Local Churches Offer Alternative to Halloween

By Jennifer Rodriguez

Local churches are providing an alternative way of celebrating the Halloween season.

The history of Halloween dates all the way back to the eighteenth century when November 1 was declared All Saints Day by Pope Gregory III. This was also known as All Hallows. The night before, October 31, was considered All Hallows Eve, which later was renamed as Halloween.

Celebrating Halloween doesn’t have to include the scary monster costumes, creepy decorations or trick-or-treat. Churches all around the country hold fall events that children and families can take part in so they do not have to miss the fun of the holiday season.

Trunk-or-treat is a phrase many churches are grabbing a hold of this year. Trunk-or-treat is when people decorate the trunks of their cars and fill them with candy and treats. The children, some of whom are dressed up, then go car to car to gather them. It’s like trick-or-treat without having to go door-to-door in a dark neighborhood.

Operation Impact, an outreach ministry through Victory Christian Center, will hold their first trunk-or-treat this year. They will also have a craft teaching section, food and activities.

“This is a family event, there is no age limit,” said Mandy Diaz, one of the church’s employees. “When the people come to the trunks we will also be offering prayer for any need they may have.”

Holy Bible Church on Louis Avenue in Youngstown will be having a harvest party on Oct. 29 from 4-8 p.m. The event will have food, games and a special showing of “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.”

A harvest party will also be held at Christ Centered Church in Youngstown on Hudson Avenue on Oct. 29 from 6-9 p.m. This will include music, games, food, face painting and a bonfire.

Spanish Evangelical, a bilingual church on the city’s east side will also be holding a family friendly event.

“On Halloween we have something we call a Harvest Fest which is an alternative for celebrating Halloween,” Mariel Rodriguez, a youth leader at Spanish Evangelical, said. “We do it mainly for the children but a lot of young people and adults come out and get involved as well.”

The harvest fest will include games for the kids, a bible lesson and candy. Spanish Evangelical has their Harvest Fest annually. Rodriguez said this is a great opportunity for the church to reach out to people and spread the Gospel.

The harvest will take place in the late evening at the church. Spanish Evangelical is located at 369 Keystone Ave.