JETMORE – The Jetmore United Methodist Church will present its annual live Nativity “Journey to Bethlehem” from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 14 and 14, with a special needs presentation from 5 p.m. Each tour guide-led tour takes approximately 30 minutes.
“Journey to Bethlehem” is held at the United Methodist Church in Jetmore, 205 E. Highway Street near the Hodgeman County Courthouse. But as in previous years, members of the Hanston Methodist Church and other area churches are joining in the presentation.
The Journey takes visitors through first century Bethlehem to experience the original Christmas and seek out the Christ child. Travelers meet the wisemen, census taker, tax collector, inn keepers, shepherds and angels as they pass through the gates of Bethlehem, come upon a marketplace complete with live animals, and encounter Mary, Joseph and the Christ child.
In all, there are over 100 actors in colorful period costumes. The livestock will include camels, sheep, a calf and, of course, Mary and Joseph’s donkey.
A good deal has changed about the Journey since it began in 2000. It has been extended to two nights and is now preceded by cookies and other refreshments. Each year has also featured more authentic characters, costumes, props and crafts as well as improvements in lighting, set construction and overall design.
The number of people who attend the Journey has grown every year with an estimated 6,000-plus visitors since the program began. The script promises to provide visitors an even deeper understanding of the prophecies and events surrounding Christ’s birth.
A free-will-donation soup supper will be served at Jetmore’s King Center with proceeds to benefit a local scholarship fund. King Center is located at 308 Main, and will be serving dinner from 4 to 8 p.m.
Admission to the tours is free.
Many visitors come back a second night to see all they may have missed the first time, and many families report that the tour has become a family tradition. Churches, youth organizations, civic clubs and health care facilities have had carpooling and buses to bring travelers to the program. Tourists should dress warmly as much of the tour is outside.
Further information is available by calling the Rev. Dennis Fulton at the church, 620-357-6237, or by visiting hodgemancountyumcs.org.