The Living Christmas Story

We are focusing on service in different ways during these weeks of our Better Together series. Here is a story from Susan about serving with the Living Christmas story. If you have a story to share from the Living Christmas Story, you are welcome to share it in the comments below.

Sharing our stories is a powerful way to inspire other people to serve!

In His Grip,

Mike Toluba
For 34 years, the members of Killearn United Methodist Church have taken time out of their busy holiday schedules to present the Living Christmas Story (LCS) to our community.  The story of Christ’s birth is retold on our church campus through six major scenes, including the Annunciation, the Angel and Shepherds, King Herod’s Court, Mary and Joseph at the Inn, the Nativity, and the Empty Cross of the Risen Christ.

Bob Tindale, our senior pastor at that time, had seen something similar in central Florida and got together a small team to come up with an idea.  Work began just 6 weeks before the first night and one of our church members, Sid Matthew, contacted Warner Brothers in Hollywood asking them to loan some costumes.  Alan and I were part of the small team at the beginning in 1987 then later becoming co-directors with him working mainly on the construction and me organizing the many teams that are needed to put it all together.

One of my favorite roles to play in those early years was the Angel on the Hill. It is an isolated role looking down on shadowy figures with sheep grazing around them. I spent time reflecting on how I would have felt seeing angels on a clear dark night and being told to go and find a baby who would save the world.  I stood there in awe of that moment and prayerfully thanked our heavenly Father for His gift.

My most rewarding experience was traveling with my two young granddaughters who had been in the LCS since they were a few weeks old as their mother Anne was the Actor coordinator and they began traveling in her arms!! I would tell the story and they enjoyed being part of it all.  As they grew older they went on to play angels, Mary and even a slave girl. LCS became a special family time for us all.

The Living Christmas Story has been an important part of my Advent season and has helped me truly focus of the real reason for the season.  A special moment for me was to walk through the set on the first night after everything was set up and ready, the actors and volunteers in the Fellowship Hall eating dinner. I felt His presence on it all and it gave me time to reflect on the love of our Lord and to pray for all those going through the scenes that they might find him through our efforts and love.

Though I have retired from organizing this tremendous ministry, my prayer is that those who follow will find deep meaning and joy in this ministry bringing the wonderful news of our Savior’s birth and rejoicing in the knowledge of his eternal love for us.


Susan Moreton

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