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Jesus was
born and lived
among us
because God
cares about
people and
how they live.
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To honor Jesus, we will prepare for
his birthday by learning about the
people who live in Bethlehem today.
Birthday Present
Our gift to Jesus this
year will be to open
our hands, to say
yes to God as Mary
and Joseph did, and
to care for the
people who live in
Bethlehem now.
Last week we learned about Mary and
the women who live in Bethlehem today.

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Today’s Focus
This week we will learn about Joseph
and olive wood carvers today.

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                 Joseph was a
                 carpenter and
                 made things
                 from wood.

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                 God sent an
                 angel to tell
                 him to marry
                 Mary. He
                 opened his
                 heart to
                 God’s plan
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                 and was
                 obedient to
                 God’s call.
He became
the husband
of Mary and
the earthly
father of

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helped Mary
and Jesus     Courtesy photo

escape from
King Herod
by taking
them to

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Carpenters in Bethlehem today
Today many
carpenters carve
beautiful objects
from the wood of
olive trees that
grow all around
Some carve
animals, others
build créches,
and some make
figures like this
one of Mary
and baby Jesus.
Because not
many people
come to visit
today, there
are few people
to buy these
wooden pieces.
  Men today want to take
good care of their families,
 but it is hard to find jobs.
Coloring Page
This coloring page
will help you
remember Joseph
and men today who
listen to God, open
their hands and take
good care of their
Do you want to open your hands so
everyone can take care of their families?

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Please Join in Prayer
Thanks be to God for the fathers and
children of Bethlehem. May they feel
God’s love and our love. Protect the
olive trees so they may live many,
many years.

(peace in Arabic/Hebrew)
Adult Advocacy
Adults can help the olive carvers of
Bethlehem earn money to care for
their children.
• Invest in the severely depressed Palestinian
  economy by purchasing gifts produced by
  Palestinian artisans at Ten Thousand Villages
  or by ordering other products through Open
• Write a letters to your national legislators,
  urging an approach to the Middle East conflict
  which will build peace and security for all

For more information and resources,
see Adult Advocacy handout.
Upcoming themes
Next week we will learn about the
shepherds in Bethlehem then and now.

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Later we will learn
about the wise men
who came to learn      Courtesy photo

about Jesus and the
wise people who
come to Bethlehem to
learn God’s ways
The people who created
these materials:

•   Christi Hoover Seidel, Peace Development Worker
    Mennonite Central Committee—Palestine
•   Cynthia Friesen Coyle, Peace and Justice Support Network
•   Susan Mark Landis, Peace Advocate, Mennonite Church USA
•   Lisa Amstutz, Peace Advocate Secretary, Mennonite Church USA
•   Esther Epp-Tiessen, Peace Ministries Program, MCC Canada
•   J. Daryl Byler, Director, MCC Washington Office
•   Tim Seidel, Peace Development Worker, MCC Palestine.
Photos and images courtesy of:
•   Christi Hoover Seidel
•   Susan Mark Landis

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