MIDDLEBURY — St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, which is located at 708 Wayne St., Middlebury, hosted a Middlebury Community Live Nativity on Friday in conjunction with First United Methodist Church in Middlebury, First Mennonite of Middlebury, Griner Mennonite of Middlebury, and Zion Lutheran of Bristol.

Prior to the tour, guests were given a family name in order to register for the census in order to be taxed by Caesar Augustus, as described in the New Testament of the Bible. Then they were escorted to the chapel, where songs and skits were played on the projector, to await their family’s turn.

Once their family name was called, guests traveled through a maze of ancient Israel with their group and tour guide, attempting to make their way to Bethlehem to be named on the census but continually stopping to discover interesting people along the way including kings of the Orient, wisemen and shepherds, all traveling to Bethlehem claiming be divinely inspired. 

The groups of family that attended the event heard angels singing, and visited the market in Bethlehem and even witnessed crimes committed in the town.

At the end of their journey, following the Christmas story, guests came to an inn which had no vacancy and were instead offered an opportunity to visit the barn, where they found Mary, Joseph and the infant Jesus.

After the tour, guests were offered cookies, coffee and chocolate and the parting gift of a flashlight and poem card.

The congregations welcomed over 660 people in two nights and had 50 individuals of all ages perform or help in some way. Those who came out to the Live Nativity donated $752.81 toward the Middlebury Food Pantry.

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