I have gotten some questions and even some grief over why we do a Fall Festival as a church. This isn't so much an apology for it as a rationale. I'll try to answer a couple of objections along the way too.
1. I'm all for reclaiming holidays as Holy Days. Christmas. Easter. Halloween (aka All Hallow's Eve, or the day before All Saints Day). I don't buy that the Devil owns a holiday(s) any more than I buy the fact that "rhythm-driven rap is out of the voodoo tribes of Africa and is straight from the pit of hell" (something I was told recently at an event hosted by our church - but hey, the guy liked our hotdogs). I don't particularly love the way the costumes have gone and think it's both degrading and fright-inducing, but that doesn't mean we can't work to reclaim All Hallow's Eve.
2. This huge event for our church is a great opportunity to get people involved and help them have a sense of ownership in the ministry of our church. And it involves a broad swath of our church - older folks, younger folks, etc.
3. This huge event is a great opportunity for neighbors and the neighborhoods that surround us to know that we care about their well-being. It's a goodwill event at the very least.
4. We work hard and will continue to work hard to make it more than a goodwill event. We have people posted and assigned to walk around and invite people to church or, even better, share the Gospel with them.
5. I think it boosts our ministry momentum as we move into the holiday season. We have a sense of "win" after we're done.
6. Our people enjoy inviting their neighbors and friends to a safer place than their streets. Hopefully that turns into ministry too.
7. It gives me, as the pastor, more conversations with folks outside our church in a condensed time than I probably get throughout the rest of the year. And I love that.
So if you're around tonight, come on out. 6-8pm at our place - www . heritage park . org