Journey to the Manger

A Christmas experience.

For three years, Saint Peter has provided a Christmas-time event borne out of the quarantine period of 2020. When first proposing the concept, Pastor Jason Huebner was inspired after visiting Christmas-style versions of the annual Corn Maze; a once-simple concept that has grown into a significant type of agritourism that pops up in all sorts of rural communities for Halloween.

What says “agritourism” better than llamas dressed as Christmas camels? These animals have been a core part of the scenery since the first Journey to the Manger in 2020.

At a time when our neighbors were stuck inside and relegated to tiny gatherings, Pastor Jason envisioned an outdoor walk that would invite the members and the local community to interact and share a cup of cocoa with a dash of Christmas music. A variety of musical performances have been provided throughout these evenings, from local bands to the church choir or just guitar-led carols.

Cocoa drinkers enjoy a chat with background music in 2022.

Journey to the Manger is an evening walk that takes visitors through a lightly wooded area behind the church and culminates around the meditative labyrinth. With five Biblical settings, the Christmas story comes alive as we celebrate the Annunciation with young Mary, the unyielding inn with its innkeepers, the blessed birth in the manger, the shepherds with their flock, and finally the wise men with a few well-dressed “camels.”

The 2021 Annunciation. In this scene, the reader recites Mary’s famous Annunciation speech.

Each year, we’ve been able to add to the sets and costumes for a more exciting experience. The Property committee has grown the sets to add key lighting segments, in particular over and around the manger scene. We were even blessed with a lifelike infant in 2022; one that doesn’t seem to mind the cold.

The highlight of the event for many is petting the animals that serve as set decoration for the wise men’s station. These llamas come from a farm owned by a church member, and they are quite accustomed to receiving lots of attention and extra special selfies.

We invite you to join us on December 8th & 9th for the 2023 Journey to the Manger. Meanwhile, see our full list of Christmas activities — there are lots of opportunities to celebrate the holidays together.


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