Christmas Nativity Sets from Around the World Exhibition at First Baptist Church of Asheville, Dec. 14-17

Nativity set from Mexico
Nativity set from Mexico

Press release from Asheville Nativity:

“O Come Let Us Adore Him: Christmas Creches from Around the World”
First Baptist Church of Asheville, 5 Oak St, downtown Asheville
December 14-17, 2017
• Thursday, Dec. 14: 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Interfaith Reception
• Friday, Dec. 15: 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.
• Saturday, Dec. 16: 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
• Sunday, Dec. 17: Noon – 6:00 p.m.
Free Admission
Over 100 Nativity sets from more than fifty countries will be on display.

“O Come Let Us Adore Him: Christmas Nativity Sets from Around the World” Exhibition returns to First Baptist Church of Asheville December 14 – 17. The third annual exhibit, also known as #crechefest, begins with an interfaith reception Thursday, December 14 and continues throughout the weekend with public viewing times, guest lectures and live music. School groups, retirement communities, or special press visits can be arranged by calling 916-223-3285. Complete schedule can be found at www.ashevillenativity.org.

A crèche, often called a Nativity scene, is an artistic representation of the birth of Jesus Christ. While focusing on the central figures of the mother Mary and Christ Child, crèche artists often telescope time and place to bring together a host of earthly and heavenly participants—shepherds, animals, wise men, angels, and commoners.

For centuries, the crèche as an art form has spanned the globe, flourishing in homes and churches worldwide. Whether the crèche contains 19th century Italian villagers dressed in silks and jewels or contemporary African animal herders made of clay, each representation reflects the unique time and culture of the artist.

This exhibit is an ecumenical effort to highlight the cultural diversity of each crèche on display, while honoring and celebrating the common theme that runs throughout—the birth of Jesus.

Last year’s event included participation from seven different Asheville area churches, and displayed 175 unique Nativity sets from 60 countries around the world. More than 1150 people attended the exhibit. Guest comments included, “awesome,” “wonderful,” “lovely,” “words cannot express the beauty,” and “impressive and beautifully done.”

Participating churches include The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, First Baptist Church of Asheville, First Congregational United Church of Christ, First Presbyterian Church – Asheville, St. Eugene Catholic Church, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, and Saints Joseph and Andrew Eastern Orthodox Mission Church. Local Christian churches that would like to participate in or support the event are encouraged to join us. Please visit www.ashevillenativity.org, for more information, or contact Steve Hargadon at 916-283-7901.

As a part of the exhibit, special musical performances will be held at the top of each hour. On Saturday at 2:00 p.m., the Rev. Dr. Jerry Beavers, a crèche collector and educator will present “The Nativity Scene in Worship and Devotion,” an illustrated lecture in the use of nativity scenes in worship, and as a devotional guide to the birth of Jesus. Also on Saturday, community caroling will be offered at 4:30 in the Sacred Garden at First Baptist.

Volunteers are needed to host the event and openings for musical groups, individual musicians, