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Poll
Question: Are you attending (will you attend) liturgical services less because of gas prices?
Yes, including holy week services - 5 (11.6%)
Yes, but not including holy week services - 2 (4.7%)
Not yet, but I am considering it - 2 (4.7%)
It doesn't effect the Liturgies I attend, but I cut back on vespers etc. - 6 (14%)
No - 28 (65.1%)
Total Voters: 43

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Father H
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« on: April 12, 2011, 09:46:06 AM »

Attendance was going so well, but over the past few weeks, as gas prices are rising, it is now evident that less numbers are showing at Presanctified, Bible study, etc. and even Liturgy.  People are cutting back coming to Church because of gas prices.   What can be done? 
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« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2011, 09:52:49 AM »

Carpooling, if possible, and, in cases of need, the parish could provide less financially endowed members with gas cards. Perhaps someone with means could provide them to the parish, or the parish could provide from its charity account.
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« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2011, 10:21:10 AM »

Yes, the prices are becoming a problem. However, I heard a good explanation at one of our Retreats the last time gas hit $ 4 a gallon. The round trip was 400 miles and people were complaining. The priest in charge of the retreat asked people to thing about the cost in this manner:

"...If your car gets 25 miles per gallon you needed 16 gallons of gas to get here and home.  That is $16 more than last year. That seems like a lot and to many of us it is a lot. But, most of you came in parties of 3, 4 or 5. If you think about your life, there surely are some ways to save an extra four or five dollars over the course of a month. Order off of the dollar menu at MacDonalds, rent a movie from RedBox instead of ordering it from the cable company while sitting on your couch, buy the store brand soda and grocery products, make dinner instead of using take out and so on..... If you want to be here you will find a way. Ask yourself what is important? Are you really not going to the 'shore' this summer because it will cost you an extra $20 to fill you car for the roundtrip? If you want to be with us, you will find a way."
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« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2011, 10:49:27 AM »

Yes, the prices are becoming a problem. However, I heard a good explanation at one of our Retreats the last time gas hit $ 4 a gallon. The round trip was 400 miles and people were complaining. The priest in charge of the retreat asked people to thing about the cost in this manner:

"...If your car gets 25 miles per gallon you needed 16 gallons of gas to get here and home.  That is $16 more than last year. That seems like a lot and to many of us it is a lot. But, most of you came in parties of 3, 4 or 5. If you think about your life, there surely are some ways to save an extra four or five dollars over the course of a month. Order off of the dollar menu at MacDonalds, rent a movie from RedBox instead of ordering it from the cable company while sitting on your couch, buy the store brand soda and grocery products, make dinner instead of using take out and so on..... If you want to be here you will find a way. Ask yourself what is important? Are you really not going to the 'shore' this summer because it will cost you an extra $20 to fill you car for the roundtrip? If you want to be with us, you will find a way."

While that line of thinking works with many people, it does not work with those who already pinch every penny.
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« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2011, 10:56:23 AM »

Carpooling, if possible, and, in cases of need, the parish could provide less financially endowed members with gas cards. Perhaps someone with means could provide them to the parish, or the parish could provide from its charity account.

Good ideas, thanks. 
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« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2011, 10:58:15 AM »

Yes, the prices are becoming a problem. However, I heard a good explanation at one of our Retreats the last time gas hit $ 4 a gallon. The round trip was 400 miles and people were complaining. The priest in charge of the retreat asked people to thing about the cost in this manner:

"...If your car gets 25 miles per gallon you needed 16 gallons of gas to get here and home.  That is $16 more than last year. That seems like a lot and to many of us it is a lot. But, most of you came in parties of 3, 4 or 5. If you think about your life, there surely are some ways to save an extra four or five dollars over the course of a month. Order off of the dollar menu at MacDonalds, rent a movie from RedBox instead of ordering it from the cable company while sitting on your couch, buy the store brand soda and grocery products, make dinner instead of using take out and so on..... If you want to be here you will find a way. Ask yourself what is important? Are you really not going to the 'shore' this summer because it will cost you an extra $20 to fill you car for the roundtrip? If you want to be with us, you will find a way."

