The second-annual live nativity at Starkdale Presbyterian Church is scheduled for Dec. 16 with six presentations repeated every half-hour starting at 5 p.m. and the final one beginning at 7:30 p.m.
The live nativity is an indoor/outdoor production about the birth of Jesus, followed by an opportunity to pet animals, meet the actors and enjoy refreshments in the fellowship hall.
"Last year's weather during the live nativity performances only seemed to add to the spirit of the event for audience members, who huddled around the manger to observe, reflect and enjoy the true meaning of Christmas," said Cindy Sagrilla, event co-organizer.
"For many folks, the live nativity at Starkdale kicks off the Christmas season. Our hope is that this becomes a family tradition," Sagrilla said. "Folks come to see the animals. They come to hear the angelic choir and the special angel, Olivia Chanoski, as she performs 'Mary Did You Know.' A solo by Keith Murdock also will be performed this year," she said.
"They come to see friends and family act or sing in the performance. They come for refreshments. They come to celebrate the season, to celebrate the birth of our Savior and for fellowship," Sagrilla added.
The church estimates that nearly 250 spectators attended last year. In light of that, a shuttle van will be available to accommodate even more guests this year. Parking will be made available at the top of Riesbeck's grocery store directly behind the Wintersville McDonald's.
Outreach Commission Chair Jane Gambos said, "The live nativity is one of the church's ways of sharing the gift of Jesus Christ. It is our gift to the community at large - free of charge."
"Our future is to remain ever faithful in our mission: ' to glorify God and share His love for all humanity by proclaiming and celebrating salvation through Christ's life, death and resurrection; growing in discipleship through the teachings of the Bible; and serving the needs of all people,'" Gambos said.
Starkdale Presbyterian Church is located at 4600 Sunset Blvd., Steubenville. For information about the production or other Starkdale activities, contact the church office at (740) 264-5309 or visit the website at www.starkdale.org.
Pictured at left are some scenes from the 2011 first-time live nativity event.