Living Nativity reaches out to Romansville community
Romansville United Methodist Church is celebrating a decade of presenting their drive-though Living Nativity as their annual Christmas gift to the community. The first Living Nativity took place in 2001. It was a monumental undertaking for the small congregation and immediately became a successful and beloved outreach event.
After the first nativity, while the cast and crew were changing out of costumes, cleaning up and enjoying homemade cookies and hot chocolate everyone was expressing their delight about the success of the project when the pastor overheard a long time member say “she’ll probably want to do it every year now!” and that is exactly what has happened.
During the past ten years the congregation and the community have wholeheartedly supported the Living Nativity. Ninety percent of the congregation is actively involved each year. Many are involved in behind the scene roles such as praying, baking cookies, designing and sewing costumes, electrical and lighting engineering, set design and building, assembling and lighting luminaries, building and tending the campfires, and transporting the animals. Others help with a a refreshment station for the cast, rotating and escorting cast members to the church kitchen for warm up breaks.
Neighbors and community members are also part of the cast. A number of animals are provided by residents of the village who don costumes and tend their animals during the program.Outreach Director, Leona DiMemmo and her team coordinate the event beginning in Septermber and Choir Director Laurie Haas directs the RUMC Nativity Choir which serenades the guests with Christmas carols as they are leaving.
Pastor Lin George said, “The initial event was planned as an outreach event, a gift to the community. However, the congregation feels that they are the ones who are most blessed by their effort with the gift of knowing they have glorified God in celebration of the birth of His Son.”
The church sends out postcard invitations to 600 households and the congregation invites their family and friends to visit. This year on Saturday, December 4, the church will have a nativity float in the Coatesville Christmas Parade for the first time. Congregation members will be passing out small gifts and invitations to the Tenth Annual Living Nativity which will be the next night, December 5 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.