The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

November 29, 2012

Church continues live Nativity

BY DENNIS BARTLOW
Commercial-News

STRINGTOWN, Ind. — The live Nativity at Stringtown Church of God has become an outreach program for the congregation.

“It takes a lot of work,” said the Rev. Keith Klossner, who has been senior pastor six years. “We work on it all year long.”

The culmination is the annual display on the first weekend of December each year.

“We have more than 100 costumes,” said Phyllis Wilson, who has been involved since the beginning. “It takes 50 to 60 people each evening.”

The church features the village of Bethlehem and the stable. You can drive through, or you can part your car and walk.

The participants work in half-hour shifts. With two teams, one is always outside.

“It is basically the same as it has been (for several years),” Klossner said. “Everybody in the church is involved in some way.”

After visitors have viewed the live Nativity, they are invited to come inside for soup, sandwiches and cookies.

“Last year 400 people came in to eat and for the fellowship,” Wilson said. “We all work together.”

Wilson said it is truly an outreach program.

This is the 16th year the Stringtown church has featured the live Nativity, but it has an even earlier beginning.

Stringtown was involved in a live Nativity with other Perrysville area churches and featured a live Nativity at the intersection of Indiana Routes 63 and 32.

“Several churches participated for several years,” Wilson said. “After waiting a couple years to see if anyone wanted to continue it, we decided to do our own.”

It has become a custom for many who travel to Stringtown.

“People talk about it from year to year,” she said.