What is your only comfort?

Urban God-talk for the church-o-phobic.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Halloween outreach project

'Tis the season of Halloween preparations. The stores around us have been filled with costumes and candy for the past few weeks. All this reminds me that I wanted to share one of our best outreach ideas of the past year in the hopes that it might be useful to other churches.

I can still remember the houses in our old neighborhood that handed out the big candy bars - not the little Halloween sized ones, but the regular sized bars. Those houses were special places to go, and all of us tripped over ourselves to get there. The big candy bars made a real statement about the people who lived in those houses - they were generous and welcoming to children.

Generous and welcoming to children is what I'd hope the kids in Greenpoint would think about our church. Not generous just in the kind of candy we give out, but generous in spirit and in hospitality. I'm a firm believer that positive church experiences in childhood are vital to maintaining a connection with people as they grow in faith.

Keeping my childhood memory in mind, last year we decided to purchase a bunch of big candy bars and put stickers on them with the name of the church inviting kids to come by and check it out. It worked really well, and we're going to do it again this year. Perhaps your church might want to do it as well. If so, I'd recommend getting the candy bars at Costco or at a Dollar Store where they are about three for a dollar. We purchased 150 of them this year, so the project will cost us about $50. It's a pretty affordable outreach opportunity, and definitely demonstrates God's amazing hospitality - last year we were the only ones handing out big candy bars!


At 11:56 AM, Blogger Kathryn said...

You know, half the churches in the UK are still having anti Halloween campaigns...it has really only become a big event here in the past 15 years or so and the typical church reaction seems to be to stage an alternative event on 31st and denounce Halloween as an invention of Satan....I'm really intrigued and delighted at the fact that it doesnt seem to be a big deal for Christians in the States at all...and love the thought of your chocolate outreach! :-)

At 7:28 PM, Blogger RogueMonk said...

That is an excellent idea! I love it. Thanks for sharing.

At 10:38 PM, Blogger Ann said...

My family lived in England 15 years ago, when I was on the cusp of being too old to enjoy a Halloween trick-or-treating. The whole Halloween 'thing' seemed VERY American to my school chums, but we all dressed up and had a party at one of their homes - they indulged their American friend's foreign habits. I remember being surprised that Halloween wasn't an event in England. So I'm interested to hear that it's more of a 'thing' these days...I suppose that's an effect of globalism perhaps? I only wished that we enjoyed the benefits of Bank holidays here!

At 10:43 PM, Blogger Ann said...

Glad you like the idea. Somehow I had lumped Canada in with England as not have a significant cultural emphasis on Halloween. Is that the case?

At 11:37 PM, Blogger RogueMonk said...

Ann, no. In Canada, Halloween is pretty big. I think we would be analgous to the US on this one.

At 10:23 PM, Blogger Katherine said...

great idea!! thanks so much for sharing this.


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