I was unable to access the computer last night as DH was busy re-installing software......hopefully our dvd drive will now work :-)
I think I have mentioned before that D3`s school has close links with the local Baptist church due to the assistant pastor`s two sons attending there. His eldest son is in D3`s class. They are a lovely family, very friendly.
Just before half-term, D3 came home from school with an invitation card from the Baptist church inviting her to their anti-Halloween party, or as they called it, a Superhero party. Fancy dress was allowed, but no Halloween costumes eg ghosts, wizards, ghouls,Frankenstein, Satan etc. Another child who goes to the Baptist Sunday School informed my daughter that anyone who celebrates Halloween will go to hell.
I have never been a fan of trick or treating, and have never allowed my daughters to do it. The most we have done is just had an old-fashioned children`s party, with bobbing apples, toffee apples, guessing games and food.
Needless to say, D3 was keen to go to the party, and as DH volunteered to look after D4 so I could take her, I went..... (Actually, I think DH reckoned that one rowdy toddler is a lot less stressful than attending a party with 40 noisy school-age children :-) )
Including D3, there were 4 children from her school, but not the assistant pastor`s two sons (!), and the majority of attendees were from the Baptist church Sunday School.
D3 did enjoy it, but I have to say, I felt uncomfortable.
I have been Orthodox for 13 years, and I just love our liturgical hymns. To listen to guitar and synthesiser -led clap-hands hymns just doesn`t appeal to me any more. ..........they sounded flat and barren of depth and meaning. They just didn`t seem like worship.
The kind folks who put on the party were thoroughly enjoying the songs, with their hands in the air and singing their hearts out, and I sat in a corner, mentally singing the Trisagion and wishing desperately I had brought my prayer rope with me.
They did have some really brilliant fun games for the children, and and presentations about superheroes, including Superman, David and Moses, along with a OHP presentation of how they lived up to Salvation, Sacrifice, Supernatural powers, Strength and Weakness.
At the end, the children had to vote for one of the three superheroes, with most votes going to David for beating Goliath, Moses being second (D3 voted for Moses, I think mainly due to loving the Prince of Egypt dvd!) and Superman trailing behind.
Then another Superhero was brought up for consideration - Jesus.
When the vote was recast, Jesus was the winner, but I was mega-concerned about what the children were told about Jesus by one of the helpers......
The fact that Jesus died on the Cross to save us - great.
The fact that Jesus defeated death and rose again - great.
The fact that Jesus *killed* the Devil ? Um, I don`t think so..........my daily life is abundant witness to the fact that the devil is alive and well and succeeding in tempting me on at least an hourly basis....
I was really concerned that they were told that because God is All-Holy, He could not bear look at how ugly Jesus became when He carried all our sins on the Cross , so God the Father turned his back on this ugly Jesus and forsook Him. Also that God cannot bear to look on anything sinful........in that case, there is no hope for me !
So tonight I will be phoning my priest, and asking his advice how to counter these ideas that have been put in D3`s head. Big sigh.
One thing which did surprise me was a game where they had two children pillow-fighting on a plank. The plank was raised off the ground by - what *do * you think ? Bricks ?
No. The plank was raised off the ground by Bibles, which the children were standing on.
I always thought the Protestant denomnations had such reverence for the Scriptures ?
I just thought about our Gospel book, enthroned on the Holy Table in Church, and kissed and treated with great reverence . There was just no comparison.
One of the other parents who attends the church, turned to me and said "This is how it should be in Church ...Fun !"
I was speechless. Mercifully there was a call for silence at that point, so I couldn`t reply. Perhaps I should have........
Lord, have mercy upon me for my judgementalism, but I am so glad we are Orthodox.
I just wish my children were not the only Orthodox children within a 45 mile radius, and then we could have Orthodox children`s activities as a group, and not have to worry about what they are being taught by other denominations` social activities. I am thankful that the Baptist church is showing witness to Christ, and for hosting a fun party for the children on Halloween , when it can sometimes be hard to avoid the pressures of an increasingly pagan society, but I don`t think I will let her go again.
Perhaps next year *I* should host a saints party instead........