Living nativity coming to Standish

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STANDISH – The Standish Congregational Church on Oak Hill Road is hoping to bring tidings of comfort and joy to community members on Wednesday, Dec. 14, by presenting a living nativity scene and reenactment of the day Christ was born in Bethlehem.

The event begins at 6 p.m. and will be followed by refreshments in the church’s fellowship hall.

“We want to remind people whose birthday it is,” said church the Rev. Cynthia Biggar. “We want to bare witness to the birth of Jesus and hopefully people will come and reflect on what the Christmas season is all about.”

This is the second year for the nativity at the church and organizer and church member Kate Marles is hoping this year’s event is as successful.

“It was really beautiful last year,” said Marles, who is also a Sunday School teacher at the church. “It was snowing and so many people from the community attended and seemed to really enjoy themselves.”

Biggar agreed.

“It was really spectacular last year,” said Biggar. “The response we got from the community was all very positive and uplifting. Katie really puts a lot of work into making the event special.”

Two years ago, Marles was searching the area for a living nativity scene, where live animals and actors are used, to bring her two small children to. When she couldn’t find one, she spoke with church members about organizing one at Standish Congregational Church.

“Living nativities are a nice way to bring the community together,” said Marles. “It’s about celebrating what the season is about and having a fellowship with neighbors and friends and just getting everyone together and out in the community. It’s such a joy to see the children of the church dressed as angels and shepherds and having such a good time.”

Standish resident and church member Dottie Payne shared Marles’ thoughts.

“It is absolutely amazing,” said Marles, who attended last year’s nativity with her husband. “It touches the heart.”

This year’s celebration will include hymns by the church choir, nativity characters played by church members, and livestock including sheep, calves, a donkey and a goat. There will be scripture readings throughout the evening, and the story will be narrated. The church will be open throughout the evening for viewers who want to warm up.

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