Church hosts night in Bethlehem

Published 10:10 pm Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Westminster Reformed Presbyterian Church transformed into Bethlehem for an afternoon on Saturday.

Staff at the church turned the entire building into a replica of the town of Jesus’ birth, with tents to represent different shops in a marketplace.

Every child that got to take a stroll through Bethlehem was supplied a small bag of coins, and the coins allowed them to pay “taxes” at each tent before taking part in the activity. Most of the activities were manned by older children that were members of the church.

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Sophia Mullins, 3, and her brother David, 9, were enjoying themselves at the carpenter’s tent as they smashed nails with a hammer to help make a ladder.

“This is the second time we’ve come to this. They do such a great job, and it looks amazing,” said Sophia and David’s mother, Christa Mullins. “They get to come to a place with activities made just for them. They could stay here all afternoon if I let them.”
The entire church was filled with activities and snacks to keep children busy, and most of the parents enjoyed the chance to participate with their children.

“They love it. It’s an event that gives us the story of Christ and the principles of the Bible,” said Westminster Elementary Assistant Heather Dess.

Dess spent time helping her children, Mallory, 6, and Grady, 2, dress up in era-appropriate clothing at the seamstress’s tent.

Some of the outfits included soft scarves to wrap around the young girls’ hair and larger pieces to make the long robes they wore in Bethlehem.

While the children had the opportunity to dress up, the volunteers at the event were dressed in costume for the whole event. The church wanted to make the event as identical to an actual night in Bethlehem as they could.

The event was nothing short of amazing for those that attended, whether it was their first time or they have been coming every year.

Some of the activities even allowed the children to take something home with them. The scribe, artist and metal worker tents all provided a fun activity and a finished product the children could display at home.

Children also had the chance to experience a carpenter tent, an etching and sculpting tent, a grains and herbs tent and a weaving tent.

Periodically throughout the afternoon, a bell would ring and children and their parents would gather around a manger to hear the story of Jesus Christ, and they led the group in the singing of “Silent Night.”

There was no admission fee for the event. The church only asked for a donation of $1 or a non-perishable food item for entry. The funds raised and the food will be donated to a local food bank.