A nativity scene at Chico First Assembly Church seemed incomplete at first – the figures had disappeared from the lead scene!
The church celebrated the spirit of Christmas in a modern and modern way; A birth escape room. Participants had to solve four mysteries about the Bible in order to unlock access to the figures to reconstruct the scene.
Heather Duggins is a youth pastor and organized the nativity escape room for the church. Duggins said the idea was for an activity that an intergenerational family could enjoy.
“We have people in church with kids, and then we have seniors, so it’s something they can all do together to build community and connection,” Duggins said.
Duggins hid the figures in four rooms throughout the church; Sanctuary, Children’s Church Room, Youth Room, and Preschool. Participants young and old divide into four groups to solve each mystery about events in the Bible.
Each team had a pack of questions with codecs to figure out where to go to find the keys. Ben Piper is a churchgoer at First Assembly Church and participated in the escape room activity.
“I’m happy to be with people. These are the people I spend most of the time with,” Piper said.
His group was the first to solve all the brain teasers and unlock a key to gain access to marshmallows and a hot cocoa bar with candy and other snacks. Eventually, all the missing figures were recovered and the major scene was reconstructed.
Duggins said a main part of celebrating Christmas for her is having a place to be and connect with other people. Duggins said she wants a community that is close to each other, like in her experience in the church when her father was a pastor.
“They’re family to me, they see me through the good, the bad, the ugly,” Duggins said. “And when I moved here nine years ago, they are still the same people I call in distress or prayer.”
Now a pastor himself, Duggins creates activities like this for his youth group to connect people in his community.
“Focusing on birth and that God gave his son the greatest gift he could have given to the world reminds us that we too are a gift to others and love one another,” Duggins said. said. “The real gifts of Christmas are each other. Love, kindness and care; these are the things that will never end and never fade away.”