Waterford church presents live nativity

| Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012, 9:02 p.m.

On Friday night, under a clear, star-filled sky, members of Christian Church of Waterford conducted the fifth live nativity event, depicting the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. The event featured members of the church in the various roles.

“We've been doing this for several years and it's just the idea of getting into the Christmas spirit,” said the Rev. Dave Kromel, pastor of the Waterford church. “What better day is there for Christians than to celebrate the birth of Jesus?”

The scene began with the arrival of Mary and Joseph, portrayed by Angela and Adam Leonard of New Florence, riding in on a donkey.

The rest of the traditional cast included the three kings, played by Chad Cairns, Jim Lynn and Mike Tomlinson, all of Ligonier. The group included angels and shepherds with live sheep. The animals belong to Tim and Judy Leonard of Ligonier.

Mike Mitchell directed this year's pageant. Mitchell is a new minister at the church who moved to Waterford with his family in November. He said he has never seen a nativity performance like the one performed in Waterford.

“This is a pretty big one compared to what I've ever seen,” Mitchell said. “Usually you just have a little manger or something, nothing with all these people, the big giant stable and the live animals. To come together with other people and to share in that, it means the world to me.”

Mitchell said the event was an opportunity for the church to reach out to the neighborhood and welcome people that don't usually come to church.

“In today's society, Christmas is becoming something that it is not supposed to be as far as Christians are concerned,” Mitchell said. “Christmas, you hear it in the word: Christ.”

The Waterford congregation has presented the nativity, in its current form, since 2007, with many parishioners returning year after year to participate.

Tracey Horner of Waterford has coordinated the sound and music for the play for the past five years. He echoed Mitchell's feelings about the true meaning of Christmas and the group's reasons for showing the nativity.

“We feel that the message needs to get out about Christ's birth. The reason for Christmas is Christ's birth, not all the secular things that go one there. This is the true reason for Christmas,” Horner said.

Peter Turcik is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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