Fall Holidays for Faith Formation

kids-with-pumpkinFor some Halloween, with its emphasis on evil, witches, and ghosts, seems to be far removed from Christian teachings. Yet the holiday, which has connections to the ancient Celtic harvest festival of Samhain, also has Christian origins. The name “Halloween” comes from “All Hallows Eve,” the evening before All Saints Day. Some churches may choose to emphasize All Saints Day in their children’s ministry, rather than Halloween.

The article “All Hallow’s Eve and All Saints’ Day” by Sharon Ely Pearson of Church Publishing gives the history of Halloween and All Saints Day as well as offering activities for All Saints’ Day and an intergenerational event to explore the origins and meaning of Halloween and All Saints’ Day. The Worshiping with Children website has a page with suggested activities for All Saints’ Day that children can relate to.

If you want to celebrate Halloween in Sunday school, there are lessons and party ideas on the Sunday School Center website. Danielle’s Place has some Halloween alternative crafts and activities and DLTK’s Bible Crafts for Kids has an activity which shows kids “How a Christian Is Like a Pumpkin.”  Creative Communications for the Parish offers some Christian-related Halloween items for purchase. The Ministry-to-Children website offers ideas for a church Trunk or Treat event, as well as other Halloween activities.

The Thanksgiving holiday offers a great opportunity to teach children to be grateful for all that God has given us. The Creative Bible Study website has links to numerous Christian Thanksgiving crafts, games, and other activities. The Children’s Ministry magazine’s website offers “22 Thanksgiving Ideas for Sunday School,” including “5 Kernels: The Meaning of Thanksgiving.” A search on Pinterest for “Thanksgiving Sunday School” yields plenty of results for children’s activities.

The “Intergenerational Thanksgiving Learning Program,” on the Lifelong Faith website includes gathering activities, an all ages opening experience, activity centers and learning activities for varied ages, a whole group sharing experience, service opportunities, and ideas for sharing and applying what was learned at home.

-Debbie Kolacki

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