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Church offers Halloween alternative

In the pulpit

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POSTED: November 11, 2008 5:00 a.m.
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Pastor Art Stoddard and his wife, Kathy

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Halloween is fast becoming another big money-making holiday. It is celebrated in this country and in many countries around the world on Oct. 31.
People decorate their homes and offices with all kinds of outlandish items. Children dress up in costumes and now, even adults often compete for the most original outfit. And Halloween wouldn’t be complete without children trick-or-treating.
As Halloween gains popularity, many Christians are coming up with alternative celebrations. Instead of dressing their children in costumes and sending them out to trick-or-treat, some parents are taking children to church celebrations such as “Why not Halloween,” “Harvest Fest” or “Hallelujah Night,” just to name a few.
The Living Word Church in the Freedman Grove community will host a celebration called “Light the Night for Jesus.”
“This is an alternative to Halloween,” said Art Stoddard, pastor and founder of Living Word Church. “Halloween is darkness, but we have the lights. We will have lights on the grounds. This is about the message of Jesus.”
“Parents do not have to worry about their children getting anything in their candy. Everything will be safe, and we plan to have a lot of fun,” Stoddard said.
This is the church’s fifth year celebrating “Light the Night For Jesus.”
“We will have a variety of games, hayrides and food. We will also show a movie outside. This is our way of sowing into the community. Everything is free. The festivities will be held on the church ground,” Stoddard said.
Participants will also listen to music and invite Christ into their lives.
“Last year, we had 12 people give their life to Christ,” Stoddard said.
Living Word Church family invite all parents and children to the “Light the Night for Jesus” celebration. The festivities run 5:30-8 p.m. The church is at 624 Freedman Grove Road off Highway 196 East.
In addition to its Halloween night celebration, Living Word Church also invited community members to come worship during regular services.
“There is hope in the Lord. Living Word is a church that truly accepts people as they are. I am no better than anyone else,” Stoddard said. “If they come, we will show them love. People are looking for acceptance. I desire to see lives changed through preaching, teaching, loving and living.”
 

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