I don't know what you feel about Halloween, I suspect it's more about personality than theology a lot of the time. Personally, my struggle with Halloween is two-fold: 1) I don't like scary things, don't get a thrill from horror films or ghost stories, and 2) It disturbs me how something has been imported to Western Europe, basically by shops, with the main purpose to sell stuff (I wish they'd chosen Thanksgiving instead; I like than one, but I guess it's not such a money-maker).

But, now there are kids included in the equation, who see all the 'decorations' in the shops and hear myths about large quantities of sweets, so I feel that I ought to mark the occasion instead. We're planning, like lots of UK churches, a light party with some friends on Halloween (so there WILL be sweets...), but I also thought we'd use what the occasion throws at us and get some prayer out of it. This activity could be done in an All Age way, with simple carvings and short prayers, or if you're an adult-only group, you can make the carvings ornate and the prayers eloquent.

The basic idea is to carve into a pumpkin the images or symbols of your town or area. I live in Luton, so I've chosen the town hall tower, St Mary's church and the airport tower (although it's only obvious to me!). I've also thrown in some symbols; a hat and an aeroplane. Placing a candle in the pumpkin is the prayer for our towns, for God to bring his light into the area.

You could have a time of free prayer, or you could pray something like this:

"Jesus, Light of the World, we bring our town [village / area etc] to you.

Shine your light in it and help us be your beacons, spreading peace, love and justice in this place. Amen"

I'm going to put mine outside our house on Halloween, and pray that each person that walks past might be affected by Christ's light and love (stopping short of giving Testamints (TM) to trick-or-treaters...).

If any of our American friends would like to comment below and give me some carving tips, that would be great, as it was a bit harder than I thought. Also, as I googled around to check that I wasn't stealing this idea from anyone, I came across a prayer that seems widely known in the States, that could be used when carving pumpkins (see for example http://www.christiancrafters.com/pumpkin.html).