Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Outreach

Last weekend our church had a really neat outreach to our community. As the event was planned, we had no idea how many people would come. Preparing for the event took a lot of work by a lot of people and was covered with prayer.

As people arrived at the church they were greeted outside and welcomed to a bonfire. Then they entered the church. The foyer was a Candy Cane Room where the story about candy canes was told. You can see the full story here. Apparently this is just a made-up story and not the way the candy cane was created, it was a good way to present the gospel in a short amount of time. Also in this room people could have Christmas cookies and hot chocolate.

The next place people could go was in the sanctuary. There was an on-going concert in there and people could come and go as they liked. Of course, it was the little kids that stole the show. All the music was good and I think people found it relaxing to just sit for awhile and listen to Christmas music.

From the sanctuary people could move into the Victorian living room. There Saint Nicholas told the story of the original Saint Nicholas who lived in Turkey and who was a kind and generous man. He also tied in the reason why we celebrate Christmas....to remember the greatest gift ever given.

From there people moved on to the little town of Bethlehem. The picture doesn't do the setting justice. The walls were covered with cardboard on which were painted the walls of a city. There were sellers, a beggar, and even an inn keeper who came out and told us there was no room in the inn. The lady in green told the story of that holy night and then ushered us in to the stable. There we saw more of the story acted out with a live nativity, including a calf who wanted to nuzzle Joseph!

It was a great evening and was perfect for people who wouldn't want to sit in a church service at a church they aren't familiar with.

5 comments:

Mommy Becoming said...

That sounded really, really neat. I'm glad your church did something like that...wish I could've seen it!

Dusty Penguin said...

Wow, that was very creative. What kind of turnout did they have?

Hannatu said...

They said 450 people went through (plus some repeats), but we don't know how many of those were from the church. For sure not that many people go to the church!

Katie Barker said...

What a great opportunity! I would definitely be able to invite non-church people to an event like that!

blind_schoolb said...

At First Presbyterian Church we did a community outreach event to show people what Bethlehem was like during the time of Jesus's birth. Discovering Bethlehem Come visit the busy Bethlehem Marketplace and experience what life was like when Jesus was born. Smell the bread baking, listen to the festive music and sounds of the village, experience the crafts and trades of the time, leave with a sense of wonder! You are invited to Discover Bethlehem on December 6th, from 1:00 to 3:00 pm. Start your Christmas season in an incredibly powerful way.

My day in Bethlehem went very well. I was a census taker who wore a floor length striped robe. I was in a booth that said BETHLEHEM CITY LIMITS, ALL MUST REGISTER. I had a quill pen and large peice of parchment for people to sign there names on for the census. This is what I told the visitors, if you go to town watch out for thieves and beggers (our church youth group) they will try to take your money, the inn is filling up fast if you want a room make a reservation soon. Trick question do you know your mothers maiden name, I got a lot of laughs with that one. As they were leaving I said thank you for visiting Bethlehem, Jesus Loves You. I had a lot of fun yesterday, I was exhausted when I left the church in the afternoon.