The First United Methodist Church in Prescott will present a new twist for the holidays with a proposed “Bethlehem Village” to be constructed and setup over the next couple of weeks in time for Christmas.

The First United Methodist Church in Prescott will present a new twist for the holidays with a proposed “Bethlehem Village” to be constructed and setup over the next couple of weeks in time for Christmas.
The “Bethlehem Village” will be open for the public the three nights before Christmas on December 22 (Friday), December 23 (Saturday), and December 24 (Sunday) with a special service held at the site on Christmas Eve.
The brainchild of new Pastor Sue Howe, the “Bethlehem Village” will be an interactive Nativity experience with live persons dressed as various characters and animals like goats and sheep populating the village.
“This will be an exciting time,” Howe said, “This idea has been wonderfully supported from throughout the community, not only the church, and of course, this is a big undertaking.”
Howe said she believes this type of live Nativity scene will be the first of its kind for Prescott and the area as the one acre plot adjacent to the church will be transformed into a miniature Middle Eastern village.
There will also be a stage setup for a concert choir, and electric lighting installed to light up the entire area.  Work on the project is set to start December 15.
The live animals featured in the village will be placed in pens, and there will be some barriers from small children. Howe said several times that “personal safety and security for everyone was of the utmost importance.”
In fact, the evolution of the concept as a “walk through” versus a “drive through” was safety.
“We didn’t want to create a traffic situation, and we didn’t want to young people in harm’s way,” Howe said.
Howe said for the elderly or physically challenged that golf carts would be employed to assist those folks through the village.
Church committee member Meredith DeWoody praised the idea, saying “I think this is going to be something to see, and I think it will bring people into Prescott from near and far.”