Over the past few months, we’ve been talking a lot about extending hospitality and getting to know our colleagues and neighbors. In a couple of weeks we’ll have a great opportunity to do just that – on Halloween. Think about it – it’s the only night of the year where neighbors expect people to just show up and ring the doorbell! (Christmas caroling is another opportunity, but more on that next month.)
Here are 5 ideas for how to think missionally about Halloween:
- Put yourself in the kids’ shoes. They’re looking for good candy. Trick-or-treaters will remember you (and probably not in a good way) if you give out apples or toothbrushes.
- Think about the parents. If possible, have some hot cider or pumpkin bread to give to parents who are out with their kids. Make your entry-way inviting so people can hang out for a bit.
- Make (short) conversation. Introduce yourself to parents, ask the kids’ names and compliment their costumes, but remember they have other homes to visit.
- Go out into the community. Join a community harvest party or event and invite neighbors to go with you. Newburyport has a pumpkin lighting event on Saturday, October 17 at 5pm. Beverly is having their downtown Trick-or-Treat event on Thursday, October 29 at 4pm where lots of local business will be giving out treats. There are also seasonal corn mazes at Connors Farm (Danvers) and Marini Farm (Ipswich).
- Be prayerful as you go. Pay attention to what’s happening around you and ask the Spirit to open doors for you to build relationships and share your faith.
For the first time ever, our church will be a stop on the trick-or-treat circuit in Beverly Farms on Halloween night. Several of our members will be handing out candy and serving hot chocolate and coffee to trick-or-treaters and their parents from a canopy in the entrance to the parking lot. If you would like to be part of this activity, please contact Bob Stallard (firstname.lastname@example.org).
This is awesome. May God open new doors and new hearts at this holiday time.
That is our prayer, too, Paul!