St. Johns holds immersive Christmas event
The Park Rapids church created space in visitors' imagination for the story of Jesus' birth.
As a live sheep greeted visitors as they entered St. Johns Lutheran Church on Saturday, it was the first clue to how the Park Rapids parish’s Breakfast in Bethlehem event would bring the Christmas story to life.
Renee Ahmann staged a couple of first-century Bethlehem scenes, including a family home and a village market. Church members brought a wide variety of decorative nativity scenes, creating a display of 57 sets that ran the length of the sanctuary.
Other talent on display included a Christmas narrative read by pastors James Neubauer and Larry Harvala, complete with folks in costume acting out the scene. Cheryl Hilgemann played Christmas tunes on the piano while guests found their seats for the free breakfast. Later, Sarah Kaufenberg directed a children’s “kazoo review” as well as a performance of “The Little Drummer Boy” with drumsticks.
Kaufenberg said the idea with the kazoos was to sing Christmas carols “so if you don’t know the words, you just hum along.”
There was also a craft room set aside for kids.
“I’m just really happy that we’ve had a nice turnout,” said Neubauer. “It’s been fun getting ready, and it’s just wonderful to see all the different talent in the congregation come out, and decorations and everything.”