At the service on Sunday 30th October, Junior Church took the story of Zacchaeus and thought about how people can change dramatically as a result of the light of Jesus coming into their life. We watched a You Tube version of the story and then discussed how people can change for the better – from bullies to being gentle, greedy to sharing, selfish to caring. We asked God to guide us in our daily lives to show kindness and generosity to those around us.
On the same day in the afternoon, Junior Church held a Hallowmas Party to celebrate the period which encompasses Halloween (also known as All Hallows’ Eve) and All Hallows day (more commonly known as All Saints day).
Usually Halloween tends to focus on the secular traditions of evil, monsters, witches and wizards, but the theme for our party focused instead on the light shining in the darkness during the Hallowmas period, a light that God brings to the world through Jesus. We had great fun carving pumpkins and lighting them up with tea lights to symbolise God’s presence in the world. To reflect the All Hallows Day, a time when Christians remember saints who have died, everyone came in superhero costumes which were wonderful.
There were pictures of saints around the crypt which we used for a quiz to broaden everyone’s understanding and knowledge of saints over the centuries.
The crypt was awash with party bunting and balloons in the traditional Halloween colours of orange and black, as well as in the colours of white and yellow to symbolise light and the lives of saints. In true party fashion, we had refreshments for all – pumpkin and star cookies, butterfly cakes and jellies, as well as the pumpkin muffins that had been decorated by the children earlier.
We finished with a song (Lord the light of your love is shining) and a prayer from Simon. Everyone went home with a party bag and their pumpkin, and judging by the smiles on faces, everyone had had a great time!