By: Christy Means-Smith | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: December 2008
Cast members from Christview Christian Church’s 10th annual Bethlehem Walk, (L to R): (Back row) John Upchurch, Kay Rutledge, Jerry Lybarger, Becky Gardner, Will Gardner, Steve Gardner, Jim Scott, Joy Roof, (Center Row) Patricia Miller, Pat Benton, Lettie Upchurch, Eddie Benton, (Front row) Davey Begbie, Jennifer Begbie, Jonathan Begbie, Bailey Roof and Noelle Scott.
Christmas celebrations kick off at Christview Christian Church December 4 through 7 with the 10th annual Bethlehem Walk. Every year a cast of over 200 joins together to re-enact scenes from that long-ago time of wonder and joy during the birth of Christ. Christview invites the community to join in the fun by attending their journey back in time to the village of Bethlehem.
A vibrant theatrical nativity, the Bethlehem Walk is a 45-minute guided outdoor tour of biblical scenes and characters. Visitors are divided into groups of approximately 20 to 25 and led by guides to meet prophets, shepherds and angels. Shops that duplicate those of this past age will carry an array of different wares, and shopkeepers will invite those passing by to inspect their merchandise. The streets of the city will also be teeming with dancers, children at play and much activity.
Before visitors reach Bethlehem, though, they will first encounter Roman soldiers demanding taxes. Beggars, lepers, angels and wise men will greet each group, which travels as a family. Live camels, donkeys, sheep and other animals further authenticate this wonderful live nativity, which all culminates to the ultimate destination of Bethlehem.
“The Bethlehem Walk is our gift to the community,” says church elder and Bethlehem Walk director Jim Scott. “It is an event that gives people the opportunity to be involved in something larger than themselves.”
Close to 200 individuals take part in the Bethlehem Walk, and all are costumed and in character. Before the walk, a lovely and exciting musical pre-show takes place, and a reception with warm drinks and snacks follows the main event.
The Bethlehem Walk is free to the public. Reservations are recommended but not required; however, reserving a time will cut down on wait time for the walk. Guides on Thursday evenings will be available to interpret in Spanish, and on all four days of the event, a limited number of golf carts will be on hand for those who are handicapped or disabled. The event is outdoors, so visitors are urged to dress warmly and comfortably.
The Bethlehem Walk gives people the chance to see the Christmas story, and it is presented in a way that all ages will enjoy. The times for the event are December 4 and 5 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and December 6 and 7 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
The Christview Christian Church is a non-denominational church made up of people from all over the area: Tulsa, Broken Arrow, Owasso, Bixby, Catoosa, Jenks, Collinsville, and several other towns. The church hosts many different activities, pre-school and youth ministries, and inspiring worship services. The Bethlehem Walk gives people who have been looking for a church home an opportunity to see and meet the individuals involved at Christview Christian Church.
Christview is located at 2525 S. Garnett in Tulsa. For reservations to the Bethlehem Walk, call the reservation hotline at (918) 407-9195. Operators will be on duty from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. nightly, or leave a message any hour of the day, and an operator will be in touch to schedule a reservation. You can also visit the website, www.christviewchristian.com. Don’t miss sharing this annual tradition with family and friends!