Archived Story

FUMC Live Nativity returns

Published 8:10am Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Livestock and Roman soldiers will be hanging out at Hartselle First United Methodist Church this weekend as a part of the church’s Live Nativity display.

Ellen Hodgen, who is helping to coordinate the event through the church, said they decided to bring the event back this year because it was so well received. She also said many others missed it and wanted to participate in it.

She said they aren’t offering a nativity story in opposition to Santa, but to give everyone another facet of the holiday season.

“Of course, we give gifts because of the wonderful gift God gave the world, and as a further extension,” Hodgen said. “The Magi gave gifts too. We want children and unchurched people to ‘Hear the Story.’”

The event also has an added bonus this year. The Nativity is not a static display. Hodgen said visitors will be able to witness eight scenes telling the story of Christ.

“There will be a voice over narration covering eight scenes, beginning with the prophecy from Isaiah, moving to the annunciation to Mary, Mary’s travel to Elizabeth, the angel’s visit to Joseph, the announcement to the shepherds, Mary and Joseph moving to Bethlehem, and the coming of the Magi and leaving by a different route,” Hodgen said. “This will take 10-12 minutes, and it will be repeated several times an hour.”

There will be refreshments in the ministry center along with live music from the praise band and other musicians and many other activities.

It also features a huge display of nativity scenes from private collections of church members in the ministry center.

Visitors will also be able to pet farm animals such as goats, miniature horses, burros, llamas, calves, alpaca, sheep and a camel.

Animals that are not in the pen will be around the stable scene. One lamb will also be available for pictures with children.

Hodgen hopes that people will take away from this experience the joy of the Christmas season.

“I want everyone to experience the joy we feel because of what God did for us – to not have to fear the future and to know that Jesus paid the price forever for our human goof-ups is what keeps me fresh and joyful no matter what my circumstances,” Hodgen said.

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