There’s a cure for the anxiety of the season – the hectic shopping, messy baking and the rush, rush, rush to get everything finished by Christmas Eve. And it’s so obvious. There is nothing so calming for the faithful than spending a quiet moment – perhaps your child’s hand in yours – and gazing upon the Nativity scene. It all comes down to the newborn baby, the humble surroundings and the sheer wonder of the event. “It’s quite moving for very many people. It brings a realism of what happened. That is a special time, a special moment,” said Brian Morehead, missions director for Church at Rocky Peak in Chatsworth, which closes its 12th “Back to Bethlehem” live pageant tonight. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan ClarksonThe single most enduring and endearing symbol of Christmastime is the Nativity scene, whether performed live or created from materials ranging from delicate porcelain to brittle plastic. It so simply puts the Christ back in Christmas, even for the less-than-enthusiastic believer. In Manhattan Beach earlier this month, about 8,500 people witnessed Journey of Faith Church’s extravagant Bethlehem production, a 40,000-square-foot re-creation of the city where Christ was born. More than 170 amateur actors participated in the production, portraying the Biblical events of 2,000 years ago. “The thing we really find special is that it’s a gift to our community, there’s not even a donation box at the end,” church spokesman Jon Crowe said. “We literally want people to come have a great time with their families – a great Christmas memory – and find out the real reason for Christmas. “People for the most part are blown away seeing the entire scene played out before their eyes.” Mary and Joseph ride in on a donkey, she suffering through labor pains as he begs the innkeeper for a place to stay. “People are literally following them into the stable where the baby is born and in Mary’s hands,” Crowe said. “They’re coming out crying. Little kids are drawing pictures and leaving them for Jesus. People leave flowers, all sorts of little tokens.” At a similar pageant in Santa Clarita, Bruce Walker played one of three wise men at “Follow the Star to Bethlehem,” a live drive- through pageant portraying Christ’s life that’s held each year at Bethlehem Lutheran Church. The Nativity scene is unquestionably a favorite. “It’s so spiritually fulfilling,” Walker said. “It’s what Christmas and Christian life are all about. These were real-life people.” Fifteen-year-old AJ Ehrle played Joseph, father of the Christ child. “I feel really honored to re-enact something that’s such an amazing thing that really happened,” Ehrle said. “What you feel … wow!” added angel Kailey Letz, 11. Bill Fox, another of the wise men, and wife Linda have been involved in the pageant since the first staging 14 years ago. Linda also owns 200 Nativity sets and keeps two dozen or so about the house year-round. Among her treasures is a creche from the Caribbean, made of egg shells. Another, from Eastern Europe, is made of red yarn. She finds them on her travels and her friends do the same, bringing her creches from all over the world. “I see them and can’t resist,” Linda Fox said. “For one thing Jesus is the main reason for Christmas and people tend to forget that. As a Christian, I want to emphasize that. I kind of do it quietly with my decorations.” At Rocky Peak, spectators walk the streets of Bethlehem and interact with some of the 240 volunteers portraying everything from the town craftsmen to the Roman soldiers. There are dancers, shepherds and the angel who announces the holy birth. And then a few visitors at a time leave the bustling town scene and visit the stable, talking with the actors portraying Mary and Joseph, and viewing the live baby in the role of Jesus. “A lot of people are moved by the baby and by Mary and Joseph telling their story,” Morehead said. “It’s very quiet. You’re seeing Jesus. That’s the special moment. That’s the Nativity.” The Church of Rocky Peak will present “Bethlehem” at 7 tonight at 22601 Santa Susana Pass Road, Chatsworth. firstname.lastname@example.org 661 257-5251160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Geneva, Switzerland – Reported by Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazineQatar Airways today announced a strategic alliance with fractional jet program provider Flexjet to offer customers access to over 5,000 destinations beyond the Doha-based airline’s four North American gateways.Flexjet is aircraft manufacturer Bombardier’s fractional ownership business, providing access to more than 80 modern executive aircraft. Aircraft available as part of the Flexjet Connect program, are operated by U.S. air carrier Jet Solutions.The new agreement, effective today, May 14, enables customers traveling on Qatar Airways’ scheduled flights to and from New York, Washington, Houston and Montreal, to book a private premium jet service in a single transaction to cover over 5,000 airports across the region.The exclusive partnership, managed by the airline’s private jet division Qatar Executive as part of Qatar Airways’ premium product portfolio, will ensure passengers have seamless and hassle-free onward connections in the USA, Canada, as well as parts of Mexico and the tropical islands of the Bahamas and Turks & Caicos**.No matter if the final destination is in California, Florida or British Columbia, Qatar Airways’ customers from across its global network traveling to or from North America via its Doha hub can conveniently connect in the privacy and exclusivity of a private jet to their final destination with Bombardier* Challenger* aircraft operated by Jet Solutions.All Qatar Airways’ customers will receive the same industry-leading customer service provided to Flexjet’s fractional jet owners.Speaking at a press conference at EBACE, Europe’s premier business aviation show, in Geneva today, Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said that the new service was yet another enhanced product offering by Qatar’s national carrier.“We are extremely pleased to be launching this new program and are confident that it is an attractive product offering for individuals and large multi-national companies alike,” said Al Baker.“Today’s customers want flexibility, extensive reach, confidentiality and convenience all from a single source.“This new alliance gives customers from Qatar and the rest of the airline’s international network the ability to book their travel on Qatar Airways’ commercial service and on-demand private jets to their onward destination within North America with a single phone call. Vice versa we look forward to providing the traveling public from North America a premium door-to-door service when heading to the Middle East and beyond.”Flexjet President Fred Reid said: “With a growing focus on the international business market, we have seen an increase in demand for travel to the Middle East and the surrounding regions. Today’s alliance with Qatar Airways – an award-winning airline that shares Flexjet’s passion for high levels of customer service – is an ideal way for us to provide a global aviation solution to our owners. It’s a win-win situation for all.”While Qatar Airways’ customers can obtain guaranteed access to a wide range of top-of-the-range Bombardier business jet aircraft, operated by U.S. air carrier Jet Solutions, and access to over 5,000 airports in North America with as little as 24-hours advance notice, Flexjet fractional owners gain premium travel benefits beyond their North American service area, including access to Qatar Executive’s ultra-modern fleet of Bombardier private jets.At Qatar Executive, a dedicated concierge-style customer service team is available for all Flexjet Connect enquiries on 24 hours / 7 days basis to fully address all passengers’ needs and requirements, from flight arrangements to ground transportation and special requests.The Concierge team will arrange the required Qatar Airways’ tickets, as well as the contract, invoice and itinerary of the business aircraft sector, whether it is on aircraft available through the Flexjet Connect programme in North America or Qatar Executive out of the Middle East. Anyone can book this service starting today, May 14. The business jets on offer provide between 8 and 13 passenger seats, which are all available to the individual customer booking the flight.Being part of a well-established award-winning full service global network airline Qatar Airways, Qatar Executive customers can be rest assured to receive the highest standards of service in terms of quality, exclusivity, comfort and confidentiality provided by highly trained and experienced crew.For further information and bookings, the Qatar Executive Concierge service team is available 24/7 on +974 4445 3800 or email@example.com. Further details are available at www.qatarexec.com.qa or on www.qatarairways.com.Qatar Airways operates a modern fleet of 108 aircraft from its Doha hub to 114 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and South America.www.qatarairways.com.qa