Halloween, for the sake of community

Broadway Church is hoping its members will create as many as 100 mini block parties – points of light – in their neighbourhoods.

Community pastor Simon Gau is asking what could happen if church members chose to intentionally engage their neighbours during Halloween. In a short video on the Broadway Church website, he said:

The last standing holiday in our culture today where the whole neighbourhood gets together – is Halloween. You see, Halloween is a time when a neighbour can come over to your house, knock on your door for no other reason than to ask for some candy.

We see kids dressed up, parents handing out candy, firework displays and neighbours shaking hands. Now, depending on your cultural or religious background, you might have a different opinion when it comes to Halloween.

I know this firsthand. I grew up in a household where I was taught that Christmas was Jesus’s birthday and Halloween was the devil’s birthday. So as you can imagine, my family chose not to participate in regular Halloween activities.

As Christians, we have the choice to either run from Halloween, or we can choose to redeem it. What would it look like for Christians from all over to choose to redeem Halloween? . . .

Broadway is asking its members to take part in its Hey Neighbourhood! Halloween:

Would you be willing to SHINE in your neighbourhood on Halloween night? Our goal is to have 100 people from Broadway to set up a small “point of light” in their own neighbourhood on October 31. . . .

These mini block parties [points of light] don’t have to be big or extravagant or complex. They just have to be intentional. Each point of light will look different, and that’s okay. . . . Your point of light might be you sitting in your driveway, with some camping chairs and a thermos of hot chocolate and handing out Timbits to neighbours and engaging them when they come by.

These points of light, they wouldn’t be evangelism-focused, they wouldn’t be church-focused, they would simply be connecting-focused. They would be meeting-your-neighbourhood-focused.

Go here to watch the video.

Several other churches are also not shying away from using the term ‘Halloween.’ Like Broadway, they are focusing on building community, creating good will, handing out candy – and avoiding any hint of spiritual compromise. For example:

Redemption Church: The Pit Stop

Another Pentecostal Church – Redemption, in the western reaches of Kitsilano – will host The Pit Stop:

You’re warmly welcome to come by Redemption Church on Tuesday, October 31 for our second annual Halloween Pit Stop. From 5:30 – 8 pm, come warm yourself by the fire, make a s’more, watch a short movie, grab a snack or hot drink, and enjoy a hot dog or burger off the grill. You’re welcome to drop by or stay for while to warm up or take a break from trick-or-treating. All are welcome!

They add this note:

We would love for all of you to discern your response to and engagement with Halloween according to your convictions and what the Spirit is saying to you and your family. We also love the idea of each person and family being connected in their neighbourhoods.

So we bless and encourage you to respond accordingly in your home and neighbourhood. We do want to take the opportunity to be a warm and welcoming presence in Kitsilano, so if you’d like to partner with us in this, we would very much invite your participation.

Reality Church: Good News – It’s Halloween

Reality Church Vancouver says on its Calendar page: “Halloween: doors open lights on.”

Every year Pastor Kristian Martens links to an article he wrote a few years ago, which says, in part:

Our family reconsiders the issue of Halloween each year – how are we responding, what are we celebrating, why are we participating, and the present likelihood of a zombie-apocalypse. We fully recognize that most Canadian Christians do observe the day, but differ in the level of participation or acceptance of it.

He has also posted a good video (When Halloween Demands a Gospel Explanation) by Jeff Vanderstelt, and writes:

So thankful for my brother, Jeff Vanderstelt, and his unwavering call to engaging culture with good news and great parties. Appreciate his reminder to connect the metaphors of the bible with our life and motivation towards mission.

Tenth Church: Halloween Candy Stop

Tenth Church Kitsilano is offering a Halloween Candy Stop, based from the church building at Second and Larch:

Once again this year we want to provide a fun place for children in our community on Halloween. Invite family and friends, too!

Christ City Church: Halloween Festival

Christ City Church near 41st and Fraser will host a Halloween Festival:

Come and join us for this incredibly fun event from 6 to 8 pm on Halloween!

INDOOR blow up maze, bouncy castle, carnival games, balloon artist, popcorn, candy, and hot chocolate. There is no charge for the event, just drop by when you want, for as long as you want.

Located at 5887 Prince Edward Street #wearechristcity

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