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An Evening in Bethlehem

An Evening in Bethlehem

'Tis the season for remembering where our hearts and minds should focus more often—on our Saviour whose birth on earth is reverenced and celebrated by Christians around the world.

To focus upon this wonderful and special time of year, numerous wards of the Church put on nativity events for their members and their communities.  Outdoor nativity pageants were performed that included live performers, animals and music to depict the birth of Jesus.  These, often annual, events bring thousands of people to enjoy a message on the true meaning and joy of Christmas.  One such event has been performed by members in Victoria, BC for 28 years and also included indoor displays of hundreds of nativity sets. This event continues with the Sidney ward and was featured on our website earlier this month:

Another event re-enacted a night in the city of Bethlehem at the time of Christ's birth.  This year members of a ward in Colbourg, Ontario began celebrating the Christmas season early in December as they presented their 10th annual two-evening event on this theme.

The evening began with a musical program featuring ward members along with a handbell choir from the local Trinity United Church. The junior youth handbell choir performed on the first night and the adult group performed on the second.

Cheryl McFarlane, director of the youth handbell choir and a member of the adult handbell choir, was thrilled that both groups were invited this year. “It’s really important for the youth to get out there, be exposed to other churches, see what they do for our communities and how they meet the needs of their congregation. It’s wonderful for the kids to be a part of this.”
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Following the musical presentation, the audience was invited to view the largest display of nativity scenes in Northumberland County. A total of 306 nativity scenes were set up in the cultural hall and throughout the building. Nativities came from countries all over the world, including Chile, Germany, Kenya and Peru, and were loaned to the event by local Church members. Others were fashioned by local artisans.

Guests were asked to bring a non-perishable food item as admission to the event. All items were donated to Food 4 All Northumberland, a non-profit centralized food distributor servicing the needy of Northumberland County.
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After they viewed the nativities, guests mingled and enjoyed refreshments in an area that had been decorated to look like a Bethlehem market.

Kristina Bergen, chair of this year’s planning committee, who has been involved with this event since its beginning, said, “After the first year, which was quite humble, we realized we had something beautiful to offer. We extended it and really took the time and effort to make it extraordinary. And we feel — each one of us that works on it every single year — that this is our gift to the Saviour. This is a way that we can give back to Him for all that He gives to us.”
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The worldwide Church’s Christmas initiative, A Savior Is Born, focuses on finding, knowing and following the teachings of Jesus Christ during this time when Christians worldwide celebrate His birth.