Trunk or Treat last year was a big success! Actually, it was more successful than we were prepared for. The Facebook event was shared some 30 plus times, leading to over 700 children plus attending the event. This led to discussions in church council. It was decided by the council to move the date to Sunday October 31 for the following reasons:
1. To Redeem Halloween to the Max-Anytime we find something in culture we have three choices as believers- we can:
a. Reject Halloween-this holiday has pagan roots, so we can’t have anything to do with it. The problem with this view is that we can’t say that just because something has a bad root or beginning means it is totally bad. If that were true, we should stop driving Volkswagens because they were originally invented by Adolf Hitler. We will also be hard pressed to explain to children why biblically we can’t dress up and receive some treats. (see Gen. 50:20)
b. Receive Halloween- This is simple, we will receive the holiday as it is. The problem with this view is accepting practices of the holiday we cannot go along with as Christains, like inappropriate customs (1 Timothy 2:9), any kind of celebration of witchcraft or pagan worship (Leviticus 19:31), and any kind of seeking to speak with the dead (Deut. 18:10-14).
c. Redeem Halloween-As I child, I grew up in an unchurched/unreached family, and we always celebrated Halloween. I have many fond childhood memories. We often think of this from a churched or Christian perspective, but let’s try to put ourselves in the shoes of the unreached. My unreached family did not worship pagan Gods, play with ouija boards, or seek out spiritual mediums. For us, it was about three things: a sweet costume, which you wanted to wear every day, letting your neighbors see your sweet costume, and CANDY! I don’t recall ever going to a church to trick or treat, and to be honest, it never crossed my mind. But going to a neighbor’s house, sign me up! October 31 is the ONLY night of the year when lost people knock on our door. Will we be home to be salt and light to them, showing them the love of Christ?
2. To allow maximum volunteer participation-The reality of last year was that we could have used more man power. For various reasons, several of our volunteers could not come on October 31, as it usually falls on a weekday. Most work schedules simply do not allow for them to participate. Another group stated they always hand out candy at their house, as it is a community event for them. Another still stated they could not help due to family activities on October 31st. These three issues knocked out a block of help, the Sunday before removes these hurtles.
3. To be kind to our neighbors-We have been approached by several from Thomas Blvd about the tremendous pressure it puts on them when we hold our event on Oct. 31. The 700 plus people will visit the surrounding homes either before or after our event.
4. To have a backup plan for bad weather-With this even being outside, holding the event on October 31 gives no backup date. In the event that Sunday’s weather doesn’t work, we can always pick the three other days!
o Bonus: If we have good weather, the leftover candy can be handed out at church members homes who have lots of traffic.