Thank you.  I will use this if you don't mind.  Often I find that some in the parish are less receptive to stuff like this if I say it.  If I said that another priest said it, sometimes certain people are more inclined to absorb it. 
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« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2011, 10:58:49 AM »

Yes, the prices are becoming a problem. However, I heard a good explanation at one of our Retreats the last time gas hit $ 4 a gallon. The round trip was 400 miles and people were complaining. The priest in charge of the retreat asked people to thing about the cost in this manner:

"...If your car gets 25 miles per gallon you needed 16 gallons of gas to get here and home.  That is $16 more than last year. That seems like a lot and to many of us it is a lot. But, most of you came in parties of 3, 4 or 5. If you think about your life, there surely are some ways to save an extra four or five dollars over the course of a month. Order off of the dollar menu at MacDonalds, rent a movie from RedBox instead of ordering it from the cable company while sitting on your couch, buy the store brand soda and grocery products, make dinner instead of using take out and so on..... If you want to be here you will find a way. Ask yourself what is important? Are you really not going to the 'shore' this summer because it will cost you an extra $20 to fill you car for the roundtrip? If you want to be with us, you will find a way."

While that line of thinking works with many people, it does not work with those who already pinch every penny.

You are right, of course. We find that the senior citizens are not as likely to be moved by this line of argument yet they are the least likely to cut back on Church. Younger families will find room in their pinching for youth soccer or baseball or yoga classes while whining about Church and the cost of getting there. My point is to make that group see beyond the selfishness of their point of view.

For those TRULY in need, the Church can and should find a way to help. However, in all honesty, there are really few among us in such dire straits. People have to realize that this crisis impacts the parish as well with its needs for utilities, heating oil, pastoral care and the like. It's all about stewardship on the parish and family level.
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« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2011, 11:05:47 AM »

It is so hard to get people to see past their own selfishness.  I recall in 2003, when I was living up north, a woman who pinched pennies quite a bit.  She would complain about cost and giving and how tough times were.  She would drop a quarter in the plate, take communion, and go hop the bus to Atlantic City.  When another parishioner confronted her about it, she defended herself that she was taking the bus to AC, not driving there.   Also, there is the person who complains that giving several hundred dollars to the church is "too expensive," yet shows up with a $600 purse a few weeks later. 

Yes, the prices are becoming a problem. However, I heard a good explanation at one of our Retreats the last time gas hit $ 4 a gallon. The round trip was 400 miles and people were complaining. The priest in charge of the retreat asked people to thing about the cost in this manner:

"...If your car gets 25 miles per gallon you needed 16 gallons of gas to get here and home.  That is $16 more than last year. That seems like a lot and to many of us it is a lot. But, most of you came in parties of 3, 4 or 5. If you think about your life, there surely are some ways to save an extra four or five dollars over the course of a month. Order off of the dollar menu at MacDonalds, rent a movie from RedBox instead of ordering it from the cable company while sitting on your couch, buy the store brand soda and grocery products, make dinner instead of using take out and so on..... If you want to be here you will find a way. Ask yourself what is important? Are you really not going to the 'shore' this summer because it will cost you an extra $20 to fill you car for the roundtrip? If you want to be with us, you will find a way."

While that line of thinking works with many people, it does not work with those who already pinch every penny.

You are right, of course. We find that the senior citizens are not as likely to be moved by this line of argument yet they are the least likely to cut back on Church. Younger families will find room in their pinching for youth soccer or baseball or yoga classes while whining about Church and the cost of getting there. My point is to make that group see beyond the selfishness of their point of view.

For those TRULY in need, the Church can and should find a way to help. However, in all honesty, there are really few among us in such dire straits. People have to realize that this crisis impacts the parish as well with its needs for utilities, heating oil, pastoral care and the like. It's all about stewardship on the parish and family level.
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« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2011, 11:21:51 AM »

I drive an F250 (V10) and gas is killing me right now. We usually are below national average here in Colorado but it hurts when you pay $75 a week for gas. I am cutting back on other driving though. Thinking I may start riding my bike to work and to my buds.
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« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2011, 11:31:48 AM »

It is not currently an issue as I live very close to my church. . . but I know this is not true for a lot of people that are not attending currently. 
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« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2011, 12:05:28 PM »

Yes, the prices are becoming a problem. However, I heard a good explanation at one of our Retreats the last time gas hit $ 4 a gallon.

We have about $7 a galon Wink
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« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2011, 02:32:32 PM »

I think that's a weird excuse to not attend church, if you live less than an hour away.

