Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Stick Family Diversity

On my drive to work today I waited behind a very cautious driver who seemed to be fundamentally opposed to making a left turn into a school parking lot. I did notice the Stick Family figures in the back window of the van, suggesting a reason for the overly cautious approach.

We were in the Baby on Board era, rather than the Stick Family craze, although we didn't have one of those signs either. I was nudged to ponder the latter thanks to an article in the latest Maclean's magazine. The writer, Anne Kingston, reflects on what these decals say about our need to declare family in all its diversity. It might be a tad braggy --look at us!-- but it could be, as Kingston suggests, that this trend has taken off as traditional notions of family are in decline. It can even be a bold statement about the single or two dad or two mom family. http://www.macleans.ca/society/life/carstick-family-feud/

Not surprisingly there are various parodies of the Stick Family figures, including two adults, no kids, and bags of money. Today's version of DINKs -- double income, no kids. I'm partial to the zombie family. It works for a lot of families endlessly transporting children from one event to the next.

I wonder what this should say to us about diversity in the Christian community. Early on the United Church demonstrated a caring approach to those going through divorce, then single parent families, then blended families, and more recently households headed by same-gender parents. I do feel though that many evangelical churches have figured out how to support the less traditional look of families more practically than we have. There is the "importance of being earnest" approach we take, without staffing and programs for the most part, while larger conservative congregations have figured that aspect out, with the exception of same gender families.

Any thoughts about this? Sweet little trend --or annoying trend-- or social comment? Should we be doing stick figure exercises to ask what our families look like, rather than a Father Knows Best template?

I've actually written a new Groundling blog entry!


Judy Mcknight said...

Family is not always related by blood and genes....

Laura said...

I was thinking that the United Church does fall short in the area of staffing and program support as I was driving through an area of Toronto last night that was home to thousands of new Canadians. The evangelical churches all had after school programs advertised every night after school. Couldn't help but think what a fine way of reaching out and supporting their families.
Have thought as we look a our comprehensive review that leaves me so uninspired that what we need is staff, programs easy to roll out to serve youth, families/households in all their varieties in our communities, a strong presence on university and college campuses, social media experts to help present our big collective spirit in a united way through individual congregations. We need to reach out to the world, rather than spend so
much time pondering our inner workings.
Did you ask for a rant?

David Mundy said...

Well, I agree with every word if it is a rant Laura. Thanks for both of your comments, Judy & Laura.