News Release

A Sacred Night in Bethlehem


Members of the Geelong Ward (congregation) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints experienced a touching evening to celebrate Jesus Christ's birth. For their annual Geelong Ward Christmas event this year, families were invited to step back in time to that wonderful night in Bethlehem. Those attending wore biblical attire and sampled simple fare as they were 'transported' back to a place and a time where the special event of the Saviour's birth would have taken place in ancient Bethlehem. This singular event in time, so many years ago, would change millions of lives. 

All gathering for the evening were summoned by 'Royal Decree' to gather in Bethlehem and pay their taxes. Each family donated food items as their ‘taxes’ and these were handed to King Herod. These food items were then given to Bethany Family Services to support less fortunate families in the Geelong region. 

Ward members next moved to the marketplace to sample some of the local food, consisting of soup, pita bread and salads. One person remarked at how the food was amazing.

A live nativity reinactment was performed by the ward members with many of the primary children (children's organisation) participating as shepherds and angels singing at the birth of the Christ child.

Cheryl Harvey who attended the event commented that, "It was a very spiritual event and really helped us reflect on the true meaning of Christmas." Samantha Grant remarked, "It was very well organised and set up. The step-back in time had an authentic, great feel, plus yummy food and good company... it was a 10 out of 10 for us."

Leah Scia Scia said, "I felt like I was really in Bethlehem. It was set up so well and I felt the true Spirit of Christmas."

Bishop Dylan Andrews summed up the goal for the evening, "We wanted to focus our activity this year on Christ and our organising committee came up with some great ways to do this.  To be able to reflect on the birth and mission of the Saviour in this way and to provide Christ-like service was a wonderful opportunity,"

This event truly helped everyone celebrate the Saviour's birth and feel the true spirit of the Christmas season.

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