Perhaps it's more of a time issue? Purple demons coming in and eating up large chunks of our schedules? (It feels like that is what's happening to me!)


My husband and I are pretty much below the poverty line  based on our combined incomes, so we don't go drive everywhere. This means that other than taking the train into the city for a lunch meeting, I haven't been out of the immediate area since we got married. People sacrifice! However, it's understood that we will have to find a way to drive out for a few things: work, church and grocery shopping. And even though we are still up to our eyeballs in debt, we still find ways to afford everything, shocker!*

While there might be people who are genuinely having this issue, I personally think that it's just an excuse. If not, the habit to not cut their spending in other areas is indicative of a larger problem, and difficult to address.


If people need it, carpools are a great idea. One thing that I loved about Protestants is that they had the church buses, and would pick me up at my college every Sunday. Now that's what I call service!


*I don't mean to joke about poverty this way. I have just been continually surprised about how low our incomes are and how we are getting by. People are shocked when they hear how much we are making. It requires tough discipline to live inside one's means. Now, I know that there is illness, children and other issues that can make it significantly harder. But I've also met people who have this strange inability to whine about their poverty while going to Starbucks every day!
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« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2011, 02:53:25 PM »

"...If your car gets 25 miles per gallon you needed 16 gallons of gas to get here and home.  That is $16 more than last year. That seems like a lot and to many of us it is a lot. But, most of you came in parties of 3, 4 or 5. If you think about your life, there surely are some ways to save an extra four or five dollars over the course of a month. Order off of the dollar menu at MacDonalds, rent a movie from RedBox instead of ordering it from the cable company while sitting on your couch, buy the store brand soda and grocery products, make dinner instead of using take out and so on..... If you want to be here you will find a way. Ask yourself what is important? Are you really not going to the 'shore' this summer because it will cost you an extra $20 to fill you car for the roundtrip? If you want to be with us, you will find a way."

Good advice. As for me, I have attended less services over the last 4 months because I no longer own a car  Cheesy  Ahh... I yearn for the times when my biggest transportation issue was an extra dollar for a gallon of gas!
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« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2011, 03:28:18 PM »

My synagogue helps folks with bus fare if needed and also runs a "pool" of folks who will give rides to the elderly if needed. I give a disabled woman rides to services and activities, we've become gr8 friends.
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« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2011, 04:25:54 PM »

Attendance was going so well, but over the past few weeks, as gas prices are rising, it is now evident that less numbers are showing at Presanctified, Bible study, etc. and even Liturgy.  People are cutting back coming to Church because of gas prices.   What can be done? 

I live in the country and for now I am reduced to one trip to town per month.  My heating bill this year more than doubled from last year and I keep the thermostat at 61F.  This was the third year in a row where heating became a real problem and I am still paying on debt incurred three years ago.  People help out but there's always a need when one's income is quite small.  The slightest thing that goes wrong can throw you off for months...years. 

My quality of living materially is deeply reduced from what it was three years ago.  Then I was out regularly four times a month, plus periodic trips out to go for pain management therapy for my back and legs.  Now I do what I can alone here, and go out once a month.  But you know there are great benefits to really being able to see what Luke and Matthew mean when they speak in their gospels of the lilies of the field and the raven.  You cannot really know it till you've lived it...and the strangest thing is I have become acutely aware of how lush my life really is materially compared to many...most others actually, in the world.

I am glad you raised the issue, Father.  It is a good thing to discuss this time of year.
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« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2011, 04:27:39 PM »

Are you really not going to the 'shore' this summer because it will cost you an extra $20 to fill you car for the roundtrip?

Yes, I have cancelled travel plans due to rising fuel costs.
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« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2011, 04:32:59 PM »

I may unfortunately have to start doing so.  It really breaks my heart because I've recently found a great parish with a wonderful priest who is helping me to renter the Church.  It is however a little over a half hour away from me and these rising gas prices are really starting to hurt any long distance travel plans.

It's a shame that, as of now, I can only got to Church there about twice a month.  At the rate gas prices are rising, It may be scaled back to once a month (Or once every other month if gas should reach $5 a gallon by Memorial Day).

