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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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So, I imagine you’re all keen to see the proper results for last week’s poll. I have had a lot of fun looking at these. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

As you can see, the main concerns are about others in the congregation – their presence or absence and whether you need to speak them later. A good thing I think, as church is a family and we need to look out for one another. I obviously missed out a major category, as many of the ‘other’ comments indicated that people worry about their children in church. This is certainly true for me. I mean, how many times do I have to tell the Joker that drumming his feet is not helpful? And is there any chance that the Queen will actually be in the church building at the start of the service? I think concerns over children also count as concern for others – both the kids themselves and those who might be distracted by them.

Answer Votes Percentage
Who is there/missing and why
32
21%
Other
25
17%
Who you have to speak to after the service
21
14%
Music
16
11%
God
14
9%
What people are wearing
13
9%
What you are rostered for & whether you’re prepared for it
12
8%
The Sunday lunch
10
7%
Nothing at all
4
3%
Sport
2
1%
How you’re going to catch the Vicar before he leaves for lunch
1
1%

And here are the ‘other’ answers, categorised (vaguely):

Children

  • How many breadsticks it is safe to feed a toddler during one service
  • Sometimes thigs my adult children wil be doing at their churches….pray 4 them.
  • How to keep my kids quiet
  • Keeping our kids under control (why do we always sit at the front)
  • Where’s my son gone?
  • wait, only 6 kids today?
  • how much longer the children will behave themselves for ! 🙂
  • how to stop my baby crawling on the altar!
  • What my children are getting up to
  • is my young son behaving/keeping him happy until the peace which is his fave bit
  • The baby (feeding/sleeping/keeping quiet etc)
  • work, children, visiting parents later

Thoughts about the service

  • Additional comments on sermon to make to husband/vicar later
  • wishing there was more silence before the start of a service!
  • Numbers of communicants!
  • What is this song supposed to mean?
  • Will the songpro and sound desk work this week?
  • Wow, such and such is here again, praise God.
  • How amazing churches are and the astounding effort that went into building them

The Week Ahead

planning what I’m going to shop for this wk?
To do list
Work

Away with the Fairies

  • the bird table outside the church window!
  • Daydreaming

Thanks all for participating. Next week’s poll – best ways to keep children quiet in church 🙂

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