Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Living Nativity Drive Thru at Flower Ridge United Methodist Church Dec. 22nd and 23rd

Living Nativity Drive Thru at Flower Ridge United Methodist Church Dec. 22nd and 23rd 6pm to 8pm

In 1982 Flower Ridge started the Drive Thru after Scarlet Clark-Shepherd and Rev. Steve Casteel talked it over with the church. They picked out some of the key Story boards and made the scenes for them. It was decided to line the entire drive with lights to show the way through the yard to the scenes. For our first lights to line the drive we used paper bags with dirt and candles we then started using milk jugs with dirt and candles. We have gathered about 400 milk jugs per year to fill the drive with candles with extras to use in case the jugs caught fire and burned down which they did often. In 2011 we switched to LED lights to line the drive they give off the same glow as the candles gave.


The scenes in 1982:

The First scene is the Angel appearing to Mary to let her know that she is with Child. The second was Mary and Joseph being turned away from the Inn. The third scene was the Wise Men traveling to see the Newborn King. The fourth scene was the Angel appearing to the shepherds to tell of the good news. The last scene was Mary and Joseph in the stables with the Baby Jesus.

After a few years we started opening the front doors of the church to show off a Handmade Cross on the back wall of the church. The Cross was made by John Upchurch and is lighted from behind. With just a little bit of light turned on and the candles in the windows of the church you can see the Nativity set that we have sitting on our Alter table. We added a cross to the fence of the cemetery and draped it with purple material.

In 2010 we added new light boxes at the scenes and an Enter and an Exit sign to sit at the end of the drives.

In 2011 we added a new scene and changed how the scenes were lined up in the Drive. We were excited to have the new scene added to our drive and hope to be able to add more. We added the Angel appearing to Joseph as he dreamed.

We have many stories about the Drive Thru over the years. We have had the Wise Men missing only to be found in the shepherds scene getting warmed by the fire or the Angel missing from the first scene. Everyone who comes to us for the first time is usually not sure what to think but by the end of the first night they want to make sure that they are in the same scene on the second night. We have had fun doing this for the community. We have had the drive thru on cold nights, hot nights, drizzle, snow, windy, and sleet.

It is a joy to see the Church come together for this special time. The Youth Group that started with the Drive Thru have grown and started families of their own it is with this second generation that we carry on this tradition of telling the stories. We hope that you can come to see us as we tell the story this year.