Practicing Our Faith On the Road

St. Mark's Episcopal Church is Gulfport is a recent church we visited during our Labor Day trip to the MS Gulf Coast.

Our family has embraced the RV lifestyle and spends more time each year on the road.  I lived like a nomad long before I started RV travel with my family.  The more I travel the more that I try to maintain a normal routine on the go.  It keeps me from feeling as scattered and makes me feel more grounded.  Over the past couple of years, we have started to practice our faith on the road.  What does that look like for us and how can you incorporate your faith into your RV adventures?
Going to church at the campground sometimes means taking your own seating in a wagon with a cup of coffee. 

Practicing Our Faith on the Road

During the pandemic, churches moved services online where it had not always been an option before.  We started to watch our Easter services and other regular Sunday services online from our RV.  As we continued to travel and extend our stays, our son would ask "What about church?"  or "Are we going to church?"  And, the answer has been yes.  

This post is not to guilt anyone into attending Sunday services as a visitor.  Our family enjoys going to church together.  I work with people I don't know regularly for work.  For me, attending a Sunday mass as a guest is no different than the rest of my life.

Tishomingo State Park has a little pavilion where we have attended a small service right there at the campground.

The services we attend vary from trip to trip.  Sometimes we attend a non-denominational service at the campground.  Other times we seek out a local Episcopal church in the area where we are staying.  We also watch our home service online.  But no matter where we go we are open to the experience that each location provides.  And, I find that the more open we are, the better the opportunities are for our family.  

With social media and Internet searches, it is easy to find a church to attend.  Depending on your denomination and willingness to visit outside of your comfort zone, you can find a spot to land.  But, you can create your own worship experience right at your camp spot or on a hiking trail if you choose.

Visiting a different pew to worship provides lots of opportunities spiritually and intellectually.  I embrace these instances, and look for ways to connect in my own way.  It has provided the ability to stop and reflect on my journey, enjoy beautiful music and new points of view to ponder.  

Over the years, we have tried lots of different worship scenarios.  All the way back to our pop up camper days, a country preacher and his wife walked from site to site in a state park inviting guest to attend a service at the campground pavilion the next day.  Early that Sunday morning, we walked up in our camping clothes and participated with a handful of other campers.  It was simple, short and sweet and just what our family needed.  We sang "Jesus Love Me" acapella with that group surrounded by the sights and sounds of nature.

The worship service at the MS Pecan Festival is an annual favorite for us.

We have also attended a full blown organized service at the MS Pecan Festival where a praise team provides a series of songs followed by a moving sermon under the trees in the fall.  These services remind me of the tent revivals from my childhood both at home and on the Navajo reservation when my family did mission work each summer.  These services are different from our traditional service at home, and yet we all embrace the newness of this worship experience all the same.

And, we have attended formal Episcopal services where we dress like we would at our home congregation.  I love the familiar liturgy in a new place each time we do.  It is refreshing to soak in the architecture of each space, the variances from our own worship cadence and music at home.  

Our littlest church goer always looks forward to meeting new people at new churches.

No matter how remote you are, there is ever still the ability to hold your own personal or family worship.  You could read a devotional, sing some familiar songs and incorporate a worship playlist into your day.  I strongly believe that there are many ways to worship, and they don't have have to be a traditional service.  Create you own worship service just as your own unit.  Hike to a look out to conduct your weekly worship or around the campfire.  We aren't required to find a sticks and bricks building to worship our creator.

Plus, I have found that no matter where we go, we find welcoming like minded people that are ready to embrace a visitor joining their service.  Maybe it is the fact that I never meet a stranger and can talk to a billy goat, but feels like my normal day to day interactions.  Life is unexpected and random for me regularly, and opening myself up at a worship service in an unknown space feels familiar.  

These experiences help me to feel connected to my day to day life at home and my overall spiritual growth and journey.  As it has become the norm for us to attend services on the road, it is as easy to do.  It really doesn't require any more effort than a regular Sunday would for us, and it doesn't interrupt our day.  

The sounds of worship again the backdrop of God's beauty is the perfect start to a day of fun!

If you are a weekend warrior or regular RV traveler, I challenge you to practice your faith on the road.  Go somewhere new.  Pass the peace with a stranger.  Worship with others that you might not have had the opportunity to do so otherwise.  After all, if you are already living the RV lifestyle, you are an adventure seeker.  God sees us, hears us and no matter where we are.  And I have found the opportunity to seek out our Savior in new places to be just the soul soothing I need.

Until next time...happy camping!

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1 comment

  1. So thankful to read this. A camping trip should always include worship. There's no better atmosphere than being surrounded by God's handiwork.


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