Earlier this year we felt called to bring back a beloved tradition called Trunk or Treat. Having taken a year off, and still journeying through a pandemic, we were unsure how many people would participate or attend.
We bathed it in prayer, stepped out in faith and boy oh boy did God show up!
God cared for Trunk or Treat from the very beginning. Right away God led us to the right person at the right time. COD member Brenda Konoske graciously stepped up and agreed to provide leadership for the event. Her love and enthusiasm for the event was contagious, and we had more than 30 trunks signed up before we even made a public announcement at church!
In some years past, we have come close to begging for trunks. Not this year!We had FORTY SEVEN trunks sign up y’all – 47! And not only did they sign up, they brought a tremendous force of creativity with them.
There was a Peanuts trunk with live music, a Jurassic Park set replica, an interactive “kick the virus” field goal game, an extensive train village, an interactive “the floor is lava” trunk, Paw Patrol, a real-time chess competition, the largest rubber ducky you will ever see, a massive Star Wars experience, a crazy cat lady, a mad scientist, Costco samples, an interactive jungle gym for kids to hang from, a scene from Pirates of the Caribbean and the cutest sushi rolls you will ever see. And that’s just naming a few lol. (If you haven’t seen the photos on our social platforms, please check them out!)
The creativity our people brought to their trunks was truly inspiring. It was so fun to see families and HUB groups come together and “own” their areas. I loved each and every one.
Not only did God provide trunks, he also brought an unprecedented tsunami of people up to the hillside that night.
We clicked in 1639 individuals, and that didn’t include any of the people who entered from the east side of the Worship Center. We estimate that we had close to 2000 individuals enjoy our campus that night.
For those of you who like numbers . . . we easily handed out more than 30,000 pieces of candy, we had to go do two emergency candy runs, and our website had nearly 700 hits on the Saturday of Trunk or Treat alone.
I had the privilege of hanging out by the voting booth. There were so many first-time visitors! I heard people talk about how they had planned to just come up and scoot to another one, but because their kids had so much fun they wrote off the other ones and just stayed.
I talked to people who came from Walnut, Upland and Claremont. So many people GUSHED over how stinking CREATIVE the trunks were. They went on about how fun and safe of an environment it was, and how they had no idea we were even up here.
I LOVED looking around the parking lot and seeing the body of Christ come together.
What a tremendous picture of the body as Christ intended it! It was a snapshot of the power of many people coming together with their humble offerings and God orchestrating them together to create an undeniable night of joy.
- Our properties team graciously prepared our campus with lights, additional parking, power boxes, tables and chairs.
- Our communication team designed the artwork, banners and handouts.
- Our church body donated about 15,000 pieces of candy for the event.
- Our members parked people, greeted them, invited them to Trunk or Treat, smiled, made conversation, made coffee, grilled burgers, took pictures, engaged with social media, and reset their interactive trunks hundreds of times.
- Our youth team smiled on the corner as they twirled signs advertising the event, restocked trunks with candy when low, made emergency candy trips to the store, served food and helped decorate.
- We had more members come up after the event just to help clean and get the campus ready for church the next day.
Do you see it friends? Do you see the beauty of Christ? The body?
It is hard to give up a Saturday. It is hard to think through trunks and invest time and money into them. It is hard to stand in the cold and direct traffic all night. It is hard to sign up to be a people person ha ha.
But when it happens . . . when people of all ages and giftings come together, our Father is UNDENIABLE.
We have too many differences to have such unity if it weren’t for HIM. It was through Him that it all came together as it did and through Him we were able to let our little lights shine brightly for Him.
After a hard couple of years, it was breathtaking to offer this gift of Trunk or Treat to our community – a night of childish whimsy and joy. Our cheeks hurt from smiling, our voices cracked with fatigue, our dogs barked from standing on them all day, but man oh man was it FUN!
I dropped off my daughter at preschool that next Monday and heard some moms talking about what a great time they had had at Church of the Open Door and my heart quietly took pride in COD’s willingness to show up and love so, so well. COD’s joy was infectious, and the creativity mirrored that of our Father who created all good things.
Thank you for being a church who both prays and so graciously offers up humble offerings of time, talent and resources to make nights like this happen. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Now we’re praying God uses this positive experience to bring people back up the hillside for Sundays and for the upcoming Living Nativity. God is on the move y’all!
P.S. Mark your calendars now for next year’s Trunk or Treat – October 29, 2022 – to have a front row seat for another spectacular viewing of our Father’s love.
P.S.S. And in case you missed it, here are the results of the votes!
2021 Trunk or Treat Awards
Most family-friendly: Jungle Cruise
Most original: Costco
Best Costume: Peanuts
Best of Show: Pirates of the Caribbean
Sweepstakes: Monsters Inc
Best use of trunk/interactive: Balloon van
Best photo opp: Dodger baseball
Trunk or Treat Choice Award (chosen by the people): Jungle Cruise