Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas At Trinity

At Trinity Church in Georgia's Rome, a live Nativity Scene has been a Christmas tradition since 1957 when Mary Craven , a Children's Sunday School Teacher, suggested the project to make Christmas a more Christian event for children.

Paul Carven, a Trinity member and Rome contractor built the first set. After two successful years, in 1959 Mr. Craven added 4’ by 20’ wings to the set.

When Paul and Mary Craven retired, Frank Craven and Allen Storey took the responsibility for building the set and Eulaine Camp directed the production. The Live Nativity has continued as a church wide cooperative project with more people than we can name.

Presently Judy and Lamar Allen are directing the event each Christmas with Frank Craven and family building the set each year.

The live nativity scene is presented each December for the five nights preceeding Christmas Day. Each scene is continuous and 13 people are in the scene at any one time. All characters are live with the exception of the babe and the camel. However, Trinity was blessed with a live camel for the 2000 and 2001 event. New angel wings were added in 1999 and 2000 while Eulaine Camp was Director.

Inside activity includes helping to arrange turbans and halos on heads; heating bricks upon which cold wise men and shepherds stand; and making hot chocolate or coffee for tired workers.

Kathy, deaf from birth, was a child when my family moved to Trinity in 1962. Kathy loved to play the angel. And she was, in spite of the clever way she had of seeming not to see her parents when they were about to “sign” a reprimand to her.

As I wrote the poem below, I could envision Kathy, the faces of the young people in our household who loved to stand in the Nativity Scene and many others who participated with great enthusiasm in this annual event.

Our Nativity scene is alive
In living color too!
With teen-aged Mary dressed
Of course, in blue!

She sits beside the manger
Carol, Beth or Anne,
With Joseph standing by
In brown. He’s Bill or Dan.

The shepherds stand alert
A turban on each head.
There’s Mike and Sam or
Allen, Cleve and Fred.

The wise men are bedecked
In jeweled crowns that hide -
Or almost hide - the tousled hair
Of Terry, Rob and Clyde.

The angels, Kathy, Fran,
And Deborah... truly dear
But they can only qualify
As angels - once a year!

I watch the twisted halos
And am amazed to feel
In spite of pomp and pageantry
They somehow make Him real!

By Ruth Baird Shaw

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