In its 35th year, ABCCM's Return to Bethlehem is the longest running Nativity production in North Carolina and is again graciously hosted at Groce United Methodist Church on December 6-9. Over fifty volunteer actors, dozens of local musicians, live animals, and many more come together to reenact first century Bethlehem under Roman rule which was the humble and culturally tense backdrop in which the baby Jesus was born. Return to Bethlehem is a gift back to the community from ABCCM's staff and its 280 member churches intended to make this a lasting Christmas tradition for all. If you would like more information about volunteering for this event please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Holy Families: This is the central part of Return to Bethlehem. Mary, Joseph, and a baby between birth and four months old in the quiet of the manger. The audience will travel twenty minutes through the noise of Bethlehem’s streets, will end at the manger pondering the ultimate story that came true. Holy Families will have 90 minute slots, their own trustworthy attendant for costume and/or help holding the baby, in a separate room. Baby feeding time, bottled water, or other help will also be discretely provided during performance. This is a great memory for the parents and the child. If only one parent can be there, we will have a Joseph or Mary available to stand in.
Musical Performances: Our musicians play while people await their turn to go into the show. The music is key to setting the mood and refocusing the audience member’s mind on the live changing story of Christmas. Thirty minute set minimum but may do multiple sets. Christmas music, hymns, softer instrumentals are best. Acapella, soloists, bands, quartets and other musicians are welcome.
Actors: Costumes provided, Costumers will help you; catered with sandwiches, hot soup, dessert, snacks, and water. Water and mints will be discretely taken to actors during the performance as well. This is a great way to act out faith and build fellowship among Sunday School classes, small groups, Bible studies, civic organization, and neighbors. Speaking parts are brief one to three lines, many family and couple roles available, and all ages are needed, and children are very welcomed but they need to enjoy being character through a three hour shift where brief breaks are permitted. Enjoyable roles include but are not limited to shopkeepers of various types, woodworkers, Roman guards, Jewish prisoners, small animal handlers, temple children, well women, and more.
Groce United Methodist Church, 1329 Tunnel Rd
- Thursday, Dec. 6: 6 - 8:30 pm
- Friday, Dec. 7: 6 - 8:30 pm
- Saturday, Dec. 8: 2 - 8:30 pm
- Sunday, Dec. 9: 2 - 6:00 pm