The chilly rain didn't prevent a variety of costumed characters-young and old alike-from filling the gym during Trunk-or-Treat Night at Marietta's First Church of the Nazarene on Mill Creek Road Sunday evening.
It's an annual affair for Clevelanders Joe and Melissa Schob who brought along their sons, Caleb, 3, Jacob, 4, and Alex, 8.
"I grew up in this church-my parents still attend here-so we come down every year. It's a great time for the kids," Joe said.
SAM SHAWVER The Marietta Times
Five-year-old “butterfly” Brooke Hall scans some of the goodies during Sunday’s Trunk-or-Treat event at the Marietta First Church of the Nazarene.
Church members Chad and Vickie Hall of Reno agreed.
"It's lots of fun and the kids enjoy doing this," Vickie said. "It sort of turns traditional Halloween around, which is a good message for children."
Chad explained that the event is usually held outside in the parking lot.
At a glance
The Marietta First Church of the Nazarene's annual Trunk-or-Treat was held Sunday evening in the church gym at 100 Mill Creek Road.
Trunk or Treat is one of several community outreach events the church conducts throughout the year.
For more information call (740)373-5406.
"Normally everyone decorates their cars and hands out treats from the trunks, but there was just too much rain this time so we moved inside," he said.
Pastor Terry Schmelzenbach said this is the ninth year the church has held a Trunk-or-Treat Night.
"We try to steer away from the idea of ghosts, goblins and witches," he said. "It's really more of a celebration of All Saints Day instead of Halloween."
The eve of All Saints Day, Nov. 1, is known as All Hallows Eve, or Halloween. All Saints Day originated in the Catholic Church, but is now also commemorated in some Protestant denominations.
"Trunk-or-Treat is open to the community, and it's one way we're able to share the Gospel," Schmelzenbach said, noting that the evening began with a short skit about the biblical story of Lazarus, whom Christ raised from the dead.
After the presentation the congregation, joined by members of the surrounding community, filed into the church gymnasium and fellowship building for Trunk-or-Treat where candy and other treats were distributed to children and adults alike.
The celebration also included a snack of hotdogs and chips.
Schmelzenbach said Trunk-or-Treat is one of the church's several community outreach events.
"On Nov. 18 we'll hold a community Thanksgiving dinner, and during the winter there's an Upward Basketball League," he said. "Most of the people who come to play are not church members, but they know we have half-time devotions and try to share Christ with them. That's our mission. And we try to do it in a non-threatening way."
Courtney White of Williamstown said she's only been attending the First Church of the Nazarene with her children for a relatively short time.
"But these events are a good way to get them involved," she said. "And this is really a very warm and welcoming church."
Schmelzenbach said the church has been growing and approximately 230 people are in attendance every Sunday morning.