I just wish that the government would start tapping into our oil reserves in order to bring down prices (Or at least stabilize them).
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« Reply #17 on: April 12, 2011, 04:37:07 PM »

I may unfortunately have to start doing so.  It really breaks my heart because I've recently found a great parish with a wonderful priest who is helping me to renter the Church.  It is however a little over a half hour away from me and these rising gas prices are really starting to hurt any long distance travel plans.

It's a shame that, as of now, I can only got to Church there about twice a month.  At the rate gas prices are rising, It may be scaled back to once a month (Or once every other month if gas should reach $5 a gallon by Memorial Day).

I just wish that the government would start tapping into our oil reserves in order to bring down prices (Or at least stabilize them).

And lose all that tax revenue?  Dream on...
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« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2011, 04:43:35 PM »

It hardly surprises me that people are attending less.  Gas is just over $5 USD / gallon here, and I know some people who commuted to school who would only go to absolutely necessary classes due to rising fuel costs.
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« Reply #19 on: April 12, 2011, 05:44:36 PM »

What % of folks live within 5 miles? And what percent within 20?
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« Reply #20 on: April 12, 2011, 05:47:19 PM »

I used to go to an Orthodox Church about 12 miles away (despite there being an Orthodox parish of another jurisdiction about 5 miles away). Now that I rely on a bus for transportation--and the bus doesn't come out into the sticks to pick me up on Sunday, nor does it come around at times that would allow me to attend night services--I walk to a Church fairly close when I can.
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« Reply #21 on: April 12, 2011, 05:49:18 PM »

My church is 10 miles away. However, I live in an area where some people are driving 40-50 miles in congested roadways to get there.
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« Reply #22 on: April 12, 2011, 05:51:01 PM »

Here's a thought...since all things happen for a reason, perhaps the high gas prices will serve to cause many Orthodox in the US and Canada (and elsewhere maybe too!) to examine why they are driving past some Orthodox parishes just to go to a different one.

Maybe this will help to form closer relations among the jurisdictions!

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« Reply #23 on: April 12, 2011, 06:03:33 PM »

Here's a thought...since all things happen for a reason, perhaps the high gas prices will serve to cause many Orthodox in the US and Canada (and elsewhere maybe too!) to examine why they are driving past some Orthodox parishes just to go to a different one.

Maybe this will help to form closer relations among the jurisdictions!


I'd love to go to the one 1.5 miles away, and will as soon as they go back to the Old Calendar.  In the meantime, 17 miles one way for me.  There are a lot of things that I can give up before I have to give up fuel for Church.  Rationing may cause a reconsideration of things, but not cost.

Maybe we could learn a lesson from the Baptists and Pentecostals.  Maybe instead of investing in a new bell or fresco or gold plated Icon, we could buy a bus.  Then we could go get the people who cannot otherwise come to service.  It seems to work very well for them.  I used to be on the Evangelism Committee for one of my former churches, you know, knocking on doors and such.  When I asked people why they attended the church they do, many would say “my church comes and gets me for services”.  When I lived down South, you would be hard pressed to see a Baptist or similar church that did not have at least one bus in the parking lot.  It was the second thing they purchased after the building.
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« Reply #24 on: April 12, 2011, 06:26:45 PM »

I used to go to an Orthodox Church about 12 miles away (despite there being an Orthodox parish of another jurisdiction about 5 miles away). Now that I rely on a bus for transportation--and the bus doesn't come out into the sticks to pick me up on Sunday, nor does it come around at times that would allow me to attend night services--I walk to a Church fairly close when I can.

I have a similar problem, but with no way to walk!  The closest Orthodox Church being only five miles away by car, but I live on the other side of the river and there are no close by bridges (most transit to the other side is by tunnel).  Walking would be about 20 miles overall.  My dad is kind enough to drive me most Sundays, but I'm a little worried about getting home after Pascha in a week and a half, though.
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« Reply #25 on: April 12, 2011, 06:28:55 PM »

I just paid $71.00 to fill my tank yesterday..A new record. I have to use Premium which is the very last thing the car salesman told me. It was too late to back out and prices were way lower then.

I am definitely watching how much I drive. I just cant pay $140.00 every week and Church is far away. I missed a Parish council meeting last night for other reasons but it occurred to me that it saved me a 1/4 tank.  
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« Reply #26 on: April 12, 2011, 06:32:04 PM »

Has anyone between 5-20 miles to church considered biking?
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« Reply #27 on: April 12, 2011, 06:34:30 PM »

Has anyone between 5-20 miles to church considered biking?
Hahahaha! I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.


