DysFUNctional Family Vacations

What was your best summer vacation? The year you claimed top-bunk at camp? Rafted down a river? Gazed at art thousands of miles from home? Soaked in the rays at a beach? Nosed through ancient paths in a foreign city? Fell in love? Ventured into an unknown land all alone? Learned to chip with confidence?

What about those worst vacations? Those with disastrous weather? Cranky family members? Lost luggage? You got lost? Were swindled or robbed? Worked the whole time. Or, were just plain disappointed?

Why was it one of your best or worst vacations? Was it the actual event or the way the experience reshaped you and returned you to “normal” life?

As we linger in the months most common for summer vacation, we will begin a summer sermon series on dysfunctional family vacations. Honestly, Katie and I did not start with this idea but was rather given it as we read passages from the Hebrew Bible suggested in Revised Common Lectionary for the next six weeks.*

Although these readings are not a vacation travelogue per see, they are the stories of our Hebrew ancestors with fights among family members, flights to distant lands, falling in love, reconciliations, and mothers’ protecting their children. This, or rather our, family drama has all the pettiness, squabbling, twists and turns, and hero’s and villains, to inspire great Broadway plays and blockbuster movies. The enduring theme through all these stories is God’s presence and firm hand in our shaping our lives.

Our tongue-in-cheek description of dysfunctional family stories caused many of you to roll your eyes claim our modern families have far more dysfunction. Or, some of you politely gazed at your shoes, implying we don’t need to talk about this in church. We are all stories people and there is no “I” apart from the story we share, which is populated with a multi-generational cast of thousands. Trust us, we think these stories and ideas will hit home with your experiences and hopefully remind you God is always present in your life and has a hand in shaping who you are.

You can read Genesis chapter 27 to get a preview of the upcoming episode, or join us on Sunday as we learn of Jacob’s adventures at Camp Haran.

Jo Forrest
Associate Minister for Congregational Care

* A lectionary is a list of scriptural texts recommended for use in worship which include a reading from Hebrew Bible, a Psalm, a Gospel, and an Epistle. We will begin in Genesis chapter 27 and read selections through Exodus 3 over the next six weeks.