Thursday, 13 October 2011

Halloween: A bit less 'Bah Humbug' and a bit more witness

Contents of the Bag of Hope
I've always been a bit of a curmudgeon when it comes to Halloween. After all, it's the remnants of a pagan festival which had all-but died out in the UK, revived by a combination of imported US TV and Wal-Mart's acquisition of Asda ten years ago. There's no historical or cultural tradition in the UK for celebrating it the way we do today, and the lesson it gives the children about many subjects from spirituality through to stranger-danger is highly suspect.

My normal way of dealing with it is to try to ignore it - grudgingly give out sweets to those local kids who don't already know the lecture they're likely to get at our front door.

But that's not a very Christian attitude, so this year we've decided to do something positive.

A while back we heard UCB Radio advertising their 'Bag of Hope'. It's a collection of resources for both children and adults, in a handy bag to which you can add sweets or whatever else you decide. UCB send them out free (you pay the postage). Ours arrived last week.

So this year, the lucky first 20 groups of kids who ring our doorbell on October 31st will get:

  • 'Your book of hope' - a 32-page workbook which explains the story of Jesus for primary-school ages
  • The latest quarterly instalment of Bob Gass's 'The Word for Today' for the adults
  • A card promoting and the UCB Prayerline
  • A call to action by way of a URL promoting a prize draw and soliciting feedback
  • Some sweets and church contact details

Now I'm fairly sure we'll get some funny looks. Maybe even some bad reactions. But I see it like this - not only are we giving the kids the sweets they were expecting, but something which could turn out to be immeasurably more valuable.

What's the worst that could happen? We can wash eggs off the car. If just one kid reads through the workbook, does some of the puzzles and asks questions, it's been more than worthwhile. If just one parent looks through the Word for Today and wants to hear more, that's a major win.

1 comment:

  1. Well, it's interesting. I see your point. Let me know if you hear back from any of these twenty kids, either positively or negatively. I am curious.