Latino Christmas Journey
A small California town recently turned city streets into a live illustration of the Christmas story. “Las Posadas” is a popular holiday tradition in Mexico which features a procession with people dressed as Joseph and Mary, complete with a donkey. As Kim Riemland explains, the folks who planned this event wanted to put more meaning into the holiday celebrations.
(Locator: Sutter Creek, California)
This year, members of the Sutter Creek United Methodist Church in California wanted to offer their community a more traditional Christmas.
The Rev. Alex Cambe/Pastor, Sutter Creek United Methodist Church: “We believe that Christmas is not something that you see at Walmart and Kmart, but it is something that is coming from the spiritual dimension.”
Church members invited congregations of all faiths to join in dressing up to re-live the Nativity story.
Joshua Hall/Member, Sutter Creek United Methodist Church: “We kind of came up with the idea, and we approached the other two churches in town and asked if they’d like to participate and join in this festivity.”
Las Posados is a Latin American custom that re-creates the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem.
Nat/Narrator: “So Joseph went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee…”
Mason Hall, Las Posadas Participant: “They didn’t want to let him in because they thought he was a robber. It would be nice if she would let them in and see if they really are nice.”
The children follow the procession door to door and then join Mary, Joseph and the animals in the stable.
Nat/Participants sing: “Christ is born in Bethlehem. Hark the herald angels sing…”
This is the first time Sutter Creek has hosted a Las Posadas – and it appears to have created some Christmas magic.
B.J. Stuart/Las Posadas Participant: “This is kind of new because we usually just go in churches, not outside.”
Mason Hall/Las Posadas Participant: “I got to go in the front to see Festus the mule… they call him the donkey though. It was actually a really cool thing.”
Church members say they are thrilled with the outcome of this year’s Las Posadas in Sutter Creek. They are looking forward to an even bigger event next year.
For more information, contact the Sutter Creek United Methodist Church at 209-223-1218.