AP NEWS

Nativity to come to life

December 14, 2018

This time of year, the story of Jesus’ birth often gets lost in the shuffle of shopping, family gatherings and other events.

Which is why members of Grace Lutheran Church are presenting a live nativity on Sunday.

“It’s a way to share the glory of God,” said the Rev. Chris Asbury, the church’s associate minister.

While people of all ages will be involved, most of the characters will be portrayed by young people in the church who will be dressed as Mary, Joseph, the shepherds and angels.

Real farm animals will be used, too, said April Laskowski, who is helping to organize the event.

Church members are reviving a long tradition that went by the wayside 15 or 16 years ago, said Katie Ferguson, another of the organizers.

In fact, at one time, church members presented the nativity at spots downtown.

This year, the nativity will be set up on the east side of the church, in a corner where the new addition meets the old section of the church.

In addition to viewing the nativity and listening to a reading of the Christmas story, visitors may enjoy refreshments that will be served in the church lobby.

There, three handbell choirs — the Ding-a-Lingers, the Jubilee Ringers and the Shekinah Bell Choir — will provide music.

The church sanctuary also will be open so people can see the renovations that were made last summer. For several months, the area was closed while the ceiling and walls were repaired and painted, the pews removed and refinished and new carpet and sound system installed.

During the nativity, a free-will offering will be taken to support youths from the church who will be attending the National Youth Gathering in Minneapolis in July.

Organizers are hoping this year’s nativity will be the start of a tradition that will continue for many years.

“Members of the congregation are excited,” Ferguson said.

The event is Sunday, Dec. 16, from 4:30 to 8 p.m. at the church, which is located at 416 W. Park Ave., in Norfolk.

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