Golf Cart Service Available
We offer golf-cart shuttle service from the lower back parking lot to the front door for those who have a difficult time with our steep stairs or for anyone else who wants a ride! Youngsters have found the cart particularly attractive during annual church picnics.
The four-seater – distinctive, if not unique, among Pittsburgh Presbytery’s 144 congregations – has been likened as a mobility device to the vehicle used by Fred Flintstone and his family, except that it’s battery-powered rather than foot-pedaled.
“Drop me off at the first tee,” Elder Ken Doel, a golfer, once joked to a reporter as Elder Jim Davis, the former congregation president, ferried a woman member to a Sunday morning worship service.
The cart is no laughing matter, however, as the answer to the elder-trustees’ long-futile struggle to provide ample accessibility for many of the 107-member congregation’s aging and progressively infirm members and visitors.
Installation of a stair-climbing device proved to be unsuitable and there was no good spot to place an elevator let alone pay for one.
Walter Zurasky, who was church treasurer at the time, jokingly suggested to his daughter, Jamie, a ruling elder, that acquiring a golf cart might resolve the dilemma. She told other Session members about the idea, which drew an initial laugh.
“But when we started to think about it, we realized it might work,” she said. And it wasn’t too long afterward that the congregation voted to support the board’s recommendation.
Elder Doel investigated the availability and cost of buying a second-hand golf cart and located a 2003 model for $3,400 shortly after Christmas two years ago. But it wasn’t used immediately, thanks to snow, slush, ice and mud.
But when spring came, skepticism turned to grateful praise. “Now the scoffers are using it,” Elder Davis said. “If you have a problem and need it, you’ll use it.”
It helps in promoting the service to remind potential users that such carts are commonly used at assisted-living facilities and resorts, and it’s no small benefit that it produces no gas fumes. Being battery-operated, it’s amenable to indoor parking.
Elder Barbara Svoboda has kidded, or maybe she’s really serious, that the cart’s roof should be decorated with fringe on top. Regular take-their-turn drivers are Elders Zurasky and Davis, Philip Miller and Tim Detweiler.
And to think that when the church was built 80 years ago most people in the Universal neighborhood generally walked to the church, because, way back then, few of its parishioners owned cars.