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Drive-through Bible stories

Church hosts its annual take on nativity scene

Posted: December 12, 2008 9:11 p.m.
Updated: December 13, 2008 4:55 a.m.

Jack Matson portrays Jesus delivering the Sermon on the Mount.

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About 250 actors from Bethlehem Lutheran Ministries and the Iglesia Hermanos Unidos en Christo church will continue their presentation of the 15th Annual "Follow the Star to Bethlehem" pageant which recreates scenes from Jesus' life from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. tonight and Sunday at 27265 Luther Drive in Canyon Country.

The pageant is the church's way of re-telling the story of Jesus Christ with actors, animals, powerful music and dialogue, according to the Bethlehem Lutheran's Web site.

"We do it to remind people what Christmas is about but also to tell the story of Jesus Christ - not just his birth, but his whole life," said event co-producer John Egan of Saugus.

There are 13 scenes beginning from the announcement of the birth of Jesus to Mary through Jesus' ascension, ending with a modern-day scene that depicts a father and mother telling the Christmas story to their family. The scenes are acted out simultaneously so visitors can drive or walk through to experience the full story and stop for reflection.

"A lot of people will sit at the cross and contemplate," Egan said.

Egan and his wife Rochelle Egan have produced the show for a few years now.

"We kind of direct the actors a little bit, but they've all done it for a few years so they show the new guys," John Egan said.

Bethlehem Lutheran member Don Weber of Canyon Country is a veteran pageant actor of 10 years.
"You don't know how warming it is to the heart to be able to bring this production to the valley, and the whole key is that if we can just reach one person then we've done our job," Weber said. Weber will play one of the Pharisees in Jesus' Triumphal Entry scene.

Church members spend all year fundraising for the event.

Admission is free for everyone, but the church encourages visitors to consider bringing canned or nonperishable food or monetary gifts to be donated to the Hunger Defense Fund.
Call (661) 252-0622 for more information.

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