People recognize a good idea when they see it—or read about it in The Banner. Borrowing an idea from West End Christian Reformed Church in Edmonton, Alberta, First CRC in Sarnia, Ontario, recently hosted an exhibit of nativity sets.
The Reach Team of First CRC hosted the display on December 13 and 14 as a way of reaching out to the community. “I got the idea for doing a show . . . when I read in The Banner about the one in Edmonton,” said organizer Diane Plug.
To prepare for the event, she communicated with people at West End, which has been displaying nativity sets each Christmas for 14 years. They offered suggestions about the best way to do things and shared documents and promotion resources.
Sarnia event organizers put out a call for nativity sets in September using various media. By the day of the event they had drawn 103 sets: old, new, large, small, homemade, international. “Many came from countries such as Mali, Ivory Coast, Honduras, Israel, Haiti, and the Philippines,” said Plug.
As guests walked around admiring the many sets, they were invited to enjoy a cup of tea or hot apple cider. Live music also provided atmosphere for the occasion. The team decided to set out a guest book rather than a donation box. “We wanted to be a blessing to the community,” explained Plug. Response to the event was very positive; words of appreciation and hopes for a similar event next year filled the guest book. Plug estimated that between 250 and 300 visitors attended the show despite brisk winter weather.
About the Author
Anita Brinkman is a freelance news correspondent for The Banner. She lives in Chatham, Ontario.