Memo to Satan: we're taking back this holiday. I'm a huge believer in cultural reclamation; when at all possible, we need to redeem culture to use for Christ. Halloween is one of those things. Unfortunately many churches feel that it's the devil's holiday so they develop alternative Halloween opportunities for their Christian kids, separating them from normal society while [unintentionally?] condemning people who let their kids trick or treat. Plus, they miss out on a golden opportunity to get to know the people in their community. So at Echo, we use Halloween for all it's worth and set up a trunk 'n' treat type area right at the Walnut Hills Christian Church parking lot. It was a good experience.
First, our people brought the good candy [no pennies or Bible tracts] and engaged all the kids and adults who came by. Second, as I told our people Sunday night, God promised me it wouldn't rain tonight, even though the weathermen called for it all week [I could be a prophet]. Third, I got the chance to meet a few more people who live in the neighborhood. I was able to introduce myself as the pastor of Echo and learn a little bit about them. And also, I was able to hang out with friends who are sharing this journey with us and have our mission to this city reinforced.
But the thing that made me smile the most is that this is our church's first tradition. It's fun to be able to say, "remember last year when . . ." It reminds me that we've made it this long- that we survived a year. And we even had a few people stop by that remembered that we did this last year. Slowly we're planting roots in this community.
Tonight was very cool.