Originally published in the 2017 Spring Quarterly Explorer

This year we started a new tradition at River Road Church. As you may be aware, in past years, the Christmas Pageant was held on a Wednesday evening before Christmas. The event required a lot of planning. Choirs practiced for weeks. There were sets to build, costumes to make, and scripts to write. After a lot of work, we found we were repeating the same music and story at the family Christmas Eve Family Service. This year we combined the two services and held a pageant and Christmas Eve family service at 4:00PM (an earlier time that was better for most families). Five college students – Taylor Bostic, Bayley Wood, Elizabeth Vaughan, William Underwood, and Colin Bailey – read the scripture texts, and the youth became the characters in the pageant, with Beth Rooney and Zach Bostic serving as Mary and Joseph. The children’s choirs provided the music. Comments from those present seem to indicate that this was a great way to present the Christmas story.

A highlight from the service, as always, is the presentation of the wrapped food for the needy. Several generations came forward to present their gifts. This year, the food went to the Baptist Centers. We owe a special thanks to Diane Shoemake, Wyatt Heisler, and Betty Damon who delivered the food to the Centers.

The Christmas story is ancient, yet ever new each year. The wonder of the season is so well presented by children and youth, with their childlike wonder and hopeful spirits — this was surely true this year!

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