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(Central Christian Church Photo)
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Phoenix-area churches giving away 20,000 pumpkins for Halloween carving

(Central Christian Church Photo)

PHOENIX — Several Phoenix area churches are planning to give away about 20,000 pumpkins this weekend to be carved for Halloween.

The Central Christian Church — which has campuses in Mesa, Glendale, Gilbert, Queen Creek and Ahwatukee — will give the pumpkins to about 7,500 people during its GLOW Light the Community event.

The church is giving each person up to five pumpkins to encourage them invite up to five neighbors to their homes to carve pumpkins and connect with one another.

“I think as a city – and as a nation – we’ve kind of gone away from knowing who we live next to,” Justin Fink, the church’s student pastor at the Glendale campus, said. “This is an awesome opportunity for us to build those relationships.”

Jason Ake, the church’s creative director, said a pumpkin-carving party could be a great way to meet or get better acquainted with neighbors.

“It’s a great way to make that first move and an easy icebreaker,” he said. “Gather on your patios or in your front yards to get to know your friends and neighbors and have some fall fun while you do it.”

Neighbors do not have to be members of the church.

Emily Teterud, Central Christian’s marketing director, said the event is also a good opportunity for church members to talk to others about its sense of community.

“It’s just as important to love your neighbor as yourself,” she said. “It’s really important for us to show that love to others, and not keep it contained within the church walls.”

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