Post by Christy Williams
I have lived in Mesa, Arizona my whole life and so I have noticed a few patterns. In Mesa, Arizona, we hibernate from May to September. It is hot. We sleep. We leave. We hide in air-conditioned buildings. But in October everything comes back to life. As I drive down the street taking my kids to school, I pass dozens of school and church banners advertising events. We, like many, have simplified from the extravagant fair-like festivals to what we refer to as Trunk or Treat. Everyone parks in lines along our parking lot, decorates their trunks with a theme, and passes out candy, much like they would from their door. But together. We started using a theme last year, with “Let There Be Light” and are continuing this year with “Super Duper” and all superhero themed trunks. Trunk or Treat has become a common outreach event for many churches. But I don’t want to ever do things just because it’s expected. I want to know why.
What exactly are we doing? We pass out candy, smiles and love. No strings attached. Maybe people will like us. Maybe they will come back. Maybe they’ll even join us in Sunday worship or become church members. But maybe they won’t and that’s okay. Because we are much more concerned with our obedience to the command to love our neighbors than we are with what their response might be. And the people feel that. I sensed it in a special way last year. In the prayer cards we made available people left message about the warmth they felt that night and the appreciation for creating a safe place to welcome the little ones. And prayers. Real, gut wrenching needs. But, maybe most impactfully, our neighborhood witnessed us loving each other. We enjoyed each other. Our grill-master, Grant, kept putting that stupid onion in people’s candy buckets when they weren’t looking, we conspired with our visitors about beating last year’s “best dressed trunk” and we ran to embrace those we hadn’t seen in a long time. It felt so church.
Why do we do Trunk or Treat? The answer is quite simple. John 13:35, “This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.”
There’s still time to get in on the fun, contact Christy if you’re interested in volunteering your trunk! firstname.lastname@example.org