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Community invited to ‘Journey to Bethlehem’

Free event showcases the ‘Christmas Story’

Journey to Bethlehem will be presented from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, and from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10, at St. Matthew Lutheran Church, 115 East Penn St., Martinsburg.

This is the 14th time the St. Matthew congregation will present this unique journey since its first presentation in 1995. Approximately 55 members of the congregation take part either as characters in the “Christmas story” or as behind-the-scenes support. The church and Sunday School annex are transformed into 11 different scenes, including the home of Mary, Joseph’s carpenter shop, the inn at Bethlehem, Herod’s throne room, the shepherds with their sheep in the fields, and the scene at the manger.

As shepherds guide visitors along the Journey to Bethlehem, the angel Gabriel tells about the message he delivers to Mary and Elizabeth; Joseph and Mary will share their fears and joys along their journey; the busy innkeeper tells of his conversation with Joseph; the wise men describe what it was like to follow the star, and finally hear God’s message of peace.

There is no charge for the event. In support of the Martinsburg Food Pantry, St. Matthew will accept donations of non-perishable food items at both presentations. An offering will also be accepted for those wishing to make a donation.

Everyone is welcome to take the journey — it is suitable for all ages. For those with mobility challenges, the Journey does involve some stairs.

For additional information or directions to St. Matthew Lutheran church, contact the office weekday mornings between 9 a.m. and noon by calling 793-2413.

Refreshments will be served after the tour.

New this year, the church will present the Journey as a stage play at Bice Memorial Chapel at Homewood at Martinsburg at

2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15, for those unable to participate in the walking tour at St. Matthew. The address is Bice Memorial Chapel, Homewood at Martinsburg, 437 Givler Drive, Martinsburg.

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