What’s Normal for Families (especially in Church World) ?

HH and I watched The New Normal  last night and liked it, although it’s a bit of a fairy tale. (e.g. Rich gay couple gave the  surrogate mom a really nice house.) 

But not everybody likes this TV show. 

The One Million Moms organization – which has called on citizens to complain about a Skittles ad which involves a teenager making out with a walrus (I haven’t seen it)  is very concerned about  attempts to “desensitize America and our children.”  An ongoing conversation about popular media is this:  Does television promote a certain culture or does it reflect a certain culture?

The same question has been asked of The Church for generations:  Are we a thermostat or a thermometer?

The One Million Moms organization has every right to 1) ask networks not to show programs they find offensive and 2) boycott companies that advertise on these programs.  Also, they do not have to watch those shows.

But here’s my question:  What is the New Normal?  Especially in our churches, what family types have you found?  The stereotypical church family looks like this.  But actually, real church families are more varied.  I have not served wild and crazy congregations at all, but the communities I’ve served have included:

  • Interracial couples
  • Single moms who’ve adopted infants
  • Single moms who’ve adopted older kids
  • Gay couples with no kids
  • Gay couples in the process of adopting kids
  • Gay couples with kids from former relationships
  • Lesbian couples with one mom giving birth to their kids
  • Single moms who’ve undergone IVF
  • Married couples who’ve undergone IVF
  • Married couples who’ve adopted babies
  • GBLTQ teens without parents
  • Single people of every age and sexual orientation
  • Couples (married and unmarried) who have been together for 60+ years

The New Normal TV show involves fertility issues, and all families are fertile in their own way.  And churches are fertile with spiritual richness while often looking like the Land of Misfit Toys. 

What does normal look like for your congregation?

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