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Church presents live nativity scenes, drive-through style

Lana Foster, First Covenant Church member

First Covenant Church's congregation invites area residents to a free and special presentation when it offers a live nativity with a somewhat different twist from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12.

Live performers with live animals and choral accompaniment will appear in several scenes, depicting the events leading up to and including the birth of Jesus.

The twist?

Viewers will be able to see the eight lighted scenes from the comfort of their cars as they drive through, listening to music and reading the significance of each "station" set up on the church's parking lot.

Lana Foster, a member of First Covenant Church, brought the idea of the drive-through live nativity to her fellow church members last February, hoping to offer the event as a gift to the community.

According to Foster, "The idea was well received and serious planning began.

"We hope Live Nativity 2010 will prove to be an entertaining, informative and magical evening of fun for everyone," said Foster. "If well received, it may become an annual event."

Brian Majerus, First Covenant's director of Christian Formation and Family Ministries, said, "Christmas is a wonderful time of celebration in a community and we hope to add to that through the live nativity.

"Historically, Christians celebrate the Advent season, beginning November 28th this year, with a theme of waiting or anticipating. This 'waiting' is fulfilled at Christmas in the celebration of Christ's birth.

"Our hope is that the live nativity can be one way that those who drive through can begin experiencing a hopeful anticipation for Christmas and all that it is. It's our way of wishing those we work and live with in the River Falls area a Merry Christmas!"

The eight stations include these scenes: "The Angel Gabriel and Mary," "The angel reassures a sleeping Joseph," "Caesar issues a decree," "The inn," "The angel tells the shepherds of Jesus' birth," "King Herod and the Wise Men," "Christ is born," and "All rejoice at Jesus' birth."

Each station also focuses on quotes from the Bible books of Luke, Matthew, John and Philippians.

Though a free presentation, any free-will offerings will go to the Feed My Starving Children program.

Though First Covenant is located at 1374 N. Main St., persons attending are asked to enter the church parking lot at its Quarry Road entrance.

When asked why Foster wanted to engage the congregation in this type of project, she said, "The way things are these days, it's more important than ever to focus on Christ at Christmas, and to share as best we can. Regardless of circumstances, this story brings joy, peace and hope to everyone, as we take a moment to appreciate the true meaning of Christmas."