Living nativity provides drama and fun

December 19, 2010|By DAVE McMILLION |
  • The Cantata live nativity scene Sunday at Washington Square United Methodist Church features Deron Crawford, left, as Joseph and Tara Simmons as Mary.
By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — A living nativity at Washington Square United Methodist Church Sunday night lived up to its name in more  ways than one.

After a church member portraying Joseph led a donkey to the living nativity at the front of the sanctuary of the church at 538 Washington Ave., it left what Pastor Jerry Lowans referred to as a “gift.”

It relieved itself.

No problem. It was all in good fun.

“This too shall pass,” Lowans said during the service, drawing laughs from the crowd of about 150 people.

Lowans said after the service that nature often calls with the animals during the live nativity, which he said has been offered at the church for at least 10 years.

“You got to experience all parts of the stable,” Lowans said.

The living nativity also included a Christmas cantata, which featured a choir made up of members from three area churches besides Washington Square: St. Matthew’s, Grace and Emmanuel United Methodist churches.

Jerry Haines and Kelli Deiterich took turns telling the story of the birth of Jesus as the choir performed.

Mary and Joseph were portrayed by Deron Crawford and Tara Simmons, members of Washington Square United Methodist Church.

After a few musical selections, the two walked to the front of the sanctuary and took their places at a lit stable complete with bales of hay.

Then shepherds arrived, carrying two baby goats. A group of wise men also approached the stable.

Haines told the crowd to remember during the holiday’s festivities that God has the future laid out, and it includes “hope, restoration and redemption.”

“God has a plan and it includes you,” Deiterich said.

After the service, guests were invited to the front of the sanctuary to pet the animals. As the donkey was being led toward the front door of the church after the service, it refused to go down a small flight of steps as a group of people tried to coax it.

The people talked about possibly walking the animal — provided by Down on the Farm Petting Zoo in Fairplay — down a ramp.

Charmain Summers, who attended the service, called the production “great.”

“It’s something different. I don’t remember having a lot of nativities when I was a child,” Summers said.

Summers said Washington Square United Methodist Church is thinking about having an Easter sunrise service in the parking lot next year.

Diane Mitchell said her church, Emmanuel United Methodist, had a live nativity Saturday and Sunday nights.

After being out in temperatures that dipped to 20.3 degrees Sunday night, Mitchell said it was nice to experience a live nativity inside.

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