Thursday, October 04, 2007

Halloween Begins

2005 parade. This year the theme was The Wizard of Oz.

Over the course of October, you can keep up with the Halloween season in Salem here at The Gathering's Blog.

Tonight the Halloween Parade kicked off the Haunted Happenings Season. Each Halloween Parade for the last five years, we have used the evening to pass out flyers for the Children's Halloween Day we sponsor with Domino's Pizza. I run off 2,000 flyers, and a few of us pass them out to the people watching the parade, and then to the parade marchers as they arrive at Salem Common at the end of the parade.

Tonight Jeff M, Jeff G, Jim Burrell, and myself passed out the flyers. Jeff and Jeff followed the parade route from the church to the beginning of the parade. Jim and I covered Essex Street, and when the parade got moving, we stood on the Common and passed out flyers to the parents and kids who marched in the parade.

So here are the highlights:
1) We passed out all 2,000 flyers.
2) Jim and I saw the Mayor. I gave her a hug, and she said she would be there and that The Children's Day was her family's favorite event.
3) As Jim and I passed out flyers on the Common, two men who come every year to Salem passed out Gospel tracts in front of us.

One Gospel tract man said to me."What are you passing out? Giving glory to God tonight?"

"Well, our church is sponsoring a Children's Halloween Day next week." I replied.

"Halloween? Church? Do you think those go together?" He asked.

"Well, it does mean Holy Evening." was my comeback.

One might have expected a slight pause, but he spoke quickly, "It's the Catholic Church which calls it All Saints Eve."

I responded just as quickly, "Well, I believe in the saints, after all, I am one."

"If you studied the history of the day, you would know better." He said.

"I figure every day is holy, and at every opportunity we have a chance to redeem days as well."

Then he made some comment about knowing better, and God's judgment, and started passing out tracts in front of me.

As we passed out our flyers for a free Halloween Children's Day, and he passed out his tracts, I had to be loud and announce the Children's Day event. If I did not, people assumed I was passing out some religious literature, and wanted nothing to do with it. So I smiled and said jokingly, this is the most important information you'll get tonight, and the parents laughed and agreed. Well, I had been using that line all night before the Gospel Tract Man came, but somehow people thought it was funnier when he was around. Go figure. Maybe they'll see churches aren't afraid of Halloween, or scared to do something for their kids around the season, and it will change their minds about Jesus' followers just a little - then maybe that flyer is the most important thing they'll get tonight. Who knows.


Agent B said...

AHHH - tract passers! What's with those guys?

I admire their passion and dedication, but it usually ends there.

I don't know if you've been reading my "evang-e-dropping" reports, but tract passers are a very active group in my town. The guy who heads it up has been all over the world doing this. I'm surprised he hasn't gone to Salem in Oct yet.

Help me Phil. I can't get my head around J. Henderson, I don't like to debate. And not only do tract passers want to debate christians and non alike, they present only the negative - hell.

I'm not much of a speaker. And the word tell us to go into all the world and tell, etc. But I can't stand this method.

What's with me?

Pastor Phil said...

I think you need to get saved bro. Can I send you a tract?

I admire their passion and dedication too. Perhaps there are even locations where their methods are effective, and not offensive to people simply for the style. Unfortunately, Salem is not one of those places.

Agent B said...

I don't think their methods are effective in any location.

Maybe I'm wrong...

Pastor Phil said...

I'm being gracious. I think you are probably correct, but I also think they mean well, and that God still comes through for them by touching people from time to time.

Agent B said...

Yeah. I think you're right.