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Jesus' birth portrayed in live nativity offering

Allie Dunn (from left), Payton Scott, and Adam Dunn were part of a live nativity scene at Stockbridge Presbyterian Church, Friday. The event was designed as an outreach tool to interact with the local community. 

Allie Dunn (from left), Payton Scott, and Adam Dunn were part of a live nativity scene at Stockbridge Presbyterian Church, Friday. The event was designed as an outreach tool to interact with the local community. 

Members of a Henry County church brought the Christmas story to life, as a way to reach out to the local community.

Stockbridge Presbyterian Church, at 4740 North Henry Blvd., produced a live nativity scene, Friday, on the church’s grounds.

“We want to get to know our neighbors,” said the pastor, the Rev. Susan Bennett. “It’s something that we want to do for the community, to remind people that it’s not just about presents, and parties, and credit cards. All those things are good, but the bottom-line meaning, is about celebrating Christ’s birth. So this is just a reminder.”

The event featured church members in period attire, as well as a 1-year-old goat named Gomer. Guests were also treated to Christmas cookies, hot cider and other items, as they enjoyed a visual story of Jesus Christ’s birth in a manger in Bethlehem.

Stephanie Dunn, a member at Stockbridge Presbyterian, portrayed the virgin Mary, in one of two hours in the presentation. Her husband, John, took on the role of Joseph. He said participating in the nativity scene enabled him to show his appreciation for the impact Stockbridge Presbyterian has had on his life.

“I’ve been a member of that church for 42 years now,” he said. “They’ve given me a lot, so I owe them a lot. We’re a small church, and everybody needs to kick in when they can.”

The Stockbridge couple’s son, Adam, and daughter, Allie, also acted out the nativity scene as Joseph and Mary in another hour of the presentation.

Stephanie Dunn, prior to the live production, said she never expected to assume the role of Jesus’ mother, but was eager to do so as a way to minister to area residents.

“Stockbridge Presbyterian Church is very involved in outreach,” said Dunn. “We’re ... in the center of SB, in a heavily traveled area, and I hope that people that may not have been able to see something like this before will have the opportunity to see it.”

Carolyn Francis, also of Stockbridge, said she was grateful to the church for providing a tangible picture of the biblical story.

“They’re trying to reach out to the community, to give an experience of Christmas — something you can touch and you can see,” said Francis. “They’re trying to make it a little bit of a reality, to give a possibility of the scene the night that Jesus was born, something that would make you feel some kind of a closeness, something that is there, and not in a place far off.”

Church member, Sara Moseley, of Stockbridge, waited with anticipation for her church’s visual presentation of the Christmas story. She enjoyed seeing the live nativity scene, as a reminder of Jesus’ birth.

“I love it,” said Moseley. “This is the first year for this, and I just wanted to see what it was all about. I love nativity scenes.”