By Michael J. ARVIZU
Community Christian Church of the Foothills in Tujunga touts this year’s Drive-Thru Nativity Scene as one of its most successful, after an estimated 900 visitors attended the two-day weekend event on Dec. 13 and 14.
Visitors to the Drive-Thru Nativity Scene included residents from the cities of Sunland and Tujunga and nearby La Crescenta and La Cañada Flintridge, said Community Christian Church of the Foothills pastor Bob Snyder.
With its Drive-Thru Nativity Scene, the church expands on the concept of the traditional Christmas nativity scene by incorporating live people and animals into the scenes that traditionally represent the birth of Christ. Instead of walking around the scenes, visitors can view the action from inside the comfort of their own cars as they drive by.
The scenes include the journey of Mary and Joseph as they look for shelter, angels announcing the birth of Christ, the Three Wise Men as they make their way to pay homage to the child Jesus, and after the birth itself as Jesus’ parents look adoringly upon him.
Dubbed “Celebrating the Gift,” 2013 marks the 14th year the church has held a drive-thru event.
“It was awesome,” said Snyder of this year’s event. “We’re just grateful that the weather was really good. It was a big blessing for the community.”
The drive-thru nativity, Snyder noted, also drew a high number of visitors to the event’s drive-thru prayer station, where church members prayed over those looking for additional blessing.
“Every year it gets better,” said church member Suzy Mullin, a resident of Tujunga, who worked the event’s coffee house. “Every year I think it’s great. I’ve had some of my neighbors say they would have tears in their eyes when they drove through.”
Among some of the additions made to this year’s event, Mullin said, was a guestbook visitors could sign and a team of church members assigned to welcome visitors to the church.
“I think it was beautiful,” said church member Diane Gunter, a resident of Shadow Hills, who worked the event’s child care center.
For next year, Mullin said, she promises new cookie selections, hot chocolate, and hot apple cider at the coffee house. The event is worked on all year, she said, allowing church staff the opportunity to make improvements year after year.
“I just want to say thank you to the community for the support, because the support has been overwhelming,” Snyder said. “We just want to be a blessing to the community, and we’re so honored that they would like to be a blessing to us as well. That’s what it’s all about.”