Taking a break from work or school during the summer doesn’t have to mean taking a break from your
spiritual life. Use our tips below to add spirituality and reflection to your summer vacation:
Take a Photo a Day
We take plenty of photos on vacation, but they can also be an opportunity for reflection. Each day, choose a photo theme (joy, wonder, community) and challenge everyone to take one photo that day that captures the theme. Then, set a time together to share your photos with one another and the inspiration behind them.
Try a new spiritual discipline
Vacation is a great time to try out a new spiritual discipline. Not only do you have more time, you can also set a clear goal (coinciding with the length of your travel). Silence can be especially powerful if shared in a group—try being silent together for an hour, then share what you noticed around and within you. If you’ve ever wanted to try meditation, a new means of praying, journaling, coloring, drawing, or other spiritual practices, this is your chance!
Lots of people journal during vacations, but what if you recorded more than your itinerary? Before your vacation begins, write down a question for each day in your journal: Where do I find contentment in my life? What gives me strength? What is my greatest calling or passion? Then, set a routine and answer your question each day of your trip.
Vacations often mean sharing great food together with friends or family! What if great meals were also a time for extraordinary conversation? Before your trip write a few discussion questions and place them in a small bag or box. During meals on your vacation, have one person draw a question and begin the conversation. Here are some question ideas:
- What would you like to make absolutely certain you do during your lifetime?
- What character can you imagine yourself to be? (any book, movie, or play)
- What are you reading that is not an assignment or required by your work?
- How are you personally growing?
- Tell me about a mentor and his/her impact on your life.
- What is something you consider to be a great success in your life? Why was it so significant
- What is the key to maintaining balance in your life?
Travel often provides opportunities for service. Set an intention for the length of your trip or for each day to learn the name of someone you meet, share a conversation, make a new friend; pay special attention to how you treat employees in service industries and try to show them kindness. Research local charities near your destination and donate before or after your trip. Intentionally look for litter as you travel, collect, and recycle it.
Rev. Katie Strednak Singer works as Associate Pastor at Immanuel. Rev. Strednak Singer joined Immanuel as Associate Pastor on July 10, 2016. Pastor Katie came to Immanuel from south central Kentucky, where she served as the pastor of Franklin Presbyterian Church for seven years. She lives in Vienna, Virginia with her husband, Scott, and their two rescue dogs. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Featured photo by Emil Athanasiou. Photo license available here.