CHESTERMERE – This past weekend, members of the Chestermere Christian Fellowship came together to put on three live performances of the traditional nativity scene.
On Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening, they performed outside of the church on a set built by members of the church group. Visitors could enjoy a seat by the fire to watch the play, and were then invited inside the church after the performance for hot chocolate.
After the half-hour performance, the group also sang a few Christmas carols.
Both the performers and the audience alike were treated to mild winter weather on all three nights, which church member and play director Angela Stockert said was a relief, as they had all prepared for the worst.
“We were planning for it to be minus 25, so we tried to keep it short and sweet, but the weather was just perfect,” she said. “We are really proud of how it went, we had a great time.”
Stockert said that their biggest turnout was on Saturday evening, where around 120 people came to see the play.
She said that they tried to get the word out about the performance as best they could, and said although they did some advertising and some door-knocking, word of mouth seemed to bring in the most visitors.
“We had a great turnout, we were really happy about that,” she said. “We hope more people hear about it and get excited to come next year.”
Stockert said that they are definitely planning to make the performance an annual event, and that they already have ideas of ways to improve for the future.
“A lot of people told us that we did a great job and that they would like to make our performance a part of their family’s Christmas tradition,” she said. “That was amazing to hear and we’re definitely already excited about doing it again next year.”
As far as why they decided to do it, Stockert said that one of the church members came forward with the idea.
“One of the men in our church, Jim, was praying and God just really put it on his heart to do it,” she said. “He just felt like he really needed to be obedient, so he went to out board and said that it was something he felt like we needed to do.
“He’s not a very outspoken guy, so we’re glad he came forward and that we were able to do this.”
Stockert said that everything that went into the performance was done on volunteer time.
“We have an amazing church, there’s only around 50 of us, and everybody just took a job and did it,” she said. “We didn’t even do auditions or anything like that, we just asked people if they wanted to be involved and they said yes, it came together pretty easily.
“Before we knew it we had a set, and we had costumes, and we even had a sheep and a donkey.”
Overall, Stockert said that they are proud of how it came together.
“It was a neat atmosphere for sure, and we’re happy we could do this and that everyone came out to join us.”
The Chestermere Christian Fellowship is located on Conrich Road (Range Road 284.) For more information, visit chestermerechristianfellowship.org.