BETA

'Wonderful gift to the community'

CHUBBUCK, Idaho — The cultural hall of the Chubbuck Idaho Stake center was transformed into Bethlehem Dec. 7-8 as more than 50 members took turns acting out the Nativity for the community. Some 10,000 neighbors and friends of various faiths visited the live sets, that included one outside, complete with manger, donkey, sheep, goats and even a live camel.

"I'll never see Christmas the same way again," was one comment from a visitor.

Scenes in the cultural hall included members in roles of beggars, lepers and tax collectors wandering among shops. Members painted full-size murals depicting Joseph and Mary traveling to Bethlehem, giving the effect that visitors to the stake center were traveling with the biblical couple.

The Christmas event, under the direction of stake President William McKee, included more than 500 Nativity sets on display throughout the building.

The Relief Society room was decorated with pictures from local artist Greg Olsen, whose parents were on hand to greet guests.

In one corner of the building, the Church film, "Lamb of God," was shown continuously with stake missionaries on hand with pass-along cards. The chapel was filled for three days with local choirs and musicians from many faiths. A minister from the Trinity Episcopal Church who attended summed it up: "Thank you for a wonderful gift to the community expressing the true spirit of Christmas. Everything from entry, the scenes, live Nativity and music were inspirational. Loved the paintings."

The event concluded Sunday night, Dec. 9, with a stake choir performing a Christmas concert under the direction of Paul Willis.

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