Our First Live Nativity and other church developments

After the rush of the Christmas season, and then the early days of settling down to our homeschooling routine, it takes a bit of effort to make the time to write. I imagine it’s going to take me a few posts to get properly caught up.

Our church plant put on a live nativity in mid-December. It was a bitterly cold night but we had some brave souls come out. I loved it. After the previous years of Christmas Eve Candlelight services, which were such a highlight before I was a pastor’s wife but which I have grown to resent and dread, I compared the two events and decided that the live nativity is where I would much rather spend my time and effort. Bringing the story of the birth of Jesus to the community, at the gazebo park in the center of town, was the perfect way to celebrate Christ’s birth. It was so much more meaningful to bring Christ with us to those who came to see, than to keep Him hidden inside the church sanctuary.

The town pub is where we all met for an early supper that night. The bar owners there supplied hot chocolate and a warm foyer for a local parachurch community organization to supply free cookies at a table next to their hot chocolate. What a blessing both of these groups were to our event! Who ever would think that a bar and a church could work together?

We had volunteers from the community to man barricades (the town insisted that we close down the busiest intersection in town, which is a T intersection directly in front of the little park with the gazebo); as well as to hand out candy canes to the audiences. We had four presentations which took about 10 minutes each and were held every half hour. The 20 mins or so between each presentation could be spent warming up in the pub’s foyer with the cookies and hot chocolate, or visiting the petting zoo animals who were fenced in right next to the gazebo/presentation area. The owner of the petting zoo included several other animals that he didn’t charge us extra for, including a sweet donkey. We were so blessed! The animals were a real drawing card for those who came out – even the adults were smitten with them.

Our church family is still small, but growing. Presenting our first ever, live nativity required help and funds to put on. It was fun to do and I think everyone had a good first-time experience. We’ll see what happens this next Christmas!

Our local area newspaper even ran an article I wrote about it for free. We weren’t sure if they would want to, but they did – and even included a little clip-art nativity picture. I should have included photos that I took, but I didn’t even think to include a few with my submission at the time.

We are entering the new year with increased optimism and hope. We have been actively seeking sponsors to help us with our rental costs as we all feel led to get into our community rental facility every Sunday. (We are currently renting 1x a month for Sunday service and the rest of the Sunday services are held in our home.) There are two different prices right now – a budget-friendly, hourly one for renting every week that has us setting up and taking down; and a monthly rate ($550) that would see us in the room permanently, whenever and for however long we need. We are aiming for raising the $550/month which would also allow for my husband to have an office in the room. This facility houses the town’s library, museum, a preschool/daycare, and other offices for community groups and our area MLA. The towns’ schools neighbor this facility, which was formerly the town school, and provide additional exposure to the public. It is a solid location.

These winter months are not friendly on the Canadian prairies, and nearly all of us have to travel into town. We have booked the facility for every Sunday in January, starting this Sunday to come; and intend on booking for all of February and March, in that budget-friendly, semi-permanent state until we can grow enough or raise enough funds to afford the permanent rate. Our weather is a bit of a concern right now though – we find ourselves gripped in a deep freeze – pretty typical winter weather for January and February. Despite possibly having to cancel services due to the weather and road conditions, we are still hoping to grow over winter.

 

 

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