I know the word “missional” has been overdone when it comes to Halloween. It was hard to search for “Halloween” and “Church” and not come up with something that thought of itself as “missional” as well. But, there are aspects of the term “missional” that are ingrained in who I am and what I do. I’m all about bringing people together, building community. I’m all about the church getting outside of its walls and being an active participant in the community at large…and by this proclaiming the Kingdom of Christ. I’m all about finding the secular “thin places” — those avenues where the sacred and the profane collide — with the hopes of brining some holiness into this world of ours.
I saw an avenue to work in our present community. Apparently before our arrival here, children trick-or-treated at downtown businesses. This has been a few years. Presently most children find their way to a particular neighborhood in town; known for it’s clearly marked houses, open spaces, and an easy place to trick-or-treat. Last year our kids went downtown, in our neighborhood, and not to the popular candy spot. We were about the only family out downtown last year.
So, this year, I tried to encourage people to come downtown–which is the neighborhood of the church and the parsonage–and visit the local businesses again. To not compete with later events and to walk around while businesses were open, I encouraged the trick-or-treating from 2-4 (on a day where there was no school for teacher conferences). This was a way to pull residents to the downtown area to support local businesses. It was a way for local businesses to support families–particularly young families that might not want to trick-or-treat later on. It was a way for our church, which is located downtown, to welcome persons into the facility. As per many suggestions on line, we handed out “full-sized” pieces of candy.
It was, I can say, a total success. Several businesses ran out of candy and needed to get more. Other businesses, who didn’t participate were already talking about the next year.
In the end, it was a great way to bring people together.
It was, shall we say, missional.