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Messiah Lutheran sets 22nd Nativity Diorama

By Staff | Dec 9, 2009

The 22nd Annual Nativity Diorama, presented by the Messiah Lutheran Church, will be held from 7-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Helen Gierke, office administrator of Messiah Lutheran Church, said the tradition was started by a couple who were church members. Donna and Art Dubrule began the diorama in 1988 and led the event for 10 years before the church took over after they passed away.
“It has been growing and continuing since then,” Gierke said.
The diorama, a living nativity set, features eight different scenes with approximately 60 actors who are church members and friends.
Gierke said the scenes include sets that depict holy events of the Christmas story, which include the road to Bethlehem, the village of Bethlehem that involves 35 actors, a shepherd in the field, an angel and the wise man.
She said the nativity scene also involves various stages of Mary and Joseph’s journey.
“All the scenes have moving people,” Gierke said. “It is a living nativity set, people are actually doing things.”
The villages will depict actors selling vegetables and drawing water out of the well.
The diorama takes about seven or eight minutes to view while individuals drive by in their car.
“You drive through the different scenes,” Gierke said. “It’s a different view from each side of the car.”
The scenes are on display at Messiah Lutheran Church, which is located at 2691 N.E. Pine Island Road.
“It is a wonderful way to remind us of the real Christmas story as we begin the Christmas season,” she said. “Pastor Rusty May invites everyone to come and participate and enjoy it.”
There is no fee for those who wish to view the diorama, but a free will offering is welcome, which will be used to support local charitable organizations.
The church will ask for a donation as visitors leave the diorama, but there is no fee for those who simply wish to view it, she said.
For information, call 995-0133.
A live Passion Diorama will be held March 26-27 in honor of Easter.