The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

December 5, 2012

Church to present live Nativity

Display goes from Savior’s birth to empty tomb

BY DENNIS BARTLOW
Commercial-News

CAYUGA, Ind. — Don and Teresa Morgan were involved in eight to 10 live Nativities when they lived in Joplin, Mo. Now they are involved in presenting the first one in Cayuga.

Don Morgan, who is pastor of the Cayuga Church of the Nazarene, said his congregation is excited about presenting it to the Cayuga area.

“We want to offer a fun time for the community,” Morgan said.

The Cayuga Nazarene Church will present “Walk through Bethlehem Christmas” from 4-8 p.m. EST Saturday at the Cayuga Park.

During the four-hour period, residents are invited to come to the park and take a step back in time. At the east end of the grandstand visitors will be greeted by two Roman soldiers who will give them a census form and information about the Christmas story. Plenty of parking is available in the park.

The census form is to be returned along with any information about possible needs.

The first stop will include a sampling of first century foods, including breads and nuts. Music and a video will be featured before visitors will see an assortment of animals including donkeys, goats, ducks, chickens and llamas.

The Nativity scene will depict Jesus’ birth, but this display will go a step further with the empty tomb.

“What we are trying to do is to help them know the story,” Morgan said.

It will take 35-40 minutes to go through the entire scene, which will be repeated five or six times.

Morgan has mentioned the live Nativity that he did in Missouri several times since coming to Cayuga in 2004, but it was North Vermillion High School student Levi Sprouls who told the congregation members they needed to do it in Cayuga.

Another North Vermillion student, Brenna Trosper, is working on the videos.

Morgan is impressed with the work of the youth, but the whole congregation is involved.

“We probably have 25 to 30 people involved,” Morgan said.

Most of the animals are from church members, but the llamas are from Clinton, Ind., and other animals are from Georgetown, Ill.

“It was the first of October when we decided definitely we were going to do this (this year).” Morgan said. “Lots of people are working on food and other things. It is fun to see this come together.”

If cold weather returns before Saturday, a tarp will help keep weather elements from under the grandstand.

“This is our gift to the community,” Morgan said.

Coming up

“Walk through Bethlehem Christmas” will be from 4-8 p.m. EST Saturday underneath the Vermillion County Fairgrounds grandstand at the Cayuga Park.