What makes for the perfect Christmas gift? According to statistics, it’s sharing experiences with family and friends.

To fulfill that Christmas wish, Joseph United Methodist Church is presenting

The True Meaning of Christmas Tour and the holiday cheer will be spreading at the corner of South Main and 3rd Street in Joseph from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8.

Joseph will be one of many United Methodist congregations across the U.S. who will be hosting a special hot chocolate fellowship event. During the festivities, visitors will be invited to indulge in a free warm holiday drink, enjoy Christmas music, capture memories at a selfie booth, meet others in their community, submit prayer requests and engage in conversations about the reason behind the season.

“We are so excited to have this opportunity to share love and good will with our neighbors here in Wallowa County,” said Cherie Dearth, Pastor of Joseph United Methodist Church, who is serving as the on-site coordinator for the event. “The holidays aren’t always jolly for everyone, and we’re honored to be a part of the larger tour offering a smile for and encouragement to others, shares.

“We want people to know that regardless of where life has them, that there is a local community of faith within The United Methodist Church who is here to inspire and support them. That Christ, whose birth is the reason for our Christmas celebration, loves and cares for them.”

Pew Research found that the things people least liked about Christmas were related to commercialism and materialism. They would rather spend their time with family and friends. Eventbrite revealed that millennials place a higher value on experiences over possessions. A recent Barna Group survey for United Methodist Communications noted that people seeking a spiritual home spend the majority of their free time at restaurants and coffee houses.

The hot cocoa fellowship event is being held in tandem with a series of touring events coordinated by United Methodist Communications on behalf of the denomination.

Representatives of The United Methodist Church will be traveling to 11 cities –– including Joseph –– across the nation in a gift-wrapped truck offering Christmas cheer and fun activities while connecting visitors with a reminder of what Christmas is all about.

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