A Red Deer church is gearing up for a full-fledged family celebration of Christmas set for Dec. 21st.
Word of Life Church is inviting everyone to ‘The Christmas Experience’ which runs at 9:30 a.m., 11:15 a.m. and 1 p.m.
A range of activities will follow each family service and those in attendance will see some of their favourite Christmas characters as well. Organizers say there are lots of fun activities planned for the whole family with the property transformed into a winter wonderland – featuring horse-drawn sleigh rides, quad sleigh rides, skating, snow games, a craft zone, pictures with Santa and candy bags for the kids.
“It’s family outdoor fun – what you would think of for an outdoor Christmas,” said Pastor Jachin Mullen, adding that about 1,200 people attended the event last year.
This will be the third year for The Christmas Experience.
“Everybody loves it. To come and have a Christmas service with your family and then spend a couple of hours outside, enjoy hot chocolate by a fire, enjoy a sleigh ride with your family at no cost.
“Basically, we want people to experience Christmas and we want to give the Gospel message,” he said.
“I’m hoping that two to three years down the road – as we build this – and somebody says, ‘Hey, what do you do for Christmas’ that people will say the one thing you don’t want to miss is ‘The Christmas Experience’.
“It’s family-oriented, it’s so fun – just a great day to experience all that Christmas is about.”
Mullen said the event is complimentary, and the church can also arrange to pick up residents via their bus ministry.
A hot chili lunch will also be available for a minimum donation of $5 with proceeds going to the iHeart Red Deer Lunch Program.
According to the church’s web site, iHeart Red Deer has been serving Red Deer for the last decade in many different ways.
“Driven by compassion and a deep belief in the value of all people, along with a desire to see people elevated to their full potential, iHeart provides various programs to that end.
“A few of our programs are the Backpack Back to School Drive (we have helped hundreds of families send their children back to school with the supplies needed) and the Sunday Lunch Program which provides weekday lunches for school aged children who would otherwise not have lunch.
“The Pack the Pantry Program provides food hampers for families in desperate circumstances. New this fall, we are launching our Love Learning Scholarship Program, helping young people achieve their academic goals and ultimately a chance at a better life.”
Word of Life is located at the south end of Taylor Drive on England Way.
More information can be found at https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Christmas-Experience/849968818368122#.