Kelso-Longview Hosts 6,000

While the "weather outside was frightful..." at times with rain and biting cold, nearly 6,000 people made the journey from around Southwestern Washington for the 12th annual Journey to Bethlehem at the Kelso-Longview, (Wash.) Adventist Church.

With more than eleven months of planning, building and expanding leading up to the four-night event, guests were again treated to the experience of being transported back in time to the first Christmas. The expanded set meant an expanded cast, so seamstresses were busy sewing new outfits and preparing old ones for more than 150 people in costume. Cast members, combined with greeters, technical, security, food service, fire-tenders, and child care staff brought the total number of people to more than 200.

During the busy holiday season, why would 200 people sacrifice so much time for building and maintaining the set, organizing and training crews, showing up for rehearsals and performances? It's simply the church's gift to the community. Nearby residents are constantly amazed at this free event, so carefully executed. It is also a gift the church gives to themselves; as they serve together, their purpose and mission stay clearly in focus.

February 01, 2009 / Oregon Conference