October 31st is a great opportunity for many of us to engage in new relationships with those around us… or to revisit some old relationships with new gospel intentionality! For many years Zion has hosted a “Pumpkin Party” on October 31st and that party has been a great opportunity for us to connect with friends and neighbours who live near our church building.
However, the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic means that this year we won’t be able to host a Pumpkin Party. I’ll freely admit to you that I’m really disappointed about that since October 31st is on a Saturday this year and I was dreaming some big dreams about what we’d be able to do to bless our neighbourhood.
Although this year we can’t host a pumpkin party at the church, I want us to remember that we still have a wide open door for missionary engagement in our neighbourhoods. As a church we recognize that we are a Christ-centered family who reaches people for Jesus, encourages growth and shows His love through action. Our faith in Jesus means that we are being sent by Jesus into a culture that is going to celebrate Halloween in a few weeks.
With that in mind, here are a few ideas for how you can more effectively use Halloween to be missionaries for Jesus in your neighbourhood (A BIG thank you to Jeff Vanderstelt for many of these ideas!):
Don't Just Give Out Candy...
Give out the BEST candy! Please, please don’t give out toothbrushes or apples! Kids are looking for the “big haul”. Remember what it was like to find the house that gave out full size candy bars or cans of pop? Why not be that house??
Think of the parents. Maybe have some hot apple cider or coffee for parents who are taking their kids trick or treatin’… Make sure to follow COVID safety measures when you serve it (gloves/mask/individual servings etc.)
Be Present. Don’t hide in your house all night. Hang out in your driveway or on your front steps. Ask peoples’ names and find out where they live in your neighbourhood.
Be Encouraging. Tell the kids that you love their costumes and to have a great night. Words matter so build others up with what you say.
Learn the Stories. Whether you’re out with your kids or hanging back at your own house to hand out candy, ask some questions. Get to know peoples’ stories! Pay attention to their hearts and their felt needs. Look for opportunities to serve them later.
Get Creative: There is always opportunity to think outside the box!
At the Pumpkin Party we always had a photobooth set up… what if you set one up in your carport? Take pictures of the trick-or-treaters. Collect names/email addresses and then email the photos to them later.
Host a Pumpkin Carving Contest on your street… and be sure to provide a great prize for whoever wins!
Have a Campfire: Yes, you have to be careful in terms of how many people you invite to join you around the fire… but if you’ve got the ability to host a backyard fire, why not invite some neighbours to join you once the trick or treatin’ is done?
Create an epic “Candy slide” to hand out candy in a COVID safe way.
Fireworks: Maybe you and some neighbours could pool some money to purchase fireworks so that you can finish the night with style!
Work Together: Do you live in an isolated area? Or perhaps there aren’t many kids in your neighbourhood? Why not partner with someone else from the church and help out at their house? We’re a Jesus centered family which means we can share in the joy of being missionaries in each others’ neighbourhoods!
Need Some Help?
We recognize that many of these ideas can be costly. If you usually give out a few mini chocolate bars then giving out full sized ones might seem way too expensive. Providing cider or coffee might be out of your budget or maybe you don’t have an urn that would work.
We want to be able to help! At the beginning of this year we budgeted money to be used at our Pumpkin Party and we want to make some of that available for you to use as you engage in mission in your neighbourhoods. So, if you’ve got an idea but want some financial support, some equipment or supplies or something else please let us know and we’ll do what we can to help.
Pay Attention: Ask the Spirit to open your eyes and ears to the real needs around you.
Stay Dependent: Ask the Spirit to hep you listen, care, and serve those around you.
Open Doors: Ask the Spirit for open doors for new relationships and gospel conversations.
COVID Safety CLICK HERE for information from the BC Centre for Disease Control about how to safely participate in Halloween this year. Let’s commit to setting an example of how to safely interact with our neighbours during a challenging time!
On October 18th we're starting a brand new sermon series; Hope in the Dark. We'll be looking at how the book of Habakkuk gives us hope in times when
our faith might be shaken.
Don't forget that our services are now meeting in-person and via livestream. You have to pre-register to attend an in-person service (CLICK HERE to preregister).
Please remember that in order to attend in-person you need to:
Once again, thank you for continuing your generous giving to Zion's ministry. Your donations help us to keep our focus on being "a Christ-centered family who reaches people for Jesus, encourages growth and shows His love through action."
Remember, you can give by:
Debit - Contact Pastor Brad to arrange a time to use the machine at the church building.
Cash/Cheque (including post-dated cheques) - Cheques can be mailed to the church building (2911 Sparks Street Terrace BC V8G 2T4). Cash or cheques can be dropped off.
Online via PayPal. Click on the "Donate Online" button below to access our online giving page.
Zion's board is working to make sure that we're in regular contact with the entire "Zion Family." However, if you need to get in touch, don't hesitate to call or email us.We're ready to help but we can only meet the needs we hear about. Click on a name to send them an email: