As Christmas approaches it can be easy to enjoy the lights, the food, the presents and the excitement, especially for children. These are good things and there is nothing wrong with enjoying them, but sometimes we can forget the true story at the heart of this season.
Our booklet Meet the Cast is a firm favourite for sharing the story of Christmas with little ones and their families. It’s vibrant and fun and perfect for reading aloud with children as a first introduction to the characters in the Christmas story.
And there are so many creative ways to explore the story and get to know the cast. Download our free pack of resources for churches, schools and families to help children dive deeper into the Christmas story. From colouring pages to an all-age service outline, a graphics pack, poster and invites, there’s everything you need to introduce children and families to the Christmas story.
Primary School children from Bangor, Northern Ireland will have the opportunity to ‘Meet the Cast’ when they attend a local production of ‘Follow the Star’. Bangor Methodist Church will be sharing our Meet the Cast booklets alongside a staged live production of the Christmas story.
Lester, from Bangor Methodist Church, shared: “‘Follow the Star’ tells the story of the birth of Jesus and gives the children the opportunity to ‘meet the cast’ who were involved that first Christmas, from Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus, to Herod, the wise men, and many others.”
During the production the children will participate in simple arts and crafts that help explain the story. As the children leave they will each receive an activity bag which will have some additional arts and crafts materials and a copy of Meet the Cast.
Helen from St. Paul’s Macclesfield will also be using Meet the Cast, along with our other Christmas booklets, to share the story of Christmas in the Bible’s own words this holiday season. She shared:
“Advent and Christmas brings the highest attendance in church by the general public beyond the usual congregation and we seize the opportunity to let everybody leave with a booklet as a memento of their visit. At our Toddler Nativity we will give out the Meet the Cast booklet to each family.”
During the Cathedral’s Christmas Craft Market, volunteers and actors from the church will provide children and families with a guided tour through the nativity story, taking guests through the streets of Bury St. Edmunds as they introduce them the key characters and moments of the narrative. The story tour will finish in the church, which sits only 100 yards from Bury St. Edmunds’ Cathedral.
St. Mary’s Church in Bury St. Edmunds is running its second Road to Christmas event on 25th November. The event runs alongside Bury St. Edmunds Cathedral's Christmas Market, 100 yards away from St. Mary's Church. Volunteers and actors from the church will provide children and families with a guided tour through the nativity story, as they introduce them the key characters and moments of the narrative. Performing from five stage sets, the actors will each tell a stage of the story, allowing children to ask questions and take part.
At the end of the tour, children and families can get involved in some crafts and enjoy some refreshments. People will be given the opportunity to choose a goody bag, which will contain either Lifewords' Meet the Cast, OUTSIDE/IN or Open Doors’ new booklet, Herod's Secret Policeman, provides the guests with something physical that brings them deeper into the true meaning of Christmas.
Jenny, who is coordinating the Road to Christmas experience, shared: "The most popular booklet last year was Meet the Cast, which we hope made sure that families heard the real story of Christmas. Participants and visitors really enjoyed reflecting on what the real Christmas story is about.”
Maybe you could do something similar in your community, and Meet the Cast exists to help you share the amazing news of Jesus’ birth into the world. Perhaps you could make use of our downloadable resources to help children engage with the story, or maybe you could even create something completely new, like this Meet the Cast stop motion video.