As the leaves are changing colour, we’ve recently celebrated Thanksgiving, and I find myself digging through my drawer to find thick wool socks to wear in my rain boots, the season is unmistakeable. We’re in the middle of autumn, well on our way to the Advent and Christmas season. But before we get there, North American culture tells us that it is almost time to dress-up, eat some candy, and set off some fireworks.
Yes, friends, I’m talking about Hallowe’en.
Over the past 2 years I’ve written and posted a blog about Hallowe’en – encouraging you to reflect on this celebration and discern how and why you may or may not choose to participate in seasonal activities.
Original Blog Post of 2014 here (more descriptive and outlining the history of Hallowe’en): http://www.redemptionchurch.ca/blog/2014/10/16/the-halloween-question
Last year’s updated intro to the original blog post: http://www.redemptionchurch.ca/blog/revisitingthehalloweenquestion
Last year, we decided not to host any events at the church to deliberately create space and opportunity for you to do just that - reflect on your understanding of Hallowe’en, and then choose to respond (or not) more specifically in your own neighbourhood. One thing we did as an alternate focus was to throw a special party on November 1 in our kids’ church classes for All Saints Day. We took time to learn about some of the saints in history and in our own lifetimes who followed Jesus and were examples of his love in their own contexts. We had a great celebration!
This year, I am still encouraging reflection and discernment for each of you - take time to discern with your friends and family about what your participation or non-participation may be.
And be deliberate about it – examine your heart and motives. Read Scripture. And ask God if there is a particular way or person that you can connect with and engage this year around October 31.
We have decided that as a way of being more outwardly focused and practicing opening our doors in Kits, the church will become a kind of pit stop for trick-or-treaters this year. We are going to pull out the fire pit, set up some Christmas lights, turn on the hot water urn and make the sanctuary like a living room – playing some Veggie Tales movies to be a warm and welcoming presence in Kits. It is one small step we can take in building a stronger relationship with our neighbours, Bayview School, and their families. It is one way to help us become more attentive and focused in our prayers – as we meet the actual people who live around us and warm them up with hot chocolate.
There are many other articles and tips out there that share other ideas about Hallowe’en and ways to think about it and respond. I’d encourage you to post any helpful links to articles that you have found in the comments section below!