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FBC Hoover holds Polar Express partycomment (0)

December 23, 2010

Children visiting First Baptist Church, Hoover, Dec. 18 experienced a different kind of Christmas party. They saw the usual decorated trees and sparkling lights, ate the traditional Christmas cookies, drank hot chocolate and apple cider and watched Christmas movies. But, this time, they were invited to become a part of the stories being told as they attended the church’s first ever Polar Express party.

The festivities, named after the acclaimed Christmas book and movie, began as the brainchild of David Liles, children’s pastor at First, Hoover, who got the idea from a church doing a much larger Polar Express party in Calera.

“The message I like bringing to children, mainly for adults, is that the belief in Santa Claus helps to strengthen and explain faith,” he said. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for but not seen. So, the whole bell and believing is knowing that we have faith. ... It’s just a conditioning in of how we think about faith and believing.”

The church gave out invitations, which the pajama-wearing attendees used as their “tickets” to enter the party. Church volunteers transformed the church foyer into a train station, and kids rode in a trackless train from the foyer to the party room to watch “The Polar Express” along with several other Christmas movies. At the end of the movie, the children were given a bell like the child received in the movie for believing in the magic of Christmas.

“We just decided this will be a fun event and maybe start a tradition,” said Martha Stokes, a children’s Sunday School teacher at the church. “We just hope to reach one person for the Lord. We wanted to invite (everyone) in to fellowship with Christians … to let them know that we are there all the time and for them to realize that Christians have fun, too. … If we just reach one person, we are doing what we are supposed to do.”  (TAB)

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