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Community Members Visit Drive-Thru Christmas Event at a California Church

The Orangevale church hosted second annual event with manger scene, canned food drive, music, and more.

Orangevale Christmas drive-thru nativity kids

Orangevale church members participate in a manger scene with live animals during their Dec. 11 Christmas drive-thru event. All photos provided by the Orangevale church

For the second year in a row, the Orangevale Seventh-day Adventist Church hosted a drive-thru Christmas event for its community. During two hours on Dec. 11, 2021, the California church welcomed more than 350 people who came to view a manger scene with live animals, hear voice and bell choirs, enjoy refreshments, and receive gifts. They also had the opportunity to participate in a canned food drive for the church’s food closet, which often serves more than 500 people per month, and also provides clothing. 

Pastor Jon Cicle approached every car to welcome the visitors. “I was happy to meet new people from the community who felt this was a safe holiday event to come and enjoy,” he said.

Orangevale church Christmas nativity

Visitors who drove through the special Orangevale church community event were able to see and hear the church's voice and bell choirs in addition to seeing a nativity scene with church members as characters. 

About 100 adults and kids volunteered, including students from Orangevale Seventh-day Adventist School, who welcomed guests, sang, played handbells, and created gifts. “I love seeing our church family serve our community — sharing with our children the true meaning of the season and the joy of serving others,” said the event’s organizer Lian Funada.

Church members offered to pray with the visitors. With tears streaming down her face, one woman told a volunteer, “No one has asked to pray with me before.”

— Julie Lorenz is communication director for the Northern California Conference; this article originally appeared on the Northern California Conference website. 

Orangevale church nativity

Canned goods were collected and refreshments handed out during the Orangevale Seventh-day Adventist Church's second annual Christmas drive-thru.