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  • Jason Wade

TRUNK-OR-TREAT


15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. Ephesians 4:15-16

Well the weather is getting cooler and there is this feeling in the air. It is once again time for the Halloween season. For many churches, that means that they are getting ready for Fall festivals or trunk-or-treat events throughout the community. For those of you that may not fully understand trunk-or-treat, it started about 20 years ago when some members of the community recognized that many people stopped driving door to door for Halloween. So people, mostly churches and community organizations, got together and planned an event where families could come to one location and enjoy ALL of your trick-or-treat excitement from one place. It was billed as a community outreach event that would help to break down walls and build community in a safe environment. Needless to say, it has continued to change over the years, but the hope and prayer is still the same. People coming together for a common purpose and an opportunity to build community.

I say all of that because we are still in need of trying to REBUILD the community that may have been lost over the last 18 or so months. I know that some people are living life as normal and others are still fighting the battles to provide safer environments for people. I really cannot tell you what the best answer can be for everyone, but I can tell you one thing.

WE ALL NEED COMMUNITY AGAIN. We do. We all need an opportunity to truly come together and enjoy a time of fellowship and community. The struggle is real and many of us have lost the ability to reach out and connect. So community events are a necessity to help build relationships. No one knew this better than Jesus. He was a walking, talking community builder. In fact, I would love to say that HE was the first instigator of the first trunk-or-treat. I know that it may have not looked like it does today, but what Jesus able to do with fishes and loaves, truly provided a way for people to connect t and for others to receive a blessing beyond what they could have ever imagined. In fact, after the night was over, the disciples had 12 baskets filled with leftovers. I know that won't happen tonight with the candy, but I will say that our hopes is that everyone goes home full of fellowship and community.

As we step into Paul's version of helping us to see community, we look at his letter to the people of Ephesus. Paul is helping us to realize the need we all have of growing stronger in Christ through the power of community. We all need fellowship, and it may look different from one person to the next, but the reality is that the body needs to come together and support each other in hopes of making it through the day. Paul is helping us to see the importance of learning how to grow. We need every part of our community to grow. In our churches, we need the children and the senior adults. We need the youth and adults to come together and pray for each other and spend time just growing together. It is something that I believe that many in this generation has lost. The ability to have generational ministries working and growing together to build community. How did Paul say it, "From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work." Paul is saying we are all in this together and we need to support each other to not just grow the community but to grow IN the community in which we have been blessed to serve.

So my challenge for all of us today is this, find a way to build community today. Find a place where the cross generational parts of the church can work together to build mission and community. I know that is going to be hard to really get everyone involved, but it can start with some and then grow. It is NOT supposed to be something that is perfect at first,

because we have a lot of work to do to get us back to where we need to be for God. However, we can start somewhere, and for you it might be trunk-or-treat, a Fall festival, a community food bank, feeding the needy, or just having conversations. It is an attitude that we are seeking that will drive us to look towards the outside and to stop just taking care of those on the inside. I pray that we will never lose a focus that drives us to continue to desire a stronger connection within our community. I pray that we don't just see our community as just our family or our church, but as the other parts of the body that need to be connected by the ligaments of God's grace and mercy. Enjoy the times that we have in hopes of providing more opportunities to grow stronger as a community as each day passes into the next.



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