I would totally walk to church if I could. I don't have a license, and my husband has to work on some weekends. Sigh.
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« Reply #28 on: April 12, 2011, 06:45:28 PM »

^^ I thought about getting a bike, when I first sold my car in December, but then I forgot about it because of the snowy/cold weather. Thanks for mentioning it, though... it would certainly make it easier to get to services, not to mention doctors appointments and other such things.
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« Reply #29 on: April 12, 2011, 06:51:04 PM »

I have done a significant combination of driving, biking, and walking to my school that is 5 miles away (the walking because my bike is broke). The walking takes 1 hour and 20 minutes, hence why I doubt it's reasonable to walk to a church much more than 5 miles away. The biking, however, only takes 30 minutes, making it almost 3x faster. This is why I would think that it might be reasonable for a distance up to about 20 miles.
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« Reply #30 on: April 12, 2011, 07:15:17 PM »

Attending church means a 160-mile round trip. Between the two of us, my wife and I have three part-time  jobs, but our income is still less than $600 a month. The current gas prices mean that we are only able to attend Divine Liturgy...And believe me, we love our parish, but if there was a closer one, we would go there.

One way we will address the issue of Holy Week services is that, with our priest's blessing, we will be camping out with another family in the parish hall Friday-Sunday.
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« Reply #31 on: April 12, 2011, 08:10:22 PM »

Is the The Holy Orthodox Church considering getting a couple of shuttle buses,so they can start busing the faithful in.....

I noticed everywhere i go Protestant Church buses ,van's, with all different types of names of there churches posted on the side.......

I want to see a Orthodox Church Bus that say's ,
Grace Filled St. Simeon Eastern Orthodox Church of the Full Gospel ........ Grin
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« Reply #32 on: April 12, 2011, 08:40:04 PM »

Is the The Holy Orthodox Church considering getting a couple of shuttle buses,so they can start busing the faithful in.....

I noticed everywhere i go Protestant Church buses ,van's, with all different types of names of there churches posted on the side.......

I want to see a Orthodox Church Bus that say's ,
Grace Filled St. Simeon Eastern Orthodox Church of the Full Gospel ........ Grin

YES !!!!!  I've wondered about that too.. Why do they have Vans and we dont ?

St. Herman of Alaska Orthodox Church "Full Gospel"

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« Reply #33 on: April 12, 2011, 08:42:38 PM »

But this is Orthodoxy.  One bus would say "St. (pick your saint) (pick your country) Orthodox Church".  Then one would say "St. (pick your saint) True Orthodox Church of (pick your country)". Then one would say "St. (pick your saint) True True, no really, True and Authentic Orthodox Church of (pick your country).  And so on . . .

Is the The Holy Orthodox Church considering getting a couple of shuttle buses,so they can start busing the faithful in.....

I noticed everywhere i go Protestant Church buses ,van's, with all different types of names of there churches posted on the side.......

I want to see a Orthodox Church Bus that say's ,
Grace Filled St. Simeon Eastern Orthodox Church of the Full Gospel ........ Grin
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« Reply #34 on: April 12, 2011, 08:47:31 PM »

I also agree with the transportation thing being a good diea (fwiw that was also one of the suggestions in the thread about evangelization).
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« Reply #35 on: April 13, 2011, 09:33:50 AM »

One thing that has bothered me is the fact that the SCOBA jurisdictions don't seem to be coordinating mission efforts at all. For example, in my state there are now 13 parishes for the approximately 4.5 million people. All the parishes follow the lines of I-20 and I-10; I don't have a problem with that, per se, because that is where you can find the most people, and not all of those have full-time priests.

But one huge swath of the state (the part I live in) has no Orthodox presence, and anyone wishing to attend any Orthodox services must commute a minimum of 80 miles (and in some cases more if you want to hear a liturgy in English). I have been blessed to live in a situation where, though I don't have a lot of income, I have been able to address my bills for months in advance and we are able to dedicate the unfortunate amount of money it takes to go to services. Many people in my area, perhaps most, don't have that luxury.

My area is the state's last major metro to be unevangelized, but in the last couple of years missions have been opened in cities that already had an established -- though I would not say robust -- Orthodox presence, I can only guess because those particular jurisdictions didn't have a pesence there themselves.

I am OK with my situation. I love my parish. I have heard here more than anywhere else that Orthodox evangelism is different (for which I am glad), but how are people even supposed to seek out the Church if it has not in some way already come to them?
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« Reply #36 on: April 13, 2011, 11:54:25 AM »

For those of you who have to cut back due to rising gas prices or if you are unable to attend Liturgy on any given Sunday, Christ the Saviour Orthodox Cathedral in Johnstown, Pa regularly streams their Sunday liturgy as well as festal observances, such as Holy Week services. All services are in English, with a hymn or two at most in Church Slavonic. Sometimes the Choir sings, other times Carpatho-Rusyn Plain Chant is sung.

Most Sunday liturgies are at 9 eastern time, United States. http://www.acrod.org/organizations/cathedral/live
Archived services may be found at http://www.acrod.org/organizations/cathedral/live/servicesarchivescathedral
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« Reply #37 on: April 13, 2011, 12:02:34 PM »

For those of you who have to cut back due to rising gas prices or if you are unable to attend Liturgy on any given Sunday, Christ the Saviour Orthodox Cathedral in Johnstown, Pa regularly streams their Sunday liturgy as well as festal observances, such as Holy Week services. All services are in English, with a hymn or two at most in Church Slavonic. Sometimes the Choir sings, other times Carpatho-Rusyn Plain Chant is sung.

Most Sunday liturgies are at 9 eastern time, United States. http://www.acrod.org/organizations/cathedral/live
Archived services may be found at http://www.acrod.org/organizations/cathedral/live/servicesarchivescathedral

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« Reply #38 on: April 13, 2011, 12:17:58 PM »

I thankfully live in the city and my OCA parish is only a short 15 minute bus ride (10 on a good day) away from my house and I get a monthly pass for which I get reimbursed at work.  If, for some reason, I could not make it by bus, I could walk about 15 minutes to the GOA parish.
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« Reply #39 on: April 13, 2011, 06:46:09 PM »

I live about a mile from church, so it hasn't been a problem for me.
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« Reply #40 on: May 05, 2011, 06:00:13 PM »

Gas is just one thing going up.  We officially have double digit inflation at 10%.  Everything is going up like in the late 70's.

Food, gas, and energy are not recorded on our inflation scales, so the govt doesn't see it.

So basically everybody is paying much more for everything.  Pocketbooks are shrinking fast.  Then you turn around and gas is near $4.


So there are many factors why gas itself could be not affordable.  I suggest looking up how to get better MPG and hypermiling to get better MPG.
Best purchase we ever made was our Toyota Yaris that gets 42 mpg on the highway.
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« Reply #41 on: May 05, 2011, 07:14:06 PM »

Sad to say, gas has gone up a fair amount since this thread started April 12. Nearing $4.50/gallon, and I don't make enough to make it work. Sad

My parish is about a 40 minutes away, and unfortunately I have been forced to begin taking austerity measures. For now I'm cutting back on attending Vespers and reading it at home instead. When I do have to drive, I drive 65 mph instead of 70 or 75.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2011, 07:15:48 PM by bogdan » Logged
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« Reply #42 on: May 05, 2011, 07:24:55 PM »

$4.50?! WOW! That is insane. It's about $3.75 where I live. We haven't been quite feeling the pinch yet, but we don't really drive anywhere except for church, grocery shopping, work, etc.  Undecided I haven't been out of the immediate area in several months. That's a first.

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« Reply #43 on: May 05, 2011, 08:44:00 PM »

No. Gas was $4.00 plus last week; I try to go to the same Shell station every week and it is on my way to my church.
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« Reply #44 on: May 05, 2011, 09:05:29 PM »

Gas in San Antonio is about $4.05 for super unleaded (which my SUV guzzles like a cheap drunk).  My office and church are downtown about 15 miles from the house.  I try and take the bus as much as possible to work but there is no easy way to catch a bus to church (from my house with transfers it's more than 2 hours!).    Weekdays are the biggest problem.  Gas really hurts when I have to go all the way home, pick up the kids and return downtown to go to church.  If I didn't have kids to pick up I could just go straight to church, but then I still have to make one full roundtrip in the car from home.

I can tell you what has really been impacted financially is my tithing.  That has been cut by more than half.  Mostly due to the fact my husband has been out of work for 2 years.
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