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Posts Tagged ‘Halloween’

The blog hits from searches on Halloween have begun. So here is my annual pointer to some good ways for Christians to redeem Halloween without drowning in a sea of witch masks and ghoul costumes. This is a great time of year to bless our neighbours and reach out with the good news of the light that Christ brings to our dark world.

One popular activity in many churches is to hold an alternative party. We’re making our Messy Church next week a Light Party. This year Scripture Union sent us a magazine with some excellent ideas for games and activities that we have used. They have free packs and downloads available. We found last year that a light party held on Halloween itself isn’t so popular as people are off to other parties so that’s why we’re holding ours before half term. The next door parish are holding one on 31st October, though, so we’ll encourage any parents who do want an alternative to go along to that. We are wondering if we still have time to get kids a Bag of Hope from UCB. But if your party is in half term, you should be fine.

Here in the Vicarage we’re stocking up on tracts (try 10ofThose or The Good Book Company) and sweeties to give to Trick or Treaters. And we’re planning our pumpkin carving. Dreamer is holding some afternoon drop in activities in the church hall over half term and plans pumpkin carving as an option. Last year we carved ‘Light of the World’ on ours, inspired by a gallery of other people’s pumpkins I posted a few years back. The excellent cartoonist Crimperman has some other ideas for pumpkins, in case you end up with too many. I have found from bitter – and tasteless – experience that supermarket Halloween pumpkins are utterly hopeless for roasting or making into soup or anything really useful.

Pumpkin cartoon

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Of course, this IS NOT what we do in the Vicarage. But, let’s be honest, Fry and Laurie sum up what many of us secretly think…

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I have some wifi and am now desperately posting and scheduling all the things I’ve been thinking about whilst our lines have been down this last week. First off some links to some of the Halloween ideas I’ve blogged previously:

I noticed  this weekend that CLC in Birmingham had a whole heap of Halloween tracts – and a pumpkin prayer, in a display this weekend. So if you’ve not had time to grab any resources, a quick trip to a local Christian bookshop should sort you out in time for any trick or treaters likely to descend. Our church are holding a light party for the first time this year – we’ve just rescheduled our October Messy Church to coincide. My kids are looking forward to it, and I’ve promised the Joker he can do some ‘guising’ at the party by encouraging everyone to tell cheesy Halloween jokes.

Ryan Cartwright aka Crimperman has published a great new cartoon for Halloween this year.  I can’t seem to find a seraphim costume anywhere, though…

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I know we’re all thinking about Back to Church Sunday and Harvest and everything (gosh, it’s a busy term – and we’ve got a confirmation to factor in too), but before you know it, it will be Halloween. And the brilliant Glen Scrivener (of Anti Santy Ranty fame) has produced a great new video to get your congregation or youth group thinking. A great reminder that the light triumphs over the darkness.

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All our Trick or Treaters turned up whilst we were eating last night. But despite the bad timing (and a rather cold tea), we had lots of fun. We always ask kids to perform something in exchange for their sweeties, as they do in Scotland, but they were all pretty hopeless and in the end the Joker and the Engineer told jokes from their vast repertoire.

We told them about our Jesus pumpkin, which had a flame on one side and “Jesus” within a heart on the other, talking about how Christ brings light to our world and into our lives. And then we handed out sweeties and tracts. The damp weather put a few off, I suspect, but still a great opportunity to treat local kids and get to know the neighbours.

I was also tweeted a pic of a pumpkin carved by the supremely talented Liz and have spent all day wondering how angled the back-to-front Jesus carving had to be to get this projection. And also planning to try this next year…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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Being a Christian Pumpkin

Searching for pumpkin carving ideas I came across this sweet poster talking about how Christians are like pumpkins – ‘God… scoops out all the yucky stuff… and puts his light inside of you…’

And Emma has blogged a lovely prayer that we used when making our pumpkin with a face (pics to follow).

Dear God,

As I open this pumpkin I pray that you help us all open up more to you.
As I clean out this pumpkin I pray that you clean us of our sins and forgive us.
As I cut eyes into this pumpkin I pray that you show us our work for you in the world.
As I cut a nose for this pumpkin I pray that you remove our stubbornness.
As I cut ears into this pumpkin I pray that you help us hear your message into our heart.
As I cut a mouth into this pumpkin I pray that you help us share your love with others.
As I put a candle into this pumpkin I pray that more of your light comes into the world.
Amen.

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Saw this great cartoon by Crimperman yesterday about some traditional Christian responses to Halloween:

As regular readers will know, we now like to carve a Christian pumpkin and tell our callers about it before giving them sweeties and a tract. Mez McConnell in Niddrie has been thinking through his responses to Halloween with the help of a thought-provoking blog by Steve Utley.

We in the Vicarage are going to have to do some extra thinking through this week as the Joker has been invited to a Halloween party this week and we need to work out how to respond. What will you be doing this Wednesday evening?

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