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While there are many reasons to hire a charter bus rental, perhaps one of the most common is for a group’s spiritual trip. Spiritual trips allow you to explore the synagogues, mosques, temples, and churches of Austin. You can learn about the history of the buildings, of the communities, and you can also go into retreat mode if you’re looking for something beyond just education. Pilgrimages tend to be spiritual trips that are focused more on the prayer and relationship aspects than the educational component.
Often the preparation for a pilgrimage occurs in the weeks or months leading up to the trip. With so many components to organize, a charter bus rental allows you to eliminate the need for carpools and gas money guesswork. No more changing money in parking lots. Keeping your group centralized means you can focus on prayer, community-building, and icebreakers during the actual trip. Overall, spiritual trips can offer you a chance to reconnect with what matters the most, an opportunity to learn more about your spiritual roots, or time to serve others and build community.
Consider the size of your group and the distance that you’re traveling to decide what type of charter bus is best. Larger groups + larger distance means a coach bus might be the best option, with its additional amenities such as an onboard toilet and more comfortable seats. A smaller group with a smaller distance might be okay with a minibus, mini coach, or school bus.
There are many famous spiritual landmarks throughout Austin. The spiritual diversity of the faith traditions represented by these landmarks mirrors the diversity of Austin. We’ve gathered a few landmarks that might be of interest.
Ebenezer Baptist Church was founded in 1875, by Reverend C. Ward with 18 other charter members. The church has grown through several iterations; its initial building was located at Catalpa and Curve streets. The church that succeeded it is at the current location of Tenth Street. It was built with stained glass windows and named Ebenezer which means “Stone of Help” Today’s sanctuary and education complex was built from 1950-1955. The church continued to expand its reach through the 1970s and 19802. The church offers many programs geared toward youth, outreach, and community service. Although the church has had many pastors over the years, Reverend Marvin C. Griffin was pastor for the longest: from 1969-2011. During the week, the church is open 9-5, and they hold services on Sunday.
Central Presbyterian Church is perhaps best known for hosting SXSW since 2006, however it has been a mainstay in Austin for 180 years. Central has had many names over the years, but has been known as Central Presbyterian Church since 1983. Within the sanctuary, there are several notable pieces that have stories to their history.
You’ll want to take a look at the 20-foot hanging wooden cross, and the baptismal font, which was gifted to the church when it was still in its 1875 building. Today, the church has many outreach programs, including The Central Mission, which serves the homeless and low-income in Austin. During the week there are talks and multiple ministries that meet, and on Sundays the church holds several services.
Radha Madhav Dham hosts the largest Hindu temple in North America, and the oldest Hindu temple in Texas. Located in the rolling hills just outside of Austin, the facility spans over 200 acres of land. The temple was built in 1990 and was modeled after the ashrams of Vrindavan and their devotional environment.
Although it is a Hindu temple, visitors of all faiths are welcomed on a daily basis, and the temple is committed to interfaith work and dialogue within the local community. The temple was founded by Prakashanand Saraswati, who is no longer affiliated with the organization. Throughout the year, the facility hosts several retreats and also provides rituals and celebrations for those who wish to participate. Weekly, there are worship services on Sunday mornings and Thursday and Sunday evenings.
The Austin Bahá’i Center has weekly Sunday prayers in the morning and is followed by children’s classes. During the services they read from sacred texts that are chosen to speak to a specific spiritual theme. After the prayers, they also hold classes for adults and teens. The focus of these classes is to develop spiritual and moral virtues. This past year, they celebrated the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Báb, who foretold the birth of the founder of the Bahá’i Faith.
There is a regular adult speaker series, featuring a member of the Bahá’i community. Additionally, the Center hosts the New Day Community Garden, where folks can sign up for a garden plot to grow produce and share ideas about plants and experiment in community with others.