Bethlehem experience comes to Omaha farm
By Lisa Schulte
The Catholic Voice
Families journeyed for miles to see the live Bethlehem scene portrayed in Tekamah last year.
This year they can experience it once again, only this time in Omaha, because "Bethlehem Revisited" will take place on the farm of Paul and Amy Wemminghoff, located at 85th and Sorenson Parkway, on Sunday, Dec. 19, and Sunday, Dec. 26. It will be open from 1-7 p.m., and admission is free.
With shops, animals and crowds, "Bethlehem Revisited" gives people a chance to enter into the experience of a living nativity, said Father Jim Kramper, pastor at St. Patrick Parish in Tekamah and Holy Family Parish in Decatur. He coordinated the live nativity scene last year.
"Bethlehem Revisited" includes eight different shops where visitors can purchase such things as brass, candles and pottery using Bethlehem coins. One dollar can be exchanged for two Bethlehem coins at the event.
The Wemminghoffs said they decided to host the nativity scene this year because it's something they have wanted to do for the past few years, but on a much smaller scale.
"I was thinking of having a few animals and a talking mannequin for the innkeeper. Now we have 100 volunteers working," Amy Wemminghoff said.
The live nativity made its debut last year in Tekamah with the help of Father Kramper and parishioners in Tekamah and eight other church communities.
"With all the hustle and bustle of Christmas, God wants us to see the humble, quiet way he came into the world," Father Kramper said. "This is a way for people of all ages to experience that again."
Father Kramper hopes "Bethlehem Revisited" will travel to a different location each year.
"Nobody owns the story of Christmas," he said. "It's there for anybody to portray."