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Posts Tagged ‘Halloween’

Walking to school this morning, a girl from the Joker’s year had a bit of a moan at me:

When I come trick or treating to your house I have to do a joke.

Last year we imposed our Scottish guising rules and it’s obviously been remembered! I have a couple of pumpkins in and we’ll be frantically carving a pumpkin devotional after school tonight. I need to get off to buy some rubbish sweeties now, but I’m rather looking forward to treating the local kids later and telling them about the Light of Christ.

Last year I posted a Christian pumpkin gallery – so do tweet or link me your pics of this year’s gourds and I’ll stick another one up.

Last year's pumpkin

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So a few friends seem to have been carving Christian pumpkins for Halloween, so I thought I’d pop them up here in a gallery.

The young people of FourFourty, St Patrick’s Wallington, carved a wonderful selection of pumpkins. Here’s a group picture:

Cassie carved one with a rainbow as well as a cross in it:

Dan, an ordinand at Oak Hill, carved this very impressive pumpkin. His daughter loved it, particularly the way the cross at the back projected onto the wall.

 

Maggie is a head teacher, and she carved this one and was taking it into school assembly this week.

Sarah Phillips of  Hope House Press sent me her pic too.

Phil Ritchie claims that his Christian pumpkins represent Peter and Paul disputing at Antioch.

I only wish the disagreements in the Church of England could be resolved with such broad smiles.

Here’s ours again. Cross, Star of David and dove, to give a bit of a bible overview theme. We had a very useful kit bought in Waitrose (I was shopping with my mother, you understand, our nearest Waitrose is miles away, both physically and financially). The kit had mini saws, which meant that we could do quite fancy patterns.

 

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We had such a ball on Sunday evening. The kids dressed up, we lit our pumpkin and put it in the Vicar’s study window, put sweeties in a bag and waited around for the doorbell to ring. Which it did, almost continuously between 5.30pm and 6.30pm. Civilised, I thought.

As I’ve mentioned before, we imposed the Vicarage rules of making the Trick or Treaters tell a joke or story or sing a song before treats were given. I have to say, I was generally rather disappointed with the quality of the jokes. After the first group, who had a selection of not too awful jokes, pretty much everyone told the knock knock Dr Who one. Bonus points, though, to the teenage girls at the end of the session who told a proper(ish) ghost story.

After handing out sweeties and a Good Book Company tract, we took our Trick or Treaters to look at our pumpkin and told them about about it. I got the kids to do it a few times and sometimes I talked to them. We took the visitors through sin (the yucky middle of the pumpkin that needs to be got rid of) and the light which we can have in our hearts because of the cross. One set of Trick or Treaters had been in Junior Church with me in the morning, and had heard my (rather longer) explanation of the pumpkin in the service. They joined me in singing the new song I’d taught them: ‘What a Mighty Mighty Saviour You Are’.

In the window on the stairs on Saturday evening

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I closed the poll for the Halloween discussion last night. It was interesting to see how many churches are doing something at Halloween, and how the increasing popularity of the festival challenges us to think through how to respond in a godly way to our changing culture. Some of us find the whole thing a bit scary, though, it seems.

Light Party
24%
Turning the lights off and hiding behind the sofa
22%
Giving out sweeties to trick or treaters
16%
Giving out tracts to trick or treaters
16%
Other
14%
Pumpkin Devotional
4%
A Light up the Night type walk
2%
Trick or Treating
0%
Going door to door giving out treats
0%

As ever, the most fun and inspiring part of the poll has been the ‘other’ answers. I was very encouraged to find out that people would be praying. Not necessarily so sure about trying to get the Vicar drunk though. And I can’t be the only one who finds the prospect of a Churches Together disco extremely alarming, surely?

All Souls Day Eve Prayer/All Hallows Evensong 2
Barn Dance (though I’d rather be behind the sofa!) 1
Churches together Disco 1
Trying to get the Vicar drunk 1
Saying that we are Christians and celebrate happy things – so come back at Xmas! 1
Away on half term holidays 1

I enjoyed having another poll up again. Anyone got ideas for another?

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Recently I was reminded that Halloween is just around the corner (thanks Cassie!) and have been thinking about the different ways that churches and individual Christian families can respond. The idea of celebrating darkness and things of the night goes against the grain with Christians who have been rescued from the dominion of darkness and brought into the kingdom of the Son (Col 1v12-13).

In previous years I have attended a ‘Light Up the Night’ walk in Wolverhampton and friends in Wolves have organised a Light Party. Someone else I talked to had organised the young people from their church to go door to door with lanterns giving out sweets and treats rather than asking for them. In our small church, we’re not really at the stage of being able to organise a party or walk, but we always ensure we have a supply of sweeties and Christian tracts to give to the visiting ghouls. The Good Book Company and 10ofthose supply some, although I feel there’s probably a gap in the market for something a little less wordy.

I also get the visiting kids to perform a joke or song for their sweeties. In Scotland, where the Vicar grew up, Halloween was a night for guising (it’s mentioned at the bottom of the Wikipedia page) – dressing up and going door to door with a wee show for the residents, for which they would give you a treat. So beware, you’ll need to have practiced if you come to my door at the end of half term.

And just the other day I was pointed to a blog post with a devotional based around carving a pumpkin. It’s a lot less weird than it sounds and I think I might try this with my kids this year.

So, how will you and your church be responding to Halloween this year? I’d love some extra inspiration. I’ll leave the poll open for a week.

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