1 Nov 2023
November, Minister Letter,
21st October 2023
“Who will separate us from the love of Christ?.......
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present,
nor things to come, nor powers, nor height,
nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us, from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Greetings in the name of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Recently, I was speaking to a new friend and was very encouraged about the way that children and their families celebrated a Christian alternative to Halloween. My new friend shared an interesting Christian resource with me; World Vision: Hope and a Future for all Children (Pumpkin Heroes), which she had used for the Stay and Play group. Since then, I started digging deeper and learning more about Halloween beliefs and their relationship with our Christian faith. I wondered if there is a way in which Christians can reclaim this festival and talk about the Love of Jesus Christ instead! When I was reading from the website: ‘Root on the Web’, I got an answer that I would love to share with you. It starts with a question:
“How can we (the church) continue to reclaim this festival today? There are several themes that we can pick up on and explore with all ages. What about giving space to the memories of loved ones who have passed away, perhaps by holding services, or having a dedicated time on a Sunday for prayers, silence, and other tributes? This would allow us to positively explore the transforming power of darkness rather than simply associate it with evil. It is often in the most difficult and dark times that we mature and deepen our relationship with God. An event for everyone could focus on the heroes and heroines of the Christian faith, those who have served God in a variety of ways. Perhaps the theme of turning convention upside down, a strong theme in Jesus' ministry, could be explored? Wherever your journey takes you in the future in seeking to transform Halloween, remember that there is no need to be afraid because, as Paul says, nothing can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:35-39).”
It has been so encouraging to hear that some churches in our circuit have adopted some themes as mentioned above. For instance, at Moorhouse, at our Messy Church in October, we covered the theme of remembering those in our families who have gone before us, and The Community Base and Syke Chapel held a Christian “Pumpkin Party”. During November, we will also be remembering those who have sacrificed their lives in the various conflicts over the years. Our Remembrance Sunday services will be on the 12th of November, and we always celebrate light and life in opposition to the darkness of Halloween.
Indeed, as Paul said: “I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy
Peace and Grace to all.
Probationer Minister, Deacon Marcianne Uwimana