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Inside the stable

LIVE NATIVITY

Inside the stable

Animals, volunteers make holiday tradition debut

Church kids across the state take the stage when Christmas comes around: Wear the robe, adjust the halo, crown or shepherd’s staff and recite the verses to Biblical passages or Christmas songs as relatives take photos. For young members at the Floyd Grace United Methodist Church and St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Roseville, a few barnyard animals helped make a debut at two new living nativity scenes.

The two churches put distinct twists on the scenes: Grace United held an open house-style exhibit, inviting community members to stop by last Saturday from 3 to 5 p.m. and sing Christmas carols among some llamas, a donkey and goat. On Dec. 13, St. Mary’s will host their living nativity as a skit, re-enacting the nativity family’s journey and the introduction of shepherds and wise men, before continuing with a children’s program indoors.

“The worship committee thought it would be a witness to the community,” Grace United volunteer Deb Bauer said.

The stable and corral, both

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COMING UP

St. Mary’s Catholic Church Living Nativity & Children’s program Dec. 13, 5 p.m. built by Keith Bauer, also had a historical backdrop in the church yard –– surrounded by a concrete wall with animal tieups, dating back to the church’s founding 160 years ago when church members parked their transportation on the grazable grass. Two llamas joined the more traditional donkey and goat because, as Rev. Martha Bennett joked, they were the closest thing the church could borrow for a camel.

“We want to thank (everyone) who came to take part,” Bennett said.

St. Mary’s live nativity is directed by volunteer Stena Schmitt, who has previously experience working with a nativity skit.

“I’ve done it before, why not try it out here, because it’s the perfect spot,” Schmitt said. “Roseville is kind of in the middle of everything.”

Thirteen students from Greene, Rockford and Charles City will all take part in the performance Sunday at 5 p.m., joined by members of the Roseville Choir playing the musical role of the heavenly hosts. Sheep, a goat and a donkey will also make an appearance, and the children’s program, led by Janice Schultz, will follow the nativity.

“You can experience the journey of Mary and Joseph from Galilee to Bethlehem,” Schmitt said. “You also get a little history of what’s going on too, so it’s more like a parable, an actual story.”

By Kate Hayden [email protected]

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