The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

December 4, 2013

Church Nativities bring Christmas story to life

JOHNSTOWN — The story of Christmas has lived through the generations of human history, ever since Jesus Christ was born in a stable in Bethlehem.

Two area churches will conduct living Nativity scenes to create a meaningful display and teaching tool for the season.

The Christmas story will come to life from 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 13 and  14 at Windber Calvary United Methodist Church, 1800 Stockholm Ave.

Dee Fisher, event coordinator at Calvary United Metho­dist, said the congregation is building on its initial success last Christmas.

“It was fantastic,” Fisher said. “It was so simple but proved to be very meaningful.”

Men from the church built a stable, and there will be luminaries lighting a path for the cars. The youth group of Calvary, Really Outrageous Christian Kids (ROCK) will portray Mary, Joseph and an angel. Other members of the congregation will join them as shepherds, and youngsters will represent the animals.

The idea of a living Nativity was initiated by Calvary’s pastor, the Rev. John Snyder.

Snyder will portray a man who announces that the prophecy of a Messiah has come to pass.

“Last year he would approach several cars and proclaim the good news,” Fisher said.

Organizers are optimistic that the event this Christmas will surpass last year’s effort.

“We have made a few changes like adding a star over the stable and having small children portray the sheep that surrounded the manger,” Fisher said.

Visitors are asked to enter the Nativity from the Stockholm Avenue entrance of the parking lot and depart by the Veil Avenue exit. They are encouraged to park in the rear lot and take time to enjoy other activities surrounding the Nativity.

Church members will serve light refreshments in the foyer.

“We have embraced this idea as a gift to the community, and we are determined to continue to make this an annual event,” Fisher said.

Westmont Nativity

A drive-thru live Nativity will be presented from 6 to

8 p.m. Dec. 14 at Westmont United Methodist Church, 1428 Menoher Blvd.

The Rev. Kevin Rea, pastor, said the event, now in its fourth year, has been upgraded.

“We have changed some of the backgrounds and we have come up with a more concentrated design for the way we have things set up,” Rea said.

In addition to the redesigned layout, new costuming has been created for the characters.

The Nativity will feature  shepherds, wandering wise men and the manger scene.

“We also will have music, Scrip­tures and carolers handing out free cookies after people have viewed the Nativity,” Rea said.

People will enter from Menoher Boulevard, where they will be greeted by shepherds tending their flocks and searching the night sky. Large signs with Bible passages will tell the story.

In the final stage of the drive-thru, people can hear seasonal music sung by a choir and enjoy holiday cookies baked by church members.

“People can just crack open their car windows and get some cookies,” Rea said, and cookies will be available for those with dietary restrictions.

The excursion is free.

“It is a wonderful way to get in the spirit of Christmas,” Rea said.

Tom Lavis covers Features for the Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter.com/Tom LavisTD.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Cause of West End fire still undetermined

    The cause of a five-alarm fire early Monday morning at a vacant structure on the 500 block of Dorothy Avenue in Johnstown’s West End has not yet been determined.

    July 22, 2014

  • Former worker, pal jailed in Logan Township thrift store robbery

    A former employee and another man have been jailed on charges they robbed a Blair County thrift store, a crime foiled when a current employee told police she recognized the first masked suspect’s voice.

    July 22, 2014

  • Rents change with new rules

    A change in federal housing regulations raises the rent for 28 public housing tenants and reduces the rent for 29 tenants in Johnstown Housing Authority communities.

    July 21, 2014

  • Memorial programs recognized

    A national hospital ranking report recognizes Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center as high performing in four categories.

    July 21, 2014

  • Residents seek Sonman memorial

    Relatives of workers involved in one of the biggest mine disasters in the region’s history are working to keep the victims’ memories from fading. Next year marks the 75th anniversary of the 1940 Sonman Mine explosion, which claimed 63 lives.

    July 21, 2014

  • Tribune Treasure!

    July 22, 2014

  • Foul play ruled out in train fatality

    Foul play has been ruled out in the death of a Windber man found struck by a train near Seward early Sunday, investigators say.

    July 21, 2014

  • Correction 07/22/2014

    July 21, 2014

  • Concussion prevention project progressing

    A Johnstown-area hospital and school district are a step ahead of the president's call for more research into sports injuries, having developed a groundbreaking concussion-prevention program aimed at helping all athletes, particularly students, avoid brain injuries.

    July 21, 2014

  • Local briefs 7/22/2014

    July 21, 2014

Poll

What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
House Ads