Halloween and Christianity.. they would seem to be total opposites, right?
Not when you're teaching children the Christian side of Halloween.
And yes.. there is a Christian side to All Hallow's Eve.
That's the purpose behind the Halloween Fall Children's Festival at the Central Baptist Church in Riverview.
"Halloween began as a Christian observance to expose the dark side of evil," says Central pastor Ricardo Dorcean. "Responsible people in the church teach children to laugh in the face of darkness, and rebuke the spirits of evil. Children in modern civilization do that by making witches as ugly as possible, and ghosts and goblins as mysterious as possible, in order to rebuke them."
With that modernization comes the fact that people spend money to celebrate the "holiday" of Halloween.
"The church," he says, is now reclaiming what has now become a commercial venture, and is trying to let the children have fun with it, but still put Christ in the center of it."
Admittedly, Central's Fall Festival incorporated a lot of fun in the commemoration.
SLIDESHOW FROM CENTRAL'S 2012 FALL FESTIVAL
About 75 to 100 children face-painted, played basketball on a miniature court, held bean bag competitions, and also celebrated Christianity with praise dancing, mimes and songs.
"It combines Christian values with a fun feel," says Pastor Dorcean.
Part of the festival was fundraising to raise money for trips for the children and young adults of the church. Fish and fish sandwiches were sold, which, along with free hot dogs, chips and drinks, kept the kids and adults nourished, but not far away from the festivities.
"It's been a marvelous event," Pastor Dorcean. "You can still have fun and praise God at the same time."
"It's a real blessing when the community comes together like this."