The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

December 3, 2009

Churches feature Nativity scenes

COVINGTON, Ind. — Two Covington, Ind., area churches who provide live Nativities on the first weekend of December every year always seem to face inclement weather.

Organizers have faced snow, freezing rain and blowing wind for the past several years, and this year may be no exception.

But, the congregations of Benson Chapel United Methodist Church west of Covington and Stringtown Church of God south of Covington enjoy the opportunity to provide an outreach to the area.

This is the 12th year for the Stringtown church and the fifth year for Benson Chapel.

“We love it,” said Jared Brothers, youth minister at Stringtown. “It is a way to reach out to the community.”

The two congregations are not in competition with one another and often hear people say that they go to both in one night.

“I get a lot of joy putting it together,” said Joe Gritten, director of the live Nativity at Benson Chapel.

Benson Chapel is expanding its animal collection.

“We bought a donkey last year, and she had a baby donkey,” Gritten said. “We also had the birth of new sheep. We are trying to build a herd.”

Ladonna Spicer cares for the animals, which the church hopes to form a petting zoo.

We’ve got the perfect place (for the live Nativity),” Gritten said. “The driveway is perfect. We hope we can reach out to someone.”

Enter from the east drive and exit on the west drive. You will receive a CD when you enter; turn it in at the end.

The Stringtown church will feature llamas for the first time. Their setup features the village of Bethlehem as it might have been when Jesus was born.

“We focus on the Nativity,” Brothers said. Motorists can either drive through the scene or you can park and walk through the village.

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