Nativity Experience: Westminster church to host display of manger scenesWORTHINGTON — For Christians, that scene of Mary and Joseph and the babe in the manger is the prevailing image of the Christmas season. It is played out in countless Sunday school pageants and is brought home through the use of a Nativity set. Those Nativity sets are often cherished family heirlooms and may have their own story to tell in addition to the familiar Christmas tale.
By: Beth Rickers, Worthington Daily Globe
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. … And all went to be taxed, everyone to his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city called Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem (because he was of the house and lineage of David), to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her first born son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them at the inn. …
WORTHINGTON — For Christians, that scene of Mary and Joseph and the babe in the manger is the prevailing image of the Christmas season. It is played out in countless Sunday school pageants and is brought home through the use of a Nativity set. Those Nativity sets are often cherished family heirlooms and may have their own story to tell in addition to the familiar Christmas tale.
That’s the premise behind “A Nativity Experience!” — a special event from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 230 Clary St., Worthington. More than 50 unique Nativity sets will be displayed for public viewing.
Hosted by Westminster’s Piecemakers quilting group and Koinonia Bible study group, the idea of an event featuring Nativity scenes was broached as a possible outreach project.
“This sounded like a fantastic idea to us,” explained Marlis Anderson, a member of both groups. “We not only wanted to do this for Westminster, but the community.”
For this first-time event, the organizers turned to their fellow church members for the display items.
“This year, we asked our congregation to contribute their sets for display. Since they have been so generous, there will be more than 50 Nativity sets,” Anderson explained. “As this event grows, we will encourage the community of Worthington to contribute their Nativity sets.”
Among the sets that have been committed for the display are one that is more than 100 years old and one that plays “Silent Night.” There’s a doll-size set made by collectible company Ashton Drake and several of the handmade variety. Westminster secretary Pat Kunze brought in two sets that she made over the years.
“I didn’t have a lot of money, so I made this out of an oatmeal box,” she said, pulling out a piece of decorated cardboard, as well as some ceramic figures to go inside it. “The figures I got for 29 cents at Davidson Variety in 1964.”
Kunze’s second manger scene was crocheted from yarn and includes the usual figures and a few animals.
“I must have made that 20 years ago,” she related. “I probably got the pattern from the McCall’s craft magazine. “After I had it all done, maybe a year later, they came out with a camel.”
Carol Pospisil will bring in another handmade cr?che, which she painted in a ceramics class. Anderson has several Nativity-related items to contribute, including a large wall hanging.
“I bought it for $1,” she said of the fabric panel that was hand-quilted. “It took me 100 hours to finish it, so it wasn’t such a bargain.”
The date for “A Nativity Experience!” was chosen to complement other area holiday happenings, including the Christmas House Walk that benefits Hospice.
“There are so many things going on this weekend — the Hospice walk, the Fulda craft bazaar,” said Pat Honius. “We hope people will go to those things, have lunch with their friends, and then they can come here for dessert.”
Christmas cookies, ice cream and cookies will be served. Live piano music will be provided by Darlene Rautenkranz and Barbara Turpin. An admission fee will be charged.
The Westminster women are already looking ahead to future years and how they can grow their fledgling event.
“It is our desire to continue the ‘Nativity Experience’ every year, not only for our church, but the community,” Anderson said. “What a wonderful tradition this will be. Our dream is that someday we will outgrow our Geneva Hall and have to find a larger display area in the community.”