Congregations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from San Pedro, St. David, and Patton, Arizona, hosted a “Back to Christ” Christmas celebration on December 7, 2013. St. David native, Coleen Williams Saunders coordinated the community event. Coleen felt it was essential to focus on the true meaning of the season verses the commercialism that comes with it. She said, “Christmas has become so big and taken on a life of its own, yet taken from the life we should be celebrating.” The desire of her heart was to create a program to bring thoughts “back to Christ this season.”
Committees were organized to build sets. Over 38 costumed actors, actresses, musicians and narrators practiced for over a month to prepare for the event. Over a hundred dozen homemade cookies and other snacks were made to serve in a reception type area, after the 45 minute tour. The missionaries serving in the St. David area assisted with publicity by handing out invitations to those from other faiths as well as the entire San Pedro community.
The event was held in the Saint David Meetinghouse, where rooms were transformed to resemble the New Testament era. Actor’s depicted portions of the Christmas story, in word and music. Over 500 people from the area attended the presentation. The guest enjoyed the prepared refreshments and good company after the 45 minute tour.
Debbie Miller, from San Pedro, shared that she was very touched at the end of her tour, and felt the “spirit of Christmas” was very strong in each room. Bishop Denzlo Hancock of the St. David Ward said, “I would like this program to be repeated each year.”