All the Saints (and all the Spooks)

Dear Friends,

Shall we all show up for church on Sunday in our Halloween costumes?


Isn’t it fascinating to think about the relationship between the church and Halloween: The ancient Celts and others celebrated Walpurgisnacht around this time of year by building huge bonfires to either invite or ward off the evil spirits—either way, to invoke them they believed they were exerting some control over them. The celebration often happened at the time of planting and harvest and became a meaningful way to mark the change of season and bring blessing to their planning and reaping.

When the church came along and saw this “pagan” holiday it did what the church has always done and turned it into a church holy day. They placed All Saints Day right next to the pagan feast of the wild spirits and called it All Hallows Eve and it took on new meaning. Saints and sinners snuggled right there together. One informs the other. I rather like that, especially if I don’t have to demote one to raise the other—they both have a place in our spiritual life.


Grandson Sawyer will hit the streets in DC as a compassionate cardiologist and Grandson Max says he will be a “stranger.” Not sure how that works, but I will let you know. Either way, I will be going out as a Stranger, but don’t worry if you don’t recognize me. . .


The Great Thing the church did by introducing All Saints Day is that they set aside a day to recognize all those who have been saints. At Talmadge Hill we have a great tradition of honoring all the saints in our lives in our Sunday worship. Come and join the celebration.


I look forward to seeing you Sunday morning.



Rob and Carter and I have been planning a magnificent experience for all of us next Saturday (November 8th) at the church. You will experience worship in a refreshingly new way by participating in this wonderful event. 8:30-1:00 on Saturday. Please let us know you’re coming at

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