13 Halloween & All Saints Day Opportunities

The end of October is full of carnivals put on by churches, schools, neighborhoods and other groups. It is a time when many people are shaken out of the normal events of life and so open to new things.  Here are some possibilities for you to consider:

  1. Highlight “saints” from your congregation’s history.  Lift up the achievements and ministries of individuals from the past and how they have shaped the ongoing life of the church.  For instance, make displays of memorials/bequests given and how these have added to the ministry of the congregation.  Another option is to invite members to write a paragraph about deceased members and how they helped shape their faith.
  2. Highlight living “saints” in your congregation. Perhaps provide members with cards to write a note and sign. The church can compile or collect these and deliver them.  Or invite groups to “celebrate” those in their group who have made a significant difference in the group’s work. This could be done during the regular group meeting or newsletter.
  3. Highlight those “saints” who have served on the staff of your congregation. One of the heartwarming ministries of First Christian of Guthrie, Oklahoma is that every year they send out a card, signed by many members of the congregation, to former staff members.  I have found these to be a powerful gift of work done a couple of decades ago.
  4. Highlight the “saints” of the faith.  Use this time to teach or remind people about some of the great men and women of our faith.  Write up a paragraph or two (not too long or heady) on people such as Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Ambrose and others.  You could also use this as a time to lift up the key figures of your denomination (Charles and John Wesley, John Calvin, Alexander and Thomas Campbell, Barton Stone, etc.). 
Example: Saint Augustine, Nov. 13, 354-Aug. 28, 430.  Theologian, philosopher and Bishop of the Church. Augustine was a man who “fell” into the pursuit of all kinds of self-indulgent activities including fathering a child at age 18. He discovered the inability of these excesses to fulfill and changed the pathway of his life.  He developed the concepts of original sin, just war and the city of God.  Quotes: "Thou hast made us for Thyself and our hearts are restless till they rest in Thee." (Confessions I, i, 1), "Love the sinner and hate the sin" (Cum dilectione hominum et odio vitiorum) (Opera Omnia, vol II. col. 962, letter 211.), "Nothing conquers except truth and the victory of truth is love" (Victoria veritatis est caritas}.

  1. Highlight the “saints” of scripture. Design a display with information about biblical persons.  For instance, give the dates of David’s life, his achievements and failures, as well as the impact he made on our faith. You could select a different grouping each year or week such as: Gospel writers, prophets, kings, disciples, judges, etc.
  2. Send letters/cards to church members in nursing homes.  Perhaps have cards that can be signed at meetings or on in the lobby before & after worship.
  3. Promote a special fundraising for a “Saints” Mission.  Maybe use this day to highlight a collect for retired ministers.  Or perhaps us it for a special mission project.
  4. Light candles for all the church members who have died in the past year.  This could be a part of the regular worship services or perhaps have a special service where these individuals are lifted up and the families of those grieving are prayed over.
  5. Do a mission project linked to the idea of “saints”.  This could be to clean up a cemetery which has little resources for upkeep.  It could be doing a project for a retirement center.  It could be to compile a file of all the obituaries or life stories of those in a cemetery so that they are not forgotten. 
  6. Do a “trunk-r-treat” event at a local Wal-mart, School or library. “Go to” the kids instead of expecting them to come to the church. Decorate trunks (not just put candy in them) and use you vehicles to bring Christ’s love to people.
  7. Trick or Treat at a retirement center.  Pair a church member, who brings candy, with the resident(s) of each room/apartment. Then have children of the church go around trick or treating.  By providing the candy you take the financial burden off the residents as well as deal with the issue of consistency in what is given and safety issues.
  8. Host a workshop dealing with issues such as overcoming fears, dealing with death, finding healing from grief.  Some possible studies and information can be found at: www.grief.net or http://caringinfo.org, or http://www.goodgriefgroups.com/workbooks
  9. Do a sermon or a series of messages on what can be learned from the founders of the church or denomination.  Be sure to link history with relevant issues in the lives of listeners today. (for examples on Barton Stone or Alexander Campbell email swallacegs@aol.com )
 



 


Comments

07/01/2017 7:52am

I have read many more blogs and this one is really nice that giving the many topic in one blog. Church is holy place and it is for Christians. Same way other religion has other holy place.

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08/02/2017 9:19am

Instead of organizing some spooky parties and playing loud music for this season, I think it’ll be better for us to participate in activities where we can improve our mental and spiritual selves. Honestly, that is what is lacking to all of us, the sensitivity in this season. Instead of honoring all saints, most of the people would organize costume parties. That is quite frustrating, isn’t it? I believe that this is the time for us to change our actions.

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