Ditch the vampire masks, devil pitch forks and ghoulish cloaks (let’s be honest our children don’t really like them anyway), and bring out the torches, fairy lights and glow sticks to experience Halloween differently this year. After all, as Christians, we are all children of the light, children of the day (1 Thessalonians 5:5) and have a lot to celebrate!
Churches around the world are redeeming Halloween in various ways, which in fact has a long history of being allied with Christianity (read more about its history here). With Halloween co-inciding with Reformation Sunday, some churches (particularly in the US) opt for “Reformation festivals” or “Harvest festivals”, with kids dressing up as farmers, Bible characters or Reformation heroes. In the UK, light parties have increased in popularity, especially with Scripture Union’s well-structured resource pack. We gleaned some top tips from them to share with you here:
4 Steps to planning your light party
Whether you run your light party at home or in a larger venue (for example, a church hall), this is a great opportunity to reach out to the community, and invite children who do not attend church already to come along, ideally with their families. Decide on which age group you want to target, bearing in mind that if you attract a broad age group you’ll need to structure activities and discussions accordingly
2. Set the stage for a memorable party
Create a fun “light” atmosphere – think glitter balls, light ropes, strategically placed lamps; perhaps you want to set up a bonfire for later. All of your efforts in decoration are important in helping your guests feel welcome and valued. How about some light-themed snacks – traffic light biscuits, globe-shaped drinking glasses…any other ideas you can share?
3. Get the message out that Jesus is the light of the world
While you want to keep the mood of the party…ahem…light; you also want to convey that from a Christian perspective, Halloween is just the first chapter in the story that ends with All Saints Day. At Halloween, we confront our fear of death and darkness; we acknowledge that yes, evil exists; the world is scary and dangerous and one day we will all die. On All Saints Day we hear the second half of the story – that death is not the end; that on the other side of fear is victory. We do not become ghosts or skeletons when we die, but spend eternity with Jesus, with new life stronger than death
The arc of the festival is the transition from darkness to light. How will you show that? Will you start in the dark and move into a light-filled place, as you tell the story of God’s triumph over sin and death? Will you start with Bible stories, moving from the darkness of Adam and Eve’s sin, to the light of Jesus’ coming? (See Gretchen Wolff Pritchard’s book Offering the Gospel to Children for a detailed description of her Halloween drama activity that does just this.) The Spiritual Child Network also has some great resources on how to celebrate the transition from darkness to light. Will you revive old Halloween traditions (smiling pumpkins and love-and-mercy treating) and will you ask children to dress up in superhero costumes (nothing scary)? Think about these things as well as some activities such as making light beacons (use cheap torches and cardboard shaped in cones) or firebugs (decorate luminous balls with little eyes and pipe cleaner feelers).
10 of those has a great tract you can share with kids at your party that is very accessible: A friend in the dark.
Will you help us redeem Halloween this year? Will you throw a light party?
Please let us know as we’d love to feature your event on our social media platforms.
WAIT THERE IS MORE….
If you are a member of our Come Away Community we are giving away light party packs: 1 invite, 20 friend in the dark tracts, a step by step guide to throwing a light party. and our 3 days HERO cards to share 3 heroes of the faith with your kids before Halloween. Don’t forget Halloween was first a Christian holiday – All Saints day, a day to remember saints gone past (saints simply meaning Christians).
The goodie bag costs R140, or the HERO cards for R100. Simply email us.
But if you are a member you get the bag for FREE! BECOME A MEMBER HERE
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