SAGINAW COUNTY (WJRT) - (12/07/18) - A Saginaw County church hopes you'll join them as they travel back in time to Bethlehem to find the true reason for the Christmas season.
For the 22nd year Immanuel Lutheran Church, 8220 Holland Road, is hosting a living nativity.
It's a chance to slow down during a season known for its hustle and bustle.
"This is Christmas," said Amy Terry, the chairperson for Living Nativity: A Journey to Bethlehem. "We are in Bethlehem in the marketplace."
The biblical journey begins inside the Frankentrost church before moving outdoors along a path that leads to where Jesus was born.
Terry said there's a lot to see and at least 100 actors help bring it to life in the marketplace. "The shepherds, prophets and just so much more," she said.
The walk takes about 20-25 minutes but the impact could last a bit longer.
"What we pray that they feel is just the peace that comes from knowing God, and that they take time to travel back Bethlehem. Feel the marketplace, the action. The activity that happened that night," Terry said.
Last year 3,000 people took the trek into the living nativity. Since the living nativity began more than 50,000 have stopped by.
Everyone involved volunteers their time, allowing the church to offer the program as their gift to the community.
"Goodwill donation, completely free, just want you to experience the joy of Christmas," Terry said.
Along with the actors, Terry said upwards of 70 other volunteers make the living nativity possible. They spend a few months getting everything together leading up to this weekend.
"Today I'm just glowing because I'm so excited for what God does through this," Terry said.
Living Nativity: A Journey to Bethlehem runs from 7-9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, and again from 6-8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 8 and 9.