"That Halloween Thing"
FENTON, MI – The mist gathered as I scuttled about the church property issuing instructions for the afternoon’s happenings. The Potter’s Wheel was hosting, “That Halloween Thing,“ an outreach event for the local community, complete with bounce houses and overflowing with an assortment of sugary confections. I was the right hand gal to Mrs. Angell Burnett, pastor’s wife, mother, grandma and event coordinator extraordinaire. She could entertain any group armed with nothing more than shoelaces and chewing gum, and God saw fit to utilize this gift in Fenton. Our church plant is nearing its sixth year and though our numbers are humble, the spirit and church body participation was full of enthusiasm. I spun in circles realizing that it was just about “go time” and I had yet to don my costume.
Verifying the last details, I shivered in my hooded sweater. I scowled up at the sky and sighed. We begged God for beautiful weather and were greeted with a chilly rain all morning. Finally, the rain had stopped, but as I hurried to transform into a Jellicle Cat, I silently pouted to God about the chill that still hung in the air. Convening back at the church, Pastor Marc gathered the workers for prayer, pizza, and a pep talk. He imbued energy that left the assembly completely unaware of the frigid weather they were to endure for the afternoon.
As the event officially began I busied myself, filling in and offering help where ever there was a need. I scanned the scene, and was struck with the blessing I was seeing. The pitiful weather had me so distracted that I failed to take in the way God had already shown up.
Pastor Marc Burnett was wandering the property, high fiving monsters and being spooked by post-apocalyptic scavengers. He would enter easily into dialogue with guests and leave them surprised to know that the man greeting tem was in fact the pastor of the church. Our members were busy and oblivious to the cold as they championed tasks like serving coffee to parents or giving a teddy bear to a victorious child. The Rock Church had sent support in the way of finances and members. The bounty of candy and parking lot attendants were a result of these believers living out Acts chapter 2. Furthermore, the Genesee Baptist Association equipped us with a grant furnishing advertising, bounce houses, and food for the event. To know that someone believes in you is one thing, to see it come to fruition is a wholly other.
As the day wore on and I made sure my team had been given a break or at least a hot dog, people from the community continued to arrive. We have had “trunk or treat” events in the past which essentially fell to an assembly line that issued patrons on and off the property like a fast food restaurant. “That Halloween Thing” brought an atmosphere that encouraged parents to linger and children to explore.
We are not seeking mere numbers or community status, but because Jesus is the Risen Savior we are asking for souls. We counted approximately 150 to 200 people on our property that day; new faces, familiar faces, and church family. We always want more because Christ’s offering hasn’t a maximum capacity. Still we know that Jesus would move for just one soul, and so we consider it a privilege that we were able to connect with those who came.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Savanna Lynn Burnett, Hospitality Ministry Team Leader at The Potter’s Wheel of Fenton, Michigan