The story of Christ's birth will be brought to life during the second annual Live Nativity presented by the Baldwinsville First United Methodist Church from 3 to 5:30 p.m. Sunday Dec. 20.
The first reenactment of the Nativity dates back nearly 800 years - to the year 1223 - when St. Francis of Assisi brought the story of the birth of Jesus Christ to life in Greccio, Italy. St. Francis, a Catholic deacon and the patron saint of animals, used people, animals and carved figurines to tell the Christmas story.
On Dec. 20, about 50 members of the First United Methodist Church in Baldwinsville will do the same thing using animals, actors, scenery and costumes. Scenes will include Mary and Joseph's journey to Bethlehem, their encounter at the inn, the angels' visit to shepherds in the field, the manger where Jesus was born and the travels of the three Wise Men.
Using the Christmas story as it is told in the Biblical gospels of Matthew and Luke, the church's Live Nativity will appeal to those familiar with the Christmas story as well as those who may be seeing and hearing it for the first time. The reenactment will take place outside the church, regardless of the weather.
"Christmas is an exciting time in the life of the Church," a spokesperson explained. "We are pleased to offer this re-telling of the beautiful Christmas Story as our gift to our neighbors and community."
The Live Nativity is free and guided tours will take visitors from the starting point in the church's parking lot off Charlotte Street to the many points of the nativity. Inside the church (at 17 W. Genesee St. in Baldwinsville, corner of Charlotte and West Genesee streets), visitors can warm up with live Christmas music and refreshments at the Caroling Caf (c). The event is 3 to 5:30 p.m., and everything is free including refreshments. Parking is located in the church parking lot, in village lots adjacent to the church and along Charlotte Street and in the nearby Mercer Park parking lots. For more information, visit bvillefirstumc.org or call the church office at 635-6442.