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Posts Tagged ‘pumpkins’

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, Halloween is approaching before All Hallows Day, and over the last couple of years I’ve blogged a few different ideas that we’ve used in the Vicarage, and some that others have suggested to me. I had a poll where people owned up to whether they hide behind the sofa or not and I’ve put up a few pictures of alternative pumpkins. Last year I reflected that this sort-of-new-to-the-British festival is only going to get bigger, so we Christians need to have thought through our approach.

So this year we’ll be carving pumpkins and lighting our windows with a gospel message. We’ll have sweeties to hand out and ask the visitors to tell us jokes. Our youth group meet that night so they will be having some Light Party games and lots of sugared items. And we’ll be giving out gospel leaflets with all this too. The Good Book Company have three different ones available this year – a couple for primary school aged kids and one for teenagers. They’re 17p each at the most (discounts apply if you bulk buy). The Good Book Co also sell One Day Wonders, which has everything you need to run a Light Party (and one off events for Christmas and Easter too). Why not stock up now so you’re prepared for the inevitable rings at the doorbell?

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We had a fun evening on Monday night. Wildchild came over and carved pumpkins with us. Then callers came round in silly costumes and we showed them our works of art, got them to tell us jokes, plied them with sweeties and gave them tracts about how Jesus is the light. It seemed like we were doing door to door evangelism from the comfort of our own home – and noone refused to listen to us or slammed the door in our faces. Although there was a teenage girl who claimed not to speak English in order to avoid the joke telling. And we weren’t so sure that she would be able to read the tract, although we hope someone in her family can.

The last callers (at 9pm) had to negotiate getting to the front door knocker round Gone, who’d deposited himself on the doorstep. He wasn’t drunk (tho’ a little smelly, I’m sorry to say), so although they were young and without an adult, it was fine.

Works of art in the Vicarage window

Yesterday I read a few thoughts from Christians with different approaches to Halloween but I think all of them fell into the Resurgence‘s ‘Redeeming’ category. Dr BexL at the BIGBible Project  had loads of good ideas and Kevin on his blog and Dan on his blog had useful stuff too. We at the Vicarage were glad to have seized this new opportunity to talk to our neighbours and bless their kids. Our only regret this year was that we forgot to hand out invites for Tuesday night’s Messy Church. But we’ll remember next year – this new festival is only set to grow in the UK.

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