For the third year, the story of the birth of Jesus and the first Christmas over 2,000 years ago came to life near Chestermere this past weekend thanks to a local church group.
The Chestermere Christian Fellowship retold the ancient story of what happened half a world away through a live nativity scene. Three live performances were hosted on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening at the church located on Conrich Road.
The shows are always free to the public and included live animals such as a donkey and sheep. Bonfires kept the audience warm and afterwards everyone was invited inside for hot chocolate. “We do not charge an admission because we consider this a community service and just hope that everyone takes away a message with them” shares Nola Neufeld, who is the wife of Darcy Neufeld – the Church Pastor.
The half hour performances are done entirely by volunteers and took months to organize. According to Neufeld, the director, Angela Stockert, alongside of ten actors and dozens of volunteers worked tirelessly ensuring every detail was just right. She explains that it really is a labor of love from the entire church community. “Some of the costumes are homemade and some were donated including a special tunic from Nigeria given to us from a gentleman from there.”
On Saturday night, the church group arranged for over 80 people to be bussed out from the Mustard Seed in Calgary for a special viewing of the live nativity for the second year in a row. They also provided dinner to the guests. “We received a donation from an individual to provide the bussing and the food to host them,” says Neufeld who adds that they received a lot of positive feedback from those in attendance. Overall, Neufeld says they are happy with the outcome.
If you missed the live nativity play this weekend, you will have one more chance to share in the tradition. The group will be in Kinniburgh during the Kinniburgh Community Christmas on Saturday Dec. 23 between 2-4pm.
The Chestermere Christian Fellowship is located on Conrich Road (Range Road 284). For more information, visit www.chestermerechristianfellowship.org