Tuesday, 20 December 2011 11:52

Rhineland Nativity a growing tradition for Christian Fellowship Church

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By Jessi Gowan —  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Christian Fellowship Church in Rhineland has provided the community with a unique Christmas experience for nearly a decade, with its live nativity.

“It has been going on here for at least eight years, probably more,” explained Associate Pastor Tim Knelsen, who organized the event for the first time this year. “It doesn’t happen every year, but it has certainly been going on for a while.”

The nativity offers a glimpse into the first Christmas in a way that Knelsen hopes make people see what it might have been like, at the time. It gives a very different feel than a still nativity scene, and is much more interactive.

“It’s a great way for more people than just kids to get involved with a Christmas program,” he added. “Between people acting and people helping with setup, we have more than 30 people involved with putting this on.”

All of the people involved are members of the church, or attend youth programming at the church. For a church in rural Saskatchewan, Christian Fellowship sees a regular attendance at their Sunday morning service of between 130 to 150 people.

“We shoot to have a lot of things available to people of all ages,” explained Knelsen. “I think a lot of it is just that God is just doing good work in His church here. We do a lot to preach the Word of God and I really think that is something He appreciates.”

The church also works hard to put on this event for the community. Ideas begin forming in October, when they start working over several months leading up to the holiday.

This ensures that everyone can work on projects in their free time instead of trying to pack it all into the busy time leading up to Christmas.

Attendance for the live nativity averaged around 70 to 90 people per night, which pleased Knelsen.

“There is so much to do this time of year that we never expect too much, but it’s nice to see that it stays pretty popular with families around here,” he said. “We try to shake it up a little bit each year, telling the same story with different themes to keep it fresh. Every year, you get a new perspective.”

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