Home Christian News No Tricks! Church Trunk or Treats Are a Halloween Tradition

No Tricks! Church Trunk or Treats Are a Halloween Tradition

“We always try to think of how we can meet the children and the families where they are, and how we can challenge ourselves to give back to our community, showing the community that the church is a safe, loving place that wants to love on their children and get to know their children in the neighborhood,” said Neace, who pastors the church alongside Pastor Mary Zajac.

People enter the Baker Memorial United Methodist Church trunk or treat, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2022, in St. Charles, Illinois. RNS photo by Emily McFarlan Miller

People enter the Baker Memorial United Methodist Church trunk or treat, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2022, in St. Charles, Illinois. RNS photo by Emily McFarlan Miller

Other community organizations take part, too; church members decorated most of the cars, but others represented the fire department and local Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.

The church expected about 100 people this weekend. But on a sunny, nearly 80-degree day — in a part of the country where Halloween often requires a winter coat — Zajac said she’d already handed out 500 pieces of candy.

“We normally do a little bit of house to house, but we prefer this. We feel like it’s a lot safer,” said Melanie Panera, attending the trunk or treat with her family.

The types of places that hold trunk or treats — like the church — make her feel more comfortable as a parent than strangers’ homes, Panera said.

Sunday’s event was the third trunk or treat that she and her family — including her husband, J.R.; 4-year-old daughter, Annalise; and a dog named Briggs (dressed as Stitch from the Disney movie “Lilo and Stitch”) that they were watching for a relative — have attended this fall. They loved that so many church members had dressed in costumes and decorated their cars to hand out treats.

Annalise, dressed as pop superstar Selena, tossed a red bean bag at a “Twister” mat on the pavement near one car, landing on a small prize to add to her bag.

Costumed children hold up bags to receive candy from Carl Masters in his Mr. Gutter truck during the Baker Memorial United Methodist Church trunk or treat, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2022, in St. Charles, Illinois. RNS photo by Emily McFarlan Miller

Costumed children hold up bags to receive candy from Carl Masters in his Mr. Gutter truck during the Baker Memorial United Methodist Church trunk or treat, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2022, in St. Charles, Illinois. RNS photo by Emily McFarlan Miller

Across the parking lot, Carl Masters, dressed as a pirate, called out, “Ready, aim, fire!” as he slid candy down a candy chute from the back of a van blazoned with the name of his local business, Mr. Gutter.

Masters and his wife, Kim Masters, have attended Baker Memorial since they were children.

The church is “a home to me,” said Kim Masters, and its members a second family. She attended youth group and mission trips at the church as a young adult and now brings her own children: 4-year-old twins, Taylor (dressed as the Grinch from Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”) and Maycee (a clown), and 6-year-old son Peyton (Darth Vader from the original Star Wars trilogy).

“I want them to have this in their lives. It’s more important than sports. It’s more important than anything else,” she said.

Trunk or treat is part of that, she said, because it makes other families feel welcome. She also wants her kids to understand the importance of serving others.

And sometimes serving others looks like launching candy down a chute made from a length of gutter.

A costumed child holds up a bag to receive candy from Carl Masters in his pirate-themed Mr. Gutter truck during the Baker Memorial United Methodist Church trunk or treat, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2022, in St. Charles, Illinois. RNS photo by Emily McFarlan Miller

A costumed child holds up a bag to receive candy from Carl Masters in his pirate-themed Mr. Gutter truck during the Baker Memorial United Methodist Church trunk or treat, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2022, in St. Charles, Illinois. RNS photo by Emily McFarlan Miller

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