through this process in 2019, and I have no memory of that. It all seemed to come down to what I think was called a 'shepherding ratio', which is the number of full tithe-paying MP holders divided into the total ward membership.

Again, this is completely alien to me. We have six public high schools within just the metro portion of our current ward boundaries (up to year 10) and four public colleges (years 11 and 12). We likewise have two Catholic colleges (years 7 to 12) and one Protestant college (also years 7 to 12). We have LDS students at all 13 of these schools. We also have kids at church who, for one reason or another, travel outside the ward's boundaries to attend schools, both public and private.

We have a minimum of 5 stakes going to our high school.  Total guess, but I would think the seminary has about 800-1000 kids attending. 

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24 minutes ago, Rain said:

We have a minimum of 5 stakes going to our high school.  Total guess, but I would think the seminary has about 800-1000 kids attending. 

Yeah, we live in completely different worlds. According to Google Maps, our stake is 480km from north to south, 160km from east to west. I have no idea how many high schools would exist in that space, but I suspect it's in triple digits. I just counted 63 named localities (most of them villages) within the boundaries of our branch. Here in the city, our kids are happy if they aren't the only Saints at their schools.

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4 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Yeah, we live in completely different worlds. According to Google Maps, our stake is 480km from north to south, 160km from east to west. I have no idea how many high schools would exist in that space, but I suspect it's in triple digits. I just counted 63 named localities (most of them villages) within the boundaries of our branch. Here in the city, our kids are happy if they aren't the only Saints at their schools.

I was just thinking that it could make sense to consider economic and other diversity in smaller geographical stakes because it will be more noticeable and less likely to occur naturally.  Our stake is 2 miles by 1 mile and includes 4 schools and a number of businesses so the footprint of housing is quite small compared to yours and we see each other on a daily basis much more often.  

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27 minutes ago, Rain said:

I was just thinking that it could make sense to consider economic and other diversity in smaller geographical stakes because it will be more noticeable and less likely to occur naturally.  Our stake is 2 miles by 1 mile and includes 4 schools and a number of businesses so the footprint of housing is quite small compared to yours and we see each other on a daily basis much more often.  

How bout instead of having ward boundaries we let people choose what church building/service  they want to go to? I often wondered if the church did an experiment, allowed one stake to not have ward boundaries, open it up, see what the members choose, what bishop they gravitate to, who knows, it could possibly get more inactive members to come back to church. And while doing this experiment, maybe have bands and speakers that are outside the church come in to spice up sacrament meeting, if we're all about baptizing people, well, let's see what works best to get butts in pews.

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20 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Again, this is completely alien to me. We have six public high schools within just the metro portion of our current ward boundaries (up to year 10) and four public colleges (years 11 and 12). We likewise have two Catholic colleges (years 7 to 12) and one Protestant college (also years 7 to 12).

I am simply curious as to terminology here.  Public colleges for 11 and 12 year olds?

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10 hours ago, AtlanticMike said:

How bout instead of having ward boundaries we let people choose what church building/service  they want to go to? I often wondered if the church did an experiment, allowed one stake to not have ward boundaries, open it up, see what the members choose, what bishop they gravitate to, who knows, it could possibly get more inactive members to come back to church. And while doing this experiment, maybe have bands and speakers that are outside the church come in to spice up sacrament meeting, if we're all about baptizing people, well, let's see what works best to get butts in pews.

I think that would eventually mean that the best entertainer might become the Bishop.

Being bored is part of the sacrifice of being LDS and going to church. ;)

We have a lay ministry for a reason!

On the other side, for me, being in a boring class makes me want to make a few marginally controversial comments, just to get a good discussion going.

I think it is our responsibility to help out the teacher and MAKE the discussion interesting! 

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8 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

I think that would eventually mean that the best entertainer might become the Bishop

Yeah, me to, that's the point. I understand this goes against everything we have ever been taught, but look at it this way. If you have three wards, one with an ok bishop, one with a semi boring bishop and the other bishop that is a total snooze fest, and they're only bringing in 150 to 180 people out of 500 Ward members, maybe try something different. 

     There's a church down the street from me that when it started out the congregation was 100 percent black, probably around 300 members. Now, there's like 1500 members and it takes 5 to 6 cops directing traffic to keep people from crashing and fighting over parking lots. The preacher is Black and most of his newest members are white, I've never been there but I've often thought about going one time just to see what all the hub bub is about. Supposedly he's amazing. 

     So back to my point, what if we had a bishop that could bring in 600/700 people verse three bishops that bring in 150 each?

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31 minutes ago, AtlanticMike said:

Yeah, me to, that's the point. I understand this goes against everything we have ever been taught, but look at it this way. If you have three wards, one with an ok bishop, one with a semi boring bishop and the other bishop that is a total snooze fest, and they're only bringing in 150 to 180 people out of 500 Ward members, maybe try something different. 

     There's a church down the street from me that when it started out the congregation was 100 percent black, probably around 300 members. Now, there's like 1500 members and it takes 5 to 6 cops directing traffic to keep people from crashing and fighting over parking lots. The preacher is Black and most of his newest members are white, I've never been there but I've often thought about going one time just to see what all the hub bub is about. Supposedly he's amazing. 

     So back to my point, what if we had a bishop that could bring in 600/700 people verse three bishops that bring in 150 each?

Bishops do more than preach.

Try it sometime.

And we do not pay them. And oddly, I think that God actually picks them

😊

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28 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

Try it sometime

I don't think there's a stake president crazy enough to give me a shot. But if there was, I'm opening the kitchen and there will be hot dogs and hamburgers for everyone!  And non alcoholic jello shots, will pretend they're alcoholic 😁                                                                                             

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

I am simply curious as to terminology here.  Public colleges for 11 and 12 year olds?

No, for students in years 11 and 12. We have primary schools for preschool, kindergarten, and years 1 through 6. High schools cover years 7 through 10. That's the end of compulsory education in our system, at which point kids would be 15 or 16 years old. By law, they are then required to do one of three things: go to work, begin a formal apprenticeship, or continue their education at a senior secondary college.

Public colleges offer three learning pathways. The main one is university preparation, and those who choose this pathway will pursue major and minor areas of study and graduate with a university entrance score. A second pathway provides general education in a wide variety of subjects, though subjects that improve literacy and numeracy are mandated within each term. Finally, there is a vocational pathway for those who plan to pursue an apprenticeship after year 12 but either weren't ready after year 10 or were lacking foundational skills needed in that trade (again, often numeracy and literacy).

Private colleges typically have a single campus that caters to students from preschool through year 12. The offerings would be mostly the same, though some of them would not provide vocational training in years 11 and 12.

We also allow anyone who didn't choose to go to college the opportunity to return later in life. Our former stake president entered an apprenticeship after year 10 and then, at age 28 (and after joining the Church), decided he wanted to go to university, so he went back to college with a bunch of young blokes and completed year 12, got a university entrance score, and did a degree. It's a pretty good system.

But as I've often pointed out, it wasn't designed with early-morning seminary in mind. That's been a nightmare for us in the past. One good thing that has come out of the pandemic is online seminary in our stake. We now have two online classes, one early in the morning for early risers and one in the afternoon for people like me. And we also have a self-directed option, which I understand has an online component once each week, possibly in the evening.

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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