Mariner's to hold annual LIve Nativity
On Monday, Dec. 19, Mariner’s Bethel United Methodist Church will hold its Ninth Annual Live Nativity.
Parishioner Duncan Cornell said that the church’s live nativity was created when another parishioner donated scrap wood to the church.
“I owe it all to our youth coordinator Kristina Wilson. She came up with the idea and I just facilitated it,” he said. “It was one of those God moments where we had this parishioner drop off this huge pile of wood for a bonfire. But instead of taking it and making a bonfire out of it, we picked through and took this beautiful barn wood and made a beautiful nativity with it. And it just kind of evolved.”
The free event will run from 6 to 9 p.m., and will allow attendees to take part in singing Christmas carols while watching the live nativity.
“The carols are interspersed throughout the story. So the story begins and then there are carols throughout the story. So people can get involved, they can sing with the carols,” said Jim Klinedinst.
Cornell said the living nativity will give community members the chance to experience the Christmas story in a realistic and unique way.
“It puts a lot more into it than just having some lit-up plastic figurines sitting in front of a nativity that looks like it’s been bought at a big box store,” said Cornell. “It’s just really authentic looking, authentic feeling. When you’re right there in the moment, you squint your eyes, you look at it, you can go back a thousand years and say, ‘this is how it was.’”
This year the event is being coordinated by Klinedinst, who said, at the heart of the event, it’s just the story of Christ’s birth.
“It’s the retelling of Christ’s birth. It’s a nice opportunity to tell that story as well as get the community involved to come out and see a recreation of it and also an opportunity to sing Christmas carols along with it.”
Klinedinst said that close to 100 people volunteer for the live nativity, which includes the actors to those who make the refreshments.
Attendees may also enjoy free homemade refreshments provided by parishioners as well as a fire.
“We’ll have a nice fire and cocoa to help warm people up,” said Klinedinst.
“Sometimes we have musicians and there’s singing. It’s a very spirit-filled evening,” added Cornell.
In past years, the event was held over a two-day period, and Cornell said that the two-day events would have approximately 300 attendees.
“We just try to extend the Christmas story to any and all who want to come and view it. We have refreshments. It can be a social time or it can be a very deep, personal time. What the person wants to get out of it. We’ve had many people walk away in tears because of what it all means to them. It’s just, I think that’s something that’s good.”
Cornell said that the event will be a night of fun and reflection, and ultimately peace.
“Of course one of the main things of it all is peace on earth and good will to men and I don’t think that could be nay more important in this state of our world affairs. I think that extends… it’s petty universal.”
Mariner’s Bethel United Methodist Church is located at Route 26 and Central Avenue, in Ocean View. For more information, call (302) 539-9510.