Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Night in Bethlehem (Ward Party)

Our ward (a group of Latter-day Saints or Mormons) this year hosted

A Night in Bethlehem for its annual ward party. We met first in the chapel where we received instruction as to how the events

would unfold and had an opening prayer.

As families, we gathered together outside the "gates*" of Bethlehem and waited to be announced by the Roman Soldiers (*the doors into the gymnasium). Each family was announced and a census-taken and recorded by the town scribes and paid their taxes (cans of food for the local food bank). In turn, each family was given a small bag of coins (pennies) in which to spend in Bethlehem at the various booths and Inns.

Roman Soldiers announce each family Families were recorded on scrolls by census-takers (not shown) and taxes collected (cans of food for the local food bank).
Ladies work at the Food Booth serving local delicacies: pita bread and hummus, olive spread, olives, cheese selection, hot lentil soup, dried dates, nuts, chicken filled pita pockets, orange segments and grape clusters...
Our family settles on chairs and table at a local Inn to eat. Our shared platter of food.
Little Susannah and Joseph.
Hannah and Me.
Shepard boy, Jonathan, plays the dreidel game.
Jonathan and Joseph play dreidel for the "pot."
Rebekah learns to write in several different writing styles at a booth: Early Hebrew, Middle Hebrew, Late Hebrew, Egyptian, etc... Susie holds our family's basket.
The water well at the center of town.
Local Town's leadership instructing a Roman Soldier before Joseph and Mary come into town late in the evening looking for an Inn.
Another vendor selling Gold(painted stones), Frankincense (sugared ginger pieces), and Myrrh (incense cones) in a small pouch for coins.
Another vendor took family pictures. Expectant Mary and Joseph arrive in town late and find most Inns full. An Inn owner shows them to a stable where baby Jesus (Edmund Brandt) is born and laid in a wooden manger. Wise Men appear to King Herod asking where the baby King has been born. Angels proclaim his birth, Shepherds come, and finally Wise Men come, sing, and make their way to the King with their presents.
The Primary sang The Shepherd's Lullaby: Mary, Mary, hush see the child. Joseph, Joseph, look see how mild. This is Jesus; this is our King This is our Savior, His praises we sing.
Joseph, Mary, and baby Jesus (Richard, Catherine, and Edmund Brandt)
Shepherd Jonathan with his skin bag. Various townspeople wandered the streets: tax collectors, beggars, shop keepers...


Jodi said...

What a WONDERFUL idea for a ward Christmas party!!!! It sounds like a huge amount of work for the Activities Committee but so much more meaningful and interesting than any of the ward Christmas parties I have been to (no offense to all the hard-working activity committee members out there!).

Dan, Katy and Hannah Clayton said...

I love the idea as well!! Thank you for sharing for sharing so many pictures! It looks like so much fun. You guys look great in your garb!

Jenny said...

Sounds great! Looks like you had fun.

Jason and Jamie said...

Sounds like a great ward party! Wow! It looks like everyone had a great time!

Tammy said...

Sounds like you guys have been up to a lot of fun activities. I hope you have had a great Christmas.