Bible camp brings Christmas story to life with living nativity

TUSTIN — Staff and volunteers from Center Lake Bible Camp in Tustin are looking forward to their 15th year of sharing the Biblical story of Christmas during a free live nativity event this weekend.

From 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 6, Saturday, Dec. 7, and Sunday, Dec. 8, more than 50 people will do their best to tell the story of the birth of Jesus Christ. The event will feature a number of stations along with a 30-minute, narrated walk-through. The stations will depict scenes including shepherds watching their flocks, an angel appearing to Mary, the wise men, the manger scene with baby Jesus and at the end, a cross.

"For our staff and volunteers, we think it's really important to focus on and to get the real message of Christ out there," said Center Lake Bible Camp employee Sarah Delancey.

The event has attracted about 1,500 people from the village of Tustin and surrounding areas in the past. Attendees should dress for appropriate weather, and for those with limited mobility, a wagon ride will be provided. A guided tour will begin every 15 minutes.

The event is a great way to leave the hectic holiday season behind and focus on something apart from the hustle and bustle of crowded shopping malls, highway traffic and other stress factors. The real Christmas message often gets lost in the fray, Delancey added.

The event is free, but donations will be accepted throughout the evening.

Following the live nativity, a free meal of soup, sloppy Joe's, hot dogs, chips, cookies, coffee and hot chocolate is available for all who need to warm up or fill their empty stomachs.

"It's not a fancy meal, but it'll be good and there will be a lot of it," Delancey added.

Also free of charge, family portraits will be taken and children will be able to make their own Advent calendars to take home.

"I love the event," she said. "I look forward to it every year. It's not a big time investment, it's a zero cost investment and it's fun."

For more information, call (231) 829-3441 or visit centerlake.org.