I hope everyone is having a great Thanksgiving with family and friends. As I think about the next few weeks I know we’re looking forward to an incredibly fruitful Christmas season at Calvary. One change is that Calvary is not conducting the Living Nativity this year. There were a number of factors that led to this decision and I thought it might be helpful for you to know of them.
We’ve conducted the nativity for at least six straight years and have been so blessed by your serving and participating. It’s a huge effort by many behind the scenes as well as those who stand in the cold and display the stations of the nativity. Even though the brutally cold weather last year led to calling it off each night, we still had to have all preparations in place and were ready to go until the weather prohibited us from presenting it each night. This has also happened on another occasion or two such as when rain or storms leading to partial showings or nightly cancelling.
From this and other observations, we’ve learned a thing or two: One, we need to have weather provisions, such as constructed shelters or blinds that shield the actors and scenes from wind, rain, or the cold. The beauty of the nativity is that people can drive through – but the actors must stand in the weather, and some years that’s a tough thing to do. As we move forward and consider next year, we’ll think about how that might be done.
Also, since it’s so intensive a production, it’s a good idea to give our people a breather this year and consider the possibility of doing the nativity every other year, or resuming it on a yearly basis in 2012. In particular this year, the choir is conducting a major drama and musical production. We know how hectic the Christmas season can be, and to give proper emphasis of resources and effort to the musical, it seems best to not have two weekends back to back where our people were stretched so thin.
We’ve also noticed that the attendance at the Living Nativity has been slowly trickling downward, this due possibly to having conducted it so many years straight in a row. It seems clear that the future uniqueness and interest in the event could be enhanced by a break this year.
These thoughts give you a snapshot into the decision making process and hopefully helps you understand the reasoning for not conducting it this year.
Clearly we have a full month of opportunities for ministry and fellowship at Calvary and I’m confident the Lord will bless us as we honor Him. In addition, I hope that you will support Christmas House and the Adult Choir in prayer and by your presence.