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Little town of Bethlehem
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From left, Livia Jaco, Kim O’Connor and Jennifer Brooks showed visitors how to write Jesus’ name in Hebrew on a brown paper scroll.

Westwood Church of Christ took a journey back in time by transforming its fellowship hall into a scene from Bethlehem over 2,000 years ago.

The event, called A Night in Bethlehem, aimed to catapult visitors back to the time when Jesus Christ was born. It featured a number of different display booths to show different aspects of life from that period, including a tool shop, food samples, a stable with live goat, a pottery shop, and a manger scene complete with baby Jesus.

“Each person is in character and has information about their trade and Bethlehem at that time,” said Brittany George, who organized the event. “Everything they’re doing is said to be authentic.”

There was a sample cup of food from that era which featured grapes, olives, raisins, dried mango, and pomegranate seed. 

Neal Cox was showing visitors around the tool shop.

“This is a grinding wheel like one they had back in the time of Jesus,” said Cox. “It was used to sharpen tools. This one is pretty old itself, about 150 years old.”

Brittany said she was looking for an activity to depict the true meaning of Christmas when she saw online that another church had held a similar event and she wanted to create her own version at Westwood.

“Everyone here was so supportive when I mentioned it, just like they always are,” said Brittany. 

The two-day event was held on Saturday and Sunday nights. Church officials were pleased with the turnout for both nights, but said Sunday’s attendance was a little better than Saturday’s.