View from the Pew
What NOT to wear
Some churches choose to concentrate on positive aspects of the trick-or-treat day
For someone of Irish ancestry and a penchant for romanticizing history, Halloween just cannot go unremarked.
Several churches plan family events for Halloween
» Bethel Chapel Assembly of God in Waipahu will get a head start at 4 p.m. today at its grounds across from August Ahrens Elementary School. The theme is "Noah's Ark" so prizes will go to children dressed as animals. The Fall Family Fun Fest will offer bouncing castles, a maze, game booths, live entertainment, food and candy.
» New Hope Christian Fellowship will hold a Super Hero Bash for kids of high school age who may dress as their favorite heroes. The 6 p.m. party at the Ministry Center on Sand Island Road will offer music, food, fellowship and prizes.
» Calvary Chapel at 98-1016 Komo Mai Drive, Aiea, will sponsor its annual Family Fun Nite with games and food booths, prizes and candy at the school gym and campus. There is a "no ghouls please" restriction on costumes. The 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. party is free.
» The Family Fun sponsored by Honolulu Christian Church, 2207 Oahu Ave., Manoa, will include inflatable jumpers, a maze, a rock wall for climbing. There will be a costume contest but they request "nothing gory please." The free party is from 6 to 9 p.m.
» "Bizarre Bazaar" is the theme at United Church of Christ, 467 N. Judd St., Liliha, and bizarre costumes are OK. The annual Penny Carnival offers prizes for games that can be played for a penny, live music and food booths. The free event will go from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Some religious folks of the liturgical sort are going to remember the dead again Thursday, also known as All Saints Day, which is followed by All Souls Day -- a postscript holy day for all those who didn't measure up to saint or whose stories aren't known.
But it's the eve before All Saints or All Hallows Day that most people celebrate. Someone shared an anecdote -- which the teller swears is true -- about a kupuna in a public school classroom telling that the name comes from pumpkins being hollow.
She obviously has missed the nearly annual effort in this column to be sure the Druids of pre-Christian Ireland get credit for inventing Halloween. She also must not be listening to those religious folks of the praise-and-worship sort who take a dim view of those old pagans and try to wipe out anything that seems to glorify them or the devil or witches or goblins.
Some of us think that kids dressing like modern celebrity bimbos and druggies is much scarier and a threat to their faith, not to mention culture. (P.S. This is about kids -- who cares what the adults wear Wednesday at nightclubs, trendy restaurants, supermarket checkout counters and bank branches?)
Several Christian churches will have Wednesday parties with alternative names like Family Fun rather than use the H-word and will set restrictions against inappropriate costumes.
The kids from New Hope Christian Fellowship are cleared to hit the streets to trick-or-treat. They'll be handing back thank-you pamphlets that invite people to church and urge them not to fall for a trick that deceives people into thinking there is no God.
New Hope senior pastor the Rev. Wayne Cordeiro dreamed up the trick-or-treat tracts about 10 years ago. Rather than go on the attack against Halloween and its pagan roots and unsavory imagery, "We decided to take more of a positive approach," he said.
"I like to redeem things. Something that could be seen as bad, I like to figure a way to make it right, to reconcile it, to convert it somehow.
"People today yearn for friendship, fellowship. They are looking for ways to have gatherings. So a football game becomes a tailgate party." And adults keep dressing up in costume and refusing to outgrow Halloween.
"Kids will invite other kids to bad stuff like this magazine or that Web site," said Cordeiro. "Even if (the pamphlet) doesn't draw people to church, it plants a seed, lets them know they are invited."
That's exactly what the ancient Christians did. They pre-empted the Druid celebration of the dead and made it their own. For a long while. And maybe again.