Whether we like it or not Halloween is becoming more and more part of Australian culture. Our kids know about it and talk about. There is often lots of nagging too, about dressing up and of course the desire to go trick or treating (I’m sure that has nothing to do with the major stash of lollies!).
Here are 5 ways congregations can engage with Halloween.
Celebrate All Saints Day – Part of Halloween was about remembering those who had gone before us. The Church celebrates all Saints Day on the First of November or the first Sunday after Halloween. How can your congregation remember the people they have lost during the year or the Saints who have served us so well helping us to grow in the faith?
Light party – Light Parties are big in the Church in the UK, they encourage kids to dress up as positive characters including super heroes. The theme is that Jesus is the light of the world and have a truckload of resources you can use. A great way to encourage the community to come together. https://www.lightparty.org/
Escape room – The crew from teach Sunday School have a whole bunch of activities. Not sure I am keen on the Monsters of the Bible, but I did think doing their 10 plagues of Egypt escape room could be a fun activity for the night! https://teachsundayschool.com/i/10plaguesescaperoom/
Trick or treating Church trail – Congregations provide community people with a map of houses they can stop at. The map includes things like drinks on the path. You could have lollies and treats with special bible passages on them, there are heaps of great ideas for this on pinterest or etsy.
other activities – Pumpkin prayer
|Pumpkin Prayer Dear God, As I carve my pumpkin, help me say this prayer: Open my mind so I can learn about You; (Cut the top of the pumpkin) Take away all my sin and forgive me for the wrong things I do; (Clean out the inside) Open my eyes so Your Love I will see; (Cut eyes shaped like hearts) I’m sorry for turning up my nose to all You’ve given me; (Cut a nose in the shape of the cross) Open my ears so Your Word I will hear; (Cut ears shaped like the Bible) Open my mouth so I can tell others You’re near; (Cut mouth in the shape of a fish) Let Your Light shine in all I say and do! Amen. (Place a candle and light)|
The internet is full of great ideas and resources that you could experiment with.
For me this time of the year the passage that stands out is Romans 8:37-39:
37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. 38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
For me the question remains where is God at work in our community and how can we join in? We would love to hear what your church is up to!
Karen Mitchell-Lambert is ordained in the ministry of Deacon and is the team leader of PULSE.