What do Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Wonder Woman and Philip Rhodes have in common? They were all partying at Trunk or Treat last Sunday night! I thought Laura Dunlap’s Philip Rhodes costume was inspired, but clearly Leonard Murphy took the biggest risk as RBG!! Once again this year, FUMC Hurst Trunk or Treat was super fun. I don’t know how many trunks were decorated, hot dogs were eaten or bags crammed with treats, but it was A LOT folks and A LOT of candy and A LOT of fun!!! The Moanas and Spider Men just kept coming and coming.
Over the years, we’ve had conversations about the pros and cons of Trunk or Treat. Does this event align with the mission and ministry of our church? This year I became convinced that it certainly does. Out in the parking lot, we act different than we do inside the church building. We relax, let our hair down (or put it up under a wig!). Kids, youth and adults play together, laugh with each other (and maybe at each other), sing and dance and act silly together. With no walls, no nametags, no black robes, who can tell who’s who? Who’s a member of the church and who’s not? Who’s in what Sunday school class? Who attends what service? Who cares? It’s just a BIG party where we can all meet and greet, tease the kiddos and enjoy ourselves.
But, this year’s event, at least for me, was more than just a good time. Afterwards I thought about the book some of us have been studying during October—Gratitude: The Transformation Power of Giving Thanks by Diana Butler Bass. In it, she says that events like “graduations, weddings, street fairs, festivals and harvest celebrations” are times when “all other claims, pressures, and realities can be suspended.”
That’s what happened last Sunday night, if only for a couple of hours. No one was thinking about a mid-term election. No one was arguing about immigration or any other hot topic. No one was fretting about the state of our denomination or our country. Come to think of it, I didn’t see anyone even glance at a cell phone!!! That IS amazing!
If just for an evening, the fears, anxieties, preoccupations and uncertainties were suspended because we had more important things on our minds—like candy and Moanas and Spider Men and hot dogs and teasing and laughing and singing and chatting and celebrating life. And, I for one think it was good for us.
Henri Nouwen says that “Celebration is not just a way to make people feel good for a while; it is the way in which faith in the God of life is lived out, through both laughter and tears. Thus, celebration goes beyond ritual, custom, and tradition. It is the unceasing affirmation that underneath all the ups and downs of life there flows a solid current of joy.”
See you next year at Trunk or Treat!