Vital Congregations: Opening the Doors to the Neighborhood


From St. Paul UMC
Grant Park, Atlanta 

Halloween trick or treating is huge in the Grant Park neighborhood, so we had the idea that we could open the church fellowship hall up as a Halloween Hospitality station.

We recruited eight adults who did not have children, and asked them to be Halloween Hosts. We all dressed up in costume (the pastor was a Starbucks barista) and we did some minor decorating, simple orange and black streamers and three pumpkins.

A new member at St Paul, a graphic artist, designed and made street signs advertising Halloween Hospitality. We put out helium balloons and candles in white bags lining the street on the side where we had the church door to the fellowship hall open.

Inside the fellowship hall, we served hot chocolate, coffee and gave out candy to the children. (and of course, had the supreme comfort stations - the bathrooms - available.)

We had 246 children and 117 adults avail themselves of our hospitality, between the hours of 5 - 8:30 pm! It was a great evening! And it cost us nothing -- everything was donated.

This story is republished from a blog post by Phil Schroeder, Associate Director of Connectional Ministries. Read the original entry here: Share a Vital Congregations moment from your church by emailing