Monthly Reflections: Vacation Memories
Vacation at the beach was one of the highlights of our lives when we were kids. We had a “pop-up” camper and would go to the beach with our cousins and some family friends who also had campers. We would get three camp sites, set up in a block with the interior yard shared by the three families. We would enjoy the water, fish off of the pier, have a campfire each evening, and ride our bikes throughout the campground. Most summers we would go to the same campground so we knew it well. Since camping was inexpensive in those days, we would stay a couple of weeks. I have great memories spending time with my family. One of my cousins died when he was only 19. I cherish my memories of growing up together.
Another vacation memory was worship. We were reminded that we were Christians. Just because we were not near our home church did not mean we did not worship on Sundays. In the campground there would be a worship service often led by a seminary student or ministers from a campground ministry. One of the United Methodist Ministers in our conference served as the minister to our campground. I saw him again this year at our Annual Conference and my memories of sitting on a log bench at the outdoor chapel came flooding back in my mind. I have always looked up to him. It began on summer vacation.
Sometimes we would go to the mountains or other locations. We would find a church on Sunday mornings. Some of them were a little boring. Some of them were a little more exciting than I was comfortable with. All of them lead to family conversation later. I was reminded in each service that we were part of a faith that was much larger than my home church. There were Christians worshipping wherever we were.
There were some Sundays when we would simply all gather around and have worship just with our family and friends. My mother was a Sunday School teacher. She knew the Bible pretty well. She would read something from the Bible, we would talk about it for a few minutes, and we would have a prayer. Our time did not last for an hour, but we paused to worship. Wherever we were, we were reminded that we are Christians and we worship God.
These memories helped to shape me. They reminded me that being a Christian is not what we do when we are home but is who we are no matter where we are. As you travel and enjoy sacred time with your families and friends, create these memories for your family. Even a 10 minute devotional on a Sunday morning is a reminder of who we are.
In ministry together,
Rev. Dr. Terry L. Moore