Going on Faith

Winter 2017

The Magazine for faith-based travel planners.

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going on faith [ goingonfaith.com ] 29 [ CHRIST IN THE SMOKIES MUSEUM AND GARDENS ] GATLINBURG, TENNESSEE At Christ in the Smokies Museum and Gardens in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, visitors can explore 12 scenes from the life of Christ that feature more than 100 wax figures. Each is a life-size, lifelike diorama with dramatic scenery, lighting and a three-minute narration as part of an automated tour. "It's like a live play without live actors," said curator Mark Pedro. Visitors can see baby Jesus in the manger and 12-year-old Jesus at the temple. Other scenes depict the Last Supper, the Crucifixion and the Ascension. At the end of the tour, guests enter the outdoor prayer garden, where the face of Christ is carved into a block of stone, and "no matter where you stand, it looks like Christ is facing you," Pedro said. Next summer, the museum will unveil its "Women of the Bible: The Faithful and the Fallen" exhibit. Visitors will see a scene of Mary washing the feet of Jesus, and eight figures will flank the rotunda. On one side will be a display of four figures of faithful women, such as Ruth and Esther. On the other side will be four figures of "fallen" women, such as Jezebel. The new exhibit is the museum's "big push," Pedro said, and will be on display from Memorial Day to Labor Day. For the Easter season, starting in February, the museum will showcase the story of Ben-Hur, including a new wax figure of Charlton Heston. This fall will mark the 500th anniversary of the moment Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on the church door in Wittenberg in 1517. To celebrate, the museum is planning an exhibit on the Lutheran Reformation and denominations. www.christinthesmokies.com [ B R A N S O N , M I S S O U R I ] In a community that puts "faith, family and flag" at the forefront, it's not surprising that Branson, Missouri, offers visitors a host of religious productions to choose from every year. Branson's Sight and Sound Theatres debuted its latest biblical produc- tion, "Moses," in March, and it has been a "big hit; so many sold-out shows," said Lynn Berry, director of communications for the Branson/ Lakes Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. "Every year I wonder how they're going to top it, and every year they top it," she said. Sight and Sound Theatres is known for its visually stunning produc- tions of biblical stories, among them "Jonah." Moses will run through December, then take a break before returning in March for an eight- month run. The theater's special effects, including the burning bush, pharaoh's palace and the parting of the Red Sea, bring the story of Moses to life onstage. Particularly touching is the scene of floating baby Moses down the River Nile, she said. Voices of Glory is a sibling singing group — two brothers and a sister — whose success started in sorrow. The three first started singing togeth- er at the bedside of their mother, who was in a coma after a car wreck with a drunk driver. Michael, Avery and Nadia Cole sang to their mom every day, and eight months later, she awoke from her coma. In 2009, the trio were finalists on NBC's "America's Got Talent" show. Today, their show, "AYO," at the Hughes Brothers Theatre, "is just incredible," Berry said. Faith-based groups should also check out "All Hands on Deck" at the Dutton Family Theater. The USO-style show is a re-creation of an authen- tic 1942 Victory Caravan and features four performers and a live nine- piece orchestra. www.explorebranson.com

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