Follow the Star in Gladstone
For eight years, the Gladstone (Ore.) Campground has hosted Follow the Star. Beginning in September, volunteers begin setting up seven scenes. Conceived by Gladstone Park Church members, the event provides a visual enactment of Luke's story of Jesus' birth. Cumulative attendance records show more than thirty-thousand guests have experienced the event, complete with more than 120 actors, portraying shepherds, shop keepers, priests, angels, King Herod, Roman soldiers and wise men. There are also live sheep, horses and a llama. Though directed through the Gladstone Church, the outreach would not be what it is without the commitment of members from at least a dozen area churches. Learning lines and braving weather for five or six hours a night, is a commitment.
We do not know how many, of the record setting number of more than 4,700 guests this year, came for the first time, but believe it was likely close to half. Many returnees brought friends and relatives back with them.
One mother writes, "This is the fourth year my family has come... It is a tradition we all look forward too. Our daughter has been coming since she was two and can hardly wait to see baby Jesus at the end. The look on her face is truly magical when she sees Him while the angel sings." Another writes, "We like the fact that you follow the story in the Bible and make it interesting so that both adults and young children can enjoy it. Thank you for that."
Follow the Star is a ministry presenting the reality of Jesus' birth to thousands each year as well as a witness to the community of who Seventh-day Adventists are. New friendships are made each December and many doors are opened throughout the year when we mention that we are the ones who bring them Follow the Star each year.
Plan to attend next December. Come early to get your free tickets and enjoy the many guest musicians who perform in the Holden Center each evening while waiting for your tour group number to be called.
For more information, go to followthestar.us.