Seventh-day Adventist Headquarters Hosts Annual Christmas Program

December 19, 2000 Silver Spring, Maryland, United States .... [Wendi Rogers]

Thousands paraded into the virtual replica of the town of Bethlehem, as it was 2,000 years ago, during the six-night December production of A Walk Through Bethlehem, hosted by the World Headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, located just outside of Washington, D.C.

On each night of Walk Through Bethlehem, nearly 200 participants from the headquarters office shed their business attire for robes, angel wings and halos, costumes, and the opportunity to slip into a role that allowed them to entertain, help the community, and tell of the birth of Jesus Christ. Guests met the three wise men, King Herod, a tax collector, prophets, priests, scribes, brides, and angels as they perused the streets of the bustling marketplace. On the outskirts of the busy town, they saw the virgin Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus in the nativity scene.

Walk Through Bethlehem, now in its fifth year, added a new feature this holiday season with one night entirely catering to the Spanish community in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. On the evening of December 14, approximately 1,500 Spanish-speaking guests witnessed the sights and sounds of everyday life during the time of Christ's birth, in their native tongue.

The program this year saw some 10 to 11 thousand visitors during the six nights of the event with 60 percent of those being first-comers.

"Walk Through Bethlehem is an awesome chance to witness to our community," says Dick Stenbakken, director of Adventist Chaplaincy Ministries for the Seventh-day Adventist Church worldwide and co-creator of the popular Christmas program. "We are able to tell about the greatest story ever told, the birth of Christ," he adds.

"Sharing is the theme of Christmas, and what better gift to share than the story of the birth of Christ," says Owen Troy, one of the event coordinators. "People of all ages enjoy the fun and receive a blessing."” --Source: Adventist News Network