A Christian alternative to Halloween

By Minister Gail Thompson

World Vision UK’s new Halloween initiative, Pumpkin Heroes, wants to take you and your children on an exciting adventure. To inspire you, they have put together great Bible-based resources, to help you bring a message of hope and light to children this Halloween.

Christian parents who have children often find it tricky to know how to respond to Halloween. How do you tell a 10-year-old they can't go trick or treating? The popularity of Halloween is growing exponentially, making it one of the largest holidays in the UK. Halloween is here to stay.

Every October, the same question and difficult decision will arise. Ultimately, each family, whether Christian or not, must decide for themselves and adhere to their own convictions. For families with children, every negative presents an opportunity to be turned into a positive through imaginative alternatives. With Pumpkin Heroes, parents can organise a community event at their church, go on hero hunts and build paper pumpkins covered in Bible verses.

As a minister, my desire is to glorify Christ above all else. In today's world of multi-faceted religion, it can be hard to live what you believe in. It is often independent from what most of the world thinks and does, particularly for the younger generation. But we can choose not to focus on the way Halloween has been celebrated in the past. Instead, we can see Halloween as time to focus on the possibilities it can offer today. I see it as a chance to instruct and bring together Christians and non-Christians alike. "Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16 NIV).”

In today's world, it is impossible to avoid Halloween. For families with children there is no lasting benefit to ignore a holiday that exists around us. But it would be remiss of me, as a minister, not to promote an alternative and re-focus the day away from ghouls, witches and other haunted experiences.

Let Patch the Pumpkin, World Vision UK’s new celebrity super-star, lead the way for an adventure in sharing the light of God's love with others this Halloween. Download the Pumpkin Heroes pack, where you can get all the resources you need this Halloween to help children aged 4-10 in your church. Enjoy some hero-hunting, craft making, Bible-reading, game-playing pumpkin fun, as they find out what God has to say about loving others, and watch Patch the Pumpkin’s film.

Visit www.pumpkinheroes.com to find out more.

God bless you.