On a night in Bethlehem of old, perhaps a local bazaar attracted townspeople for shopping and visiting. This routine event surely changed — as indeed the world was changed forever — with the birth of Jesus.
In Cherokee County, N.C., “A Night in Bethlehem” welcomed the Christmas season. On the evening of December 9 at the Mountain Folk Center and Farmer’s Market, more than 1,000 people signed in to visit the 32 booths sponsored by 24 groups, 19 churches, and five businesses. While the weather wasn’t ideal, one visitor noted that, “The birth of Mary’s baby in a stable surely wasn’t ideal either!”
Christmas carols by a local choir set the scene for people in the recreated town of Bethlehem. Many booth sponsors in costume also offered snacks, apple cider, and books. Children explored the Old Testament “Find It if You Can” activity books provided by the Andrews, N.C., Church booth. A New Testament “Find It if You Can” activity book was offered by the Murphy, N.C., Church, along with Christ-themed coloring books. The booth also provided some 200 stuffed animals for small children.
Participating in “A Night in Bethlehem” is only one way these churches make a difference in Cherokee County. Just a few weeks prior, the Murphy church gathered 86 coats, 64 pairs of gloves, 106 hats, and 11 sweaters for the Rotary Club’s Winter Coat Drive. The new and gently used adult and youth winter clothing helped ensure that every adult or child in the area lacking a coat or other warm clothing would have what they needed.
Georgia-Cumberland | February 2024