What Does Your Church Do With Halloween?

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It's two weeks from Halloween and I'm curious, what is your church doing (or not doing) for Halloween? If planning something related to Halloween, how did you decide what to do? 

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Here at Fairway CRC in Jenison, Michigan, we will hold a "Trunk or Treat" event on the Saturday prior to Halloween. On October 28 we'll have a couple dozen cars/pickup trucks lined up for kids-- complete with funny or interesting displays and, of course, candy. There will also be games to play, a tractor ride around the campus, and food for everyone inside the building. We will try to do a better job this year of collecting contact information from our guests so that we can contact them later with events and ministries of the church. Last year we had about a thousand people come to the event, and it was a way for us to say to the community that we want relationships with people beyond our church's membership. 

We decided to do this last year for the first time because people on our long range planning team had grown tired of talking and wanted to lead the church into an event that everyone could get behind. We realize the shortcomings of a "come and see" event like this but also sense that it is a way to say "Welcome" to people outside of our church.

Dave Den Haan, pastor, Fairway CRC

Community Builder

We do a Harvest Carnival on the Saturday evening before Halloween.  It's inside the fellowship hall with all sorts of games, face painting, cake walks, and other kid oriented stuff.  Costumes allowed but not required.  We draw a lot from both our congregation and community.  Its known in the neighborhood because we've done it for a lot of years.

We also have food -- hot dogs and such -- for kids and parents.  I'll be working the kitchen again for my umpteenth year. :-)

This year we are going to do something with our youth group that my whole high school used to do on Halloween: Trick-or-Can.  We'll meet at the church and have a few parent drivers.  We will go to a few different neighborhoods and the kids will go in pairs asking for donations of non-perishable foods instead of candy (though I'm sure there will be a bit of that as well).  We will then meet up at the church for some hot chocolate and share our experiences.  I'm hoping to make this an annual event.

Participant

There are MANY conflicts in our church right now over this very issue. On the mission field and in past churches, we have come to know several people who have been seriously abused by the occult on Halloween. It's an important holiday on the satanic calendar. Each year, Halloween seems to get bigger and bigger as it's hold on our people grows stronger and stronger. I continue to be criticized because I've asked people in influence to abstain from participating in things like haunted houses and then putting the pictures on Facebook for the world to see. The occult is growing in strength in our town, and yet people continue to think it's cute to dress up like witches. When people ask our position, we give them a helpful book to read called,  "Mommy, Why Don't We Celebrate Halloween?" by Linda Winwood. At the end of the day, I still land on what the Apostle John said, “This is the message we have heard from Him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:5–7). Christians are called to walk in the Light and bring Life to the world, and not embrace death and darkness.

Participant

We are hosting a Halloween Fun Night on Halloween.  Our church members create and host games for the kids in the church lobby.  There are about 15 games for the kids ranging from tossing a ring onto a pumpkin to walking a plank to a treasure chest to a version of whack-a-mole.  The kids love it.  We have coffee and goodies for the parents. Everyone dresses up they way they want, but we discourage the more macabre elements of Halloween.  We used to do a Trunk and Treat in the parking lot, but this is Vancouver and more often than not it rains.  We stopped it one year because we couldn't pull it together, and we heard back from the community that they were disappointed that we didn't have it.  So for that past two years we have had the Fun Night inside and it's worked well.  We have flyers for our kids club and invitations to our church.  We see it as a way to provide a safe, dry, fun service to our community.  

We have a community outreach event called Fall Festival each year.  This year, we had about 4,000 attendees!  We provided trunk-or-treat, a petting zoo, pony rides, bounce houses, a food court, games, shows and more.  Here's the highlight video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzztGIfUz8I

Community Builder

Here's a resource I recently discovered - Halloween Brings the Mission to Your Doorstep.

Athens CRC does 'do Halloween'. We see it as a mission opportunity. We have kids and parents coming down the street, why not be proactive? We hand out Audio CD's for kids from Focus on the Family and Insight for Living. We also hand out candy, bookmarks with the church programs listed, and gospel tracts. We have kids that come back each year to get the Audio CD's.