College United Methodist Church
College United Methodist Church (File photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

Several times in past years, Living Faith Community Church in Philomath had been involved with organizing a living Nativity scene, often with various other churches coming together to participate. The church’s Carey Oien said it’s been a while since one has been done but this felt like the right year to bring it back.

“I just want to bless people with the message of Christmas,” Oien said. “Right now, I think it’s really needed.”

The living Nativity scene will run from 6-8 p.m., on both Friday and Saturday nights at College United Methodist Church. Those planning to go should enter the church parking lot from Main Street. People are asked to safely view from their vehicles for this “drive-by” event.

Living Faith and College United Methodist have partnered to bring the event to the community. Living Faith church members are providing the actors and the Methodist church is hosting.

With COVID-19 restrictions in place, the event has been limited to a single church’s participants.

“Because of COVID this year, we can’t mix people,” said Oien, who said she talked over logistics of the event with the Rev. Jim Hall. “Living Faith Community Church members are doing it and they’ll be in small family pods.”

Living Faith is in between homes right now and has been meeting at the Philomath Scout Lodge. But the College United Methodist Church allowed the event to be staged on its grounds.

“Years ago, we had done it there a couple of times and it’s nice because people can drive up and around and you’ve got the Christmas tree and the college lit up,” Oien said.

The Nativity scene won’t include any live animals, Oien said, although there may be a few kids in animal costumes.

“We have the costumes and things there and then they choose what they want to dress up in,” she said.

The baby Jesus will be a doll.

“In the past, there have been real live babies but as of right now, we only have a couple (of members) expecting,” Oien laughed. “And a toddler won’t work, they won’t sit still in there.”

As indicated earlier, folks should stay in their cars. In past years, people would enjoy getting out for an up-close look and take photos and so on. But that just can’t be the case here in 2020.

Said Oien, “It’s different this year but the message is the same.”

A living Nativity occurred on Friday of last week at Philomath Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — also an event where people were asked to stay in their vehicles as they drove through the parking lot.

(Daily Scoop is a blog published by the Philomath News. This blog often contains news items but also could include opinions of Brad Fuqua, publisher/editor).