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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Come to Bethlehem and see …

Bethlehem in La Crosse
Photos by Dan Schraith

Every four years, English Lutheran Church, La Crosse, Wis., builds and opens wide the doors to “Bethlehem,” complete with sets, animals and costumes, for more than 4,000 visitors. In addition to the two December days of community visitors, the church hosts 600 area confirmation students on two Wednesday evenings. Mark Soyst, one of the pastors, said the congregation hopes visitors use their senses of sight, sound, smell, touch and taste when they wander throughout Bethlehem. Here, Chris Dreves (left) presents fresh-caught fish while Bob Weeks stands behind him as a baker. Visitors to Bethlehem taste nuts, grapes and other foods. Many children (top right) are among the 400 to 500 volunteers. Pam Strittmater, on the committee in charge of props, poses with a donkey, but there were also sheep, goats and chickens.


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