Southminster Presbyterian’s Journey to Bethlehem departs tonight, takes attendees through scenes from Christmas story

A scene from King Herod's court in Southminster Presbyterian's Journey to Bethlehem. Photo by Olivia Senter.
A scene from King Herod’s court in Southminster Presbyterian’s Journey to Bethlehem. Photo by Olivia Senter.

Most weekends, the halls of Prairie Village’s Southminster Presbyterian church look squarely in line with what you’d expect from a mid-century Protestant house of worship.

But one weekend in early December for the past 33 years, the church’s interior is transformed into a series of scenes from the Christmas story, from the bustling markets of ancient Jerusalem, to the quiet pastures outside Bethlehem.

Featuring dozens of church members in costume, the living nativity scene gives participants the chance to experience the journey of Jesus’s parents as they make their way to Bethlehem for the census. Along the way, the guides take “travelers,” as they call the people who attend, on a series of side trips, from King Herod’s court to the fires around which shepherds gathered.

The performances will begin this evening at 6 p.m. and run through 8 p.m., with a new journey departing through the living nativity scene approximately every 20 minutes.

Journeys will run Saturday from 5 to 8 p.m. as well. The event is free and open to the public.

Southminster Presbyterian is located at 6306 Roe Avenue in Prairie Village.

A woman in the Jerusalem marketplace.
A woman in the Jerusalem marketplace.
The tax collector sends Joseph and Mary away to Bethlehem for the census. Photo by Olivia Senter.
The tax collector sends Joseph and Mary away to Bethlehem for the census. Photo by Olivia Senter.
The innkeepers talk to travelers about the family they directed to their manger.
The innkeepers talk to travelers about the family they directed to their manger.