Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tract -N- Treat

There were many things that I gave up when I joined my husband in ministry and often that involved surrendering holidays to the work that it takes to plan a church event. Instead of being home on Halloween, we were busy assembling dunking booths and setting up tables for cupcake sales and goldfish bowl penny toss games. The church event on Halloween has become an expected event in many communities, so there is no shortage of them. But Randy and I talked about Halloween’s meaning to culture and realized one thing—the one night that our neighbors come knocking at our door, we’re at church.

That is when we birthed the idea Randy calls Tract –N- Treat. We order tracts for our church members to pick up the Sunday before Halloween. In advance, we stamp the backs of the tracts with our ministry info in case someone has questions about God or they just want to find us. For the families who live in an area not highly trafficked by local children, we invite them to our home for chili and fellowship. I wear my usual costume—a giant Hershey’s kiss—and prepare my bowls of treats along with tracts.

We use the kinds of tracts that express the love of God rather than the typical turn-or-burn materials that often get passed around during Halloween. Our neighborhood is kid city and I can’t wait to finally get to meet neighbors that I wouldn’t otherwise meet if I didn’t stay home and prepare for their arrival.

The leaves are beginning to turn orange and yellow and neighbors are already setting pumpkins out on their front porches. As the neighborhood changes from summer to autumn, we look forward to showing neighborly love through a simple tradition.