by Linda Murdock
As the holiday season approaches, churches like St. Luke set up a Giving Tree with gift tags for presents requested by needy families in their community. At our Living Water site, we have traditionally collected food items like turkeys, stuffing mix, canned goods, and other non-perishables that are important Christmas menu items requested by Northfield Human Services in Whitmore Lake.
Through generous giving we show the love of Jesus and want others to know the reason we celebrate the Christmas story. This year St. Luke will kick off the Advent season by focusing on the importance and value of having a nativity set in every home.
Inexpensive nativity sets can be added to food baskets or care packages that go to many non-profits serving the needy. They bring joy both to the giver as well as the receiver–from families with young children to elderly Alzheimer’s patients who use a nativity set to learn and remember the Christmas story.
We will be offering five nativity sets for presale on November 8 (Living Water) and November 15 (St. Luke-Ann Arbor). Below are images of some of the sets that will be available.
Nativity sets that can be easily manipulated by preschoolers help bring the story of the Christ Child to life. Children especially love the animals! Along with the memories, a nativity set brings the comfort of the Christmas story, as families bring out different characters each week during their Advent worship time together.
This year St. Luke families are asked to consider starting a special holiday tradition by using their own nativity sets in a new way and by giving nativity sets as gifts.
On Wednesday, November 18 we will have the pleasure of hosting Rose Fremer, of Nativity Set Ministries, who will share her mission to make sure there is a nativity set in every home. Please come for dinner served from 6 – 7 p.m. and stay for a colorful PowerPoint presentation. There will also be an opportunity to order nativity sets like the ones shown here. Childcare will be provided.
This special Advent program is being sponsored by St. Luke LWML, and everyone is welcome to attend. Sign-up begins on November 8.
Drawing on her own family’s nativity set traditions, Rose Fremer–a member of St. James Lutheran Church in Montague, Michigan–will share what motivated her to embark on Nativity Set Ministry over 14 years ago.
Her ministry has been supported by the LWML Lakeshore Zone, and Rose accepts donations to buy sample sets for churches starting their own nativity set ministries. One recent example is Carmel Lutheran Church in Indiana, which got an enthusiastic response when it added a nativity set ministry to its existing Christmas giving programs.
Please mark your calendars for Wednesday, November 18 from 6 – 8 p.m. for “The Importance of a Nativity Set in the Home.” There will also be a drawing for chocolate door prizes, interactive sharing, and nativity sets available for cash and carry purchase. You are also encouraged to bring a favorite nativity set as a centerpiece for your table.