MARION \u2014 In the upcoming play at Marion Baptist Church, an innkeeper in Bethlehem relates the story of two special events in his life that occurred over a span of 30 years. Everyone from Marion and surrounding communities is invited to attend a production of \u201cThe Innkeeper\u2019s Tale,\u201d which will be at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 18. The play features both an adult and children\u2019s choir singing hymns and carols that bring the innkeeper\u2019s story to life. The innkeeper remembers a certain night long ago when his inn was filled to capacity. He offered his stable as lodging to a man name Joseph and his wife Mary who was pregnant. During the night, Mary gave birth to a son who lay in a humble manger. It is only 30 years later when the innkeeper travels to Jerusalem and witnesses a crucifixion, that he realizes the full significance of the birth of the child in his stable and the death of the man on the cross. As the performance unfolds, the innkeeper gradually reveals the full meaning of the events he witnessed. Following a tradition of more than 30 years, hundreds of Marion-area residents have looked forward to the annual programs to usher in the holiday season with an inspiring message of the true meaning of Christmas. \u201cThe Innkeeper\u2019s Tale\u201d was written by church member Peggy Hoard, who also serves as the director. Hoard, who was born and raised in Marion, has written numerous plays for the church. A collection of favorites has been published in her book \u201cChristmas Skits for Churches\u201d which is available at amazon.com. Highlights of the program include Merry Cook, music director, singing \u201cNo Room in the Inn\u201d and cello soloist Ethan Pritchard playing several selections. Taking on other key roles are Betty Fox, pianist; Jack Johnston, narrator; Brent Pritchard, sound and scenery; and Floyd Ankney, scenery and props. \u201cI like working with the children\u2019s choir,\u201d said Cook. \u201cI teach them that what they sing sends a message of Christ\u2019s birth. The songs they\u2019re singing are telling people about the real meaning of Christmas. And when I sing my solo, I\u2019m singing for the Lord at a very special time of the year.\u201d \u201cSeeing the kids perform is my favorite part of the Christmas programs,\u201d said church member Denise Brocht. \u201cSo many people in the church work hard to put the program together. I appreciate all they do to create a story that relates the birth of Christ and the real reason why we celebrate Christmas.\u201d Following the program, sandwiches, snacks and desserts of the season will be served. All area residents are invited to enjoy a special evening of music, worship, fellowship and refreshments. There is no admission charge. Marion Baptist Church is located at 19909 40th Ave., in Marion. For more information, call (231) 388-0019.