December 9- After being shut down for two years because of the pandemic, the Santa Rosa church had its 23rd annual nativity program.
Traditionally cars would drive through the parking lot and see the live scenes with back drops setting the location and mood. However, time and the elements deteriorated the backdrop scenes over the years.
Not to be held back, the church decided to continue the event as a walk-through, keeping it alive and creating opportunities for a personal connection with their festive neighbors.
Attendees were escorted on foot in small groups through the church annexes and rooms where members dressed in costumes made up the manger, wise men, and other scenes from the story of Jesus.
According to one member, “When it was cars driving through, we rarely made personal contact, but I’ve been able to talk to many people tonight. It has been much more relational.”
Brad Gienger, pastor explained, “Conversations with attendees showed us that we (our church) have been part of neighborhood family Christmas traditions for years! Repeat customers! That realization showed us that it’s time to connect relationally with those friends.”
Gienger concluded by saying, “From what we experienced this year we are reviewing the entire event; from the quality of production, to reach and connection to the community.”
Featured in Northern Lights, December 15, 2022