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11/26/2014 06:56:03 PST
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Happy Halloween 10/29/2013 05:35:38
    Halloween comes to us from the old Celtic tradition at harvest time called Samhain, where folks got together to celebrate the blessings of an abundant growing season. The timing of the festival led to it’s naming, as it would take place usually on the eve of All Hallow’s Day, or All-Hallow’s-Even. All Hallows is a beautiful and solemn occasion where, in the church, we honor all the saints (both known and unknown), giving thanks for their ministry in the past. In Medieval England and Ireland, the poor would go door to door on All Hallow’s Day and offer prayers for the dead of the household in return for gifts of food or money. In Scotland these folks often wore costumes to prevent identification. Hence the traditions of costumes and trick-or-treating!

While there are definitely a variety of opinions about Halloween in the church, I do not feel that celebrating it promotes paganism. Rather, I believe that it is simply an opportunity for children (and the young at heart) to dress up and celebrate innocent fun. It's like a community play date in the tickle trunk; it is after all just a game. More than that, what I see at Halloween is the opportunity for a community to come together and celebrate their friends and neighbors as equals. By choosing to be involved we demonstrate our commitment to our community, by opening our doors we demonstrate hospitality, by sharing treats we show our generosity.

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