Joseph, Mary, and baby Jesus arrived at the historic West Parish Garden Cemetery Arch once again as West Parish Church, United Church of Christ, presented their annual reenactment of the Christmas story on Saturday.
Under the Arch was the entrance to Bethlehem and a cast of children, youth and adults and a stable of live animals, provided by Herb Hill Farm, reenacted the holy night scene. Through drama, narration, and carols the audience shared in the miracle of Christmas as Mary and Joseph arrived in Bethlehem, the shepherds sought out the manger, and the wise men brought their gifts.
The biblical account of Jesus’ birth and modern-day stories such as the “Littlest Angel” and the “Little Drummer Boy” were included in the reenactment.
Over its 37 years, many past and present Andover families have been involved with the pageant. Blake Martin portrayed Basil, the innkeeper, and Jim Olson was the pageant narrator.
The public, as always, was invited to attend the free half-hour performance of gospel narration and choral accompaniment. Afterwards guests were welcome to photograph the living Nativity scene and to enjoy refreshments in Fellowship Hall.
The church's Ministry of Outreach accepted non-perishable food items at the archway prior to the pageant. These will be donated to local food pantries.