For 16 years, the Living Nativity was part of the Christmas season at Conley’s United Methodist Church. A new pastor and an aging set of buildings created an opportunity to change it up this year.
The Living Nativity buildings were never meant to stay outdoors, and the weather has taken its toll. Forecasts for frigid weather sealed the decision. On Dec. 15-17, “Christmas Play” by Gary Neal Hansen was presented inside the warm sanctuary, in a readers theater style where actors do not memorize lines, but use vocal styling to portray the story.
Scriptures used are in John 1, Luke 1 and 2, Matthew 1 and 2. Performers were Betty Hudson, narrator; David Ritchie played Joseph; Nancy McMinn was Mary. The three Wise Men were Dough Harbaugh, Bill Mason and K.C. Carmine. King Herod was played by Jim VanDerWall. Elaine Perry was the Angel Gabriel. Ed Perry was Zechariah and Simeon, and Cynthia Ruby Tobal was Elizabeth. The Prophet was performed by Sandy Shipe. Shepherds were J. Daniel Burke, Georgiann Deist; the Innkeeper was Gwen Michel. Angels were Scherrie Barry, Mary Lou Dickson and Jean Unruh. Anna was performed by Joyce Wilhelm.