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  • Writer's pictureAsk Pastor Adrienne

Trunk or Treat

Photo credit: Dane Deaner


Dear Pastor,

How do you feel about Trunk-or-Treat events?


I’m assuming you’re asking me because you’re not a huge fan of Halloween? Yes, we are just a few weeks away now from the October events which surround the Devil’s high-holiday. I’ve written numerous exposés on Halloween and how I feel about it—but that is a lengthy discussion for another time.

Trunk or Treat, in case there are folks who have never heard of it, is a safe way to give out candy to the children who go “begging,” as my dad used to call it. Traditionally, young people dressed in costume on Halloween night, walked door-to-door with pillow cases, buckets or baskets and asked for sweet treats by chiming, “trick or treat” when their knock was answered. Candy was then supplied and the event we now call Trick-or-Treating took hold. Sadly, the world is not safe for children to enjoy this tradition any longer. Since necessity is the mother of invention, parents who desired their children to experience the Halloween candy-grab, came up with a safe alternative: find a parking lot, park numerous cars in that lot (trunk side to the center), open the trunks, decorate them with themes and behold: a fleet of trunk-sized candy dispensers! Needless to say, these trunk-hauls of candy can become a young person’s answer to prayer as trunk after trunk provides the sugary bliss along with new, necessary trips to the dentist. I realize I sound like Ebenezer Scrooge on the candy front, but in addition to my disdain for all things Halloween, I’m also a raging zealot against the amounts of sugar our children ingest these days. (I digress.)

Many churches participate in Trunk-or-Treat because it gathers the community around them. Nearly every church I know has a parking lot, and the thought of inviting families onto their church campus for any reason sounds like a great idea. It’s controversial, however, and no two Clergy members have the same opinion about it. One thing is certain; it presents the opportunity for unchurched people to meet the Church. Frankly speaking, our insulated, Christian network fails miserably when it comes to hob-knobbing with the lost. Do I like Trunk-or-Treat? No, I despise Halloween and every off-shoot event it creates. Will my churches be hosting one? Yes. My Outreach Committee proclaims the value of creating a Christ-encounter in our parking lot. Matthew, the Gospel writer, agrees: “Your lives light up the world. Let others see your light from a distance, for how can you hide a city that stands on a hilltop? And who would light a lamp and then hide it in an obscure place? Instead, it’s placed where everyone in the house can benefit from its light. So don’t hide your light! Let it shine brightly before others, so that the commendable things you do will shine as light upon them, and then they will give their praise to your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16, TPT.)

I support my leadership team and their decisions to engage our community. We live in desperate times. We must also be desperate to share the love of Christ. A piece candy will help.

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