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Journey to Bethlehem reminds us what Christmas is all about

December 23, 2019
The Town Crier

On Dec. 17 and 18, the students at Austintown Community Church Preschool Childcare Center went on a "Journey to Bethlehem," to hear the good news about Jesus' birth. This annual interactive play is put on by parents, grandparents and church member volunteers.

The roles played by the volunteers include an angel, an innkeeper, shepherds, wisemen, Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus. The preschool staff decorated the upstairs hallway into several scenes in order to replicate the long journey that Mary and Joseph took to Bethlehem.

On their journey, the children first met the angel (Karolyn Kopcial/Jacqueline Regano) and Mary (Jennifer Rager/Niki Harris) and heard the angel tell Mary that she was going to have a baby and that he must be named Jesus.

Article Photos

Portraying the shepherd, wisemen, innkeeper, angel and the Holy Family at this year’s ACC Preschool Childcare Center’s journey to Bethlehem are, in front row: Nancy Evans, Linda Michael, Brittany McMichael, Nico Harris, Niki Harris, and kneeling is Alan Williams, and in back row: Justin Petrello, Jim Alexander, Jaclyn Regano, and Tiffany Petrello.

The children then proceeded to the inn where they heard the innkeeper (Butch Shood) explain that he had no room for Mary and Joseph but that they could stay in a stable. Looking for the stable, the children met some shepherds (Linda Michael, Brittany McMichael, Tamara Fairburn and Nancy Diefenderfer). The shepherds told them to follow the star. As the children were looking for the star and the stable, they ran into the wisemen (Jim Alexander, Alan Williams and Tiffany Petrello) who spoke about the gifts they were bringing to baby Jesus. As the children proceeded on their journey, the shepherds and the wisemen walked with them until they all saw a shimmering star. When the door was opened, the children saw the Nativity scene which consisted of Mary and Joseph (Anthony Precurato/Justin Petrello) and baby Jesus (Oliver Rager/Nico Harris). The children were then asked, "What gift did they bring?" The children then sang the song "Little Baby Jesus" as their gift.

This event is put on annually for the children attending A.C.C. Preschool to help enhance their spiritual growth and understanding of Jesus' birth. It is also meant to bring hope, peace, joy, and love to all and to remind us what Christmas is all about.

Austintown Community Church Preschool Childcare Center will begin registration for the summer and for the 2020/2021 school year beginning in February for children ages 3 10 years of age. For more information please contact the school at 330-793-1843 or by emailing the director, Amy Teeters, at



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