CLARKS GREEN — A coating of snow made it look a little bit like Christmas. But nothing says Christmas like a nativity scene, especially a live one. That’s what members of Clarks Green Assembly of God performed this past weekend. The event was called the Live Nativity of the Abingtons.
The church’s backyard was decorated like the town of Bethlehem with the innkeeper’s house on the side and the manger in the middle. Live animals such as a cow and sheep provided by Hricho Farms and a donkey from Bartrige Farms, both in Fleetville, added authenticity to the scenes. Audience members sat on hay bales as they watched a 30-minute presentation of Jesus’ birth. It was directed by Bruce Leach, who donned angel wings and a white robe since to also play the angel Gabriel, who tells Mary she will become pregnant with Jesus.
The presentation began with church member Caroline Warner singing a beautiful rendition of “Where’s the Line to See Jesus?” Then, a fishmonger gossiped to a Bethlehem woman about Mary’s pregnancy. They were played by Tony and Naomi Mascaro, parents of Joseph Mascaro, who played Mary’s husband Joseph. Mary was played by Laura Kudey, who has had this role before during the live nativity of Back Mountain Harvest Assembly in Trucksville.
“It’s a very humbling experience because Mary pondered everything that happened to her and treasured them in her heart,” said Kudey. “So, I try to get into her mindset.”
“This is the reason we have Christmas,” said Dan Miller, lead pastor of Clarks Green Assembly of God. “Every retailer and every Christmas salesman should thank Jesus because without Him, there would be no Christmas. It’s an eternal gift.”
This year, Clarks Green Assembly of God made the presentation bigger and better, adding an upgraded sound system to give sound clarity to the music and dialogue, realistic props and costumes, and the largest cast ever. The presentation included humor with a taxpayer and a tax collector haggling and a light-hearted feel as Mary and Joseph cheering when the innkeeper told them there is room in the manger for them and baby Jesus.
This production also had dancing as teens and children Bianca Pineiro, Julia Taylor, her sister Madelyn Taylor, Ayanna Rivera, and her sister Ana Rivera danced while dressed as angels.
After the presentation, the cast and the audience went inside the church to warm up in the fellowship hall, where they found cookies, coffee, hot chocolate, and an open-hearth fireplace. Church pianist/singer Denise Warner played piano solos of traditional and modern Christmas songs in the church’s lobby.
Raffle baskets were in the fellowship hall. There were also tickets for the second annual Abington Christmas Giveaway. Live Nativity of the Abingtons partnered with the business community in the Greater Abington Area to help give back to the community. Participating local businesses included Ado Salon and Tanning, which provided a free spray tan, Ashley’s Men’s Salon, which provided a free haircut, and a gift certificate from Rosario’s Pizzeria & Ristorante.
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