Pastor Brad's (Sometimes Meandering...) Thoughts...
A couple of Sundays ago I announced that Zion's Board has decided not to host a Pumpkin Party this year. This wasn't an easy decision for us, as a board, to make. The Pumpkin Party has been a great event at Zion for a number of years. In fact, it was one of three or four ministries that people told me about when I was interviewing with the church around 4 years ago.
However, as a church we try very hard to evaluate our ministry involvements based on our vision statement. You remember our vision statement, right? It reminds us that Zion is a "Christ-centered family who reaches people for Jesus, encourages growth and shows His love through action".
So, as we considered the Pumpkin Party, we didn't start our discussion with "can we find enough volunteers?" or "will we have enough candy donated?". Instead, we took a look at how the Pumpkin Party fits in with the overall vision of our church. We talked about things like Grow Zone (our Sunday morning ministry for kids), Lifetree Cafe (an outreach aimed at helping people discuss life topics from a Christian perspective), our plans for a Vacation Bible School during next year's spring break (we had one this year... and it was awesome!).
As we talked about these ministries we recognized that some of the newer ones (such as VBS) are accomplishing some of the goals we had for the Pumpkin Party. So, we decided that we won't have a Pumpkin Party this year. Does that mean the Pumpkin Party was not a good ministry? NOT AT ALL! It was a wonderful ministry and it is something that we may return to next year, as we continue to think through how we can best fulfill our vision statement.
One of the things that I have been preaching, teaching and sharing about since I started my ministry at Zion is that we need to be intentionally looking for ways to get involved in our neighbourhoods. I believe that this year's Halloween is an opportunity for you to do just that - to discover new ways to connect with your neighbours (and to show them the love of Jesus in action).
I'm not sure exactly how you can do that... but I do want to share about some of the things I'm going to try this year. I'm hoping that sharing this things will help you to think of some ways you can connect with your neighbours on Halloween.
So, in no particular order, here are some of the things you can try on Halloween in order to connect with your neighbours.
Hand Out Candy (OK... this IS in a particular order!). This one seems like a no-brainer. Want to get to know your neighbours? Then hand out candy... LOTS of candy!
Have Coffee and Hot Chocolate Ready to give out to kids and adults
Pool some money together with your neighbours to purchase (and set off!) some fireworks
Help out at your kids' school. Many schools try to do some special events for students on Halloween... and they're always looking for volunteers.
Help out at a community event. Terrace has lots of things happening on Halloween and volunteers are needed for those events as well.
Setup face painting at your house
Have a neighbourhood bonfire
See, there are 7 simple ways for you to try and connect with your neighbours on Halloween. However, I'd really encourage you to find ways to do that each and every day of the year.
Our journey through the book of Exodus is reminding us of the fact that God wants us to be free so that we can worship Him. In Exodus 3:12 God tells Moses “I will be with you. And this is your sign that I am the one who has sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God at this very mountain.”
God wants to free our city from slavery. He wants our friends and neighbours to be freed from slavery to sin. He has told us to go and tell our friends and neighbours about Jesus. I see Halloween as an opportunity to show the love of Jesus in action. This year we're just doing it differently than we have in previous years!
Keep an eye out for what's happening at Zion!
Food Bank Volunteer Celebration: Saturday, October 28th @ 1:00pm
@ Terrace Pentecostal Assembly
A special Volunteer Celebration for anyone who has helped at the Food Bank and for those who want to find out more about how the Food Bank helps the needy in Terrace. RSVP to Pastor Brad if you'd like to attend.
Lifetree Cafe meets on Mondays @ 7:00pm a the Elephant's Ear Coffee shop.
Join us for an hour of conversation and insight into important topics. The topic for October 23rd is: "The Black and White Truth about Racism".
Zion has missional communities (places to study, grow and serve) that meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Interested? Contact us for more information.
Join us at 10:00am on Sunday mornings as we journey through the book of Exodus and discover how God frees His people for a purpose: So that we can worship Him.