Find the True Meaning of Ebensburg!



Anyone looking for the true meaning of Christmas might get a glimpse when a big red tour truck pulls up in front of the Cambria County Courthouse in Ebensburg on Dec. 14 offering free hot cocoa, a chance to help neighbors, and an invitation to connect with a faith community.

The van, resembling a giant wrapped gift, will visit 16 states this month as part of The United Methodist Church's “The True Meaning of Christmas Tour”. It will be the centerpiece of the festivities from noon until 3 p.m. The whole community is invited. 

“We want to offer our community a different type of gift: an opportunity to celebrate what Christmas is all about by engaging in service with neighbors, boosting joy and building relationships with others,” said the Rev. J.R. Virgin, pastor of Ebensburg United Methodist Church. “We are also extending an invitation to attend a place of worship or become part of a faith community.”

The Ebensburg Church will host the come-and-go event at the Cambria County Courthouse, located at 200 S. Center St. in Ebensburg.

There will also be a collection of hygiene items, which United Methodist Human Services will distribute to local people in need. Tour participants can bring donations of soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and washcloths to the event.

A survey conducted by Pew Research Center in 2013 indicated that the activities that people least liked at Christmas time are the commercialism/materialism, money/expense, and shopping/crowds. What they most look forward to is spending time with family and friends (69%) and religious reflection/church (11%).

“This tour is a unique way for the church to reach out to people who are experiencing loneliness or who want to give back to the community at this significant time of year,” said Dan Krause, chief executive of United Methodist Communications, which is coordinating the month-long expedition. “More than 500 volunteers from local United Methodist churches are partnering with us to make this a multi-state effort.”

The True Meaning of Christmas Tour stops in 21 cities between December 2-24. Follow the tour online at and #UnwrapChristmas.


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