The United Methodist Church is sponsoring a tour centered on advancing the real meaning of Christmas that will stretch across 16 states and have stops in 21 cities.
Known as the "Unwrap the True Meaning of Christmas Tour," the first stop will be in Waco, Texas, on Dec. 2 and the final destination will be Nashville, Tennessee, on Christmas Eve.
Diane Degnan, spokeswoman for United Methodist Communications, explained in comments sent to The Christian Post on Monday that the tour "seeks to reach out in a new and creative way with a message of hospitality to connect those who are searching for a more meaningful Christmas with a local United Methodist church."
"The tour message centers upon the true meaning of Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ, and an invitation to attend a local United Methodist church to continue to explore one's faith in community with others," said Degnan.
"Our message is one of hope, joy and faith to encourage people to seek deeper meaning in their lives, which many people are seeking during the Christmas season."
Cities on the tour's agenda include Dallas, Texas; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Jackson, Mississippi; Little Rock, Arkansas; Memphis, Tennessee; Indianapolis, Indiana; Columbus, Ohio; Charleston, West Virginia; Washington, D.C.; Virginia Beach, Virginia; Columbia, South Carolina; and Huntsville, Alabama; among others.
The cities were chosen due to a variety of factors, including overall demographics, the presence of UMC congregations, and their proximity to other chosen cities.
The tour will feature volunteers handing out hot cocoa, a video running on screens located on each side of the tour truck will tell the Nativity story, and there will be opportunities provided to take part in a local service project.
"These ads feature children telling the Christmas story and then asking, 'Children know the true meaning of Christmas. What if we all did?'" explained Degnan.
Degnan told CP that this coming tour mirrors a 2016 outreach project, although this year's event involves more cities, more local volunteers, and features its own truck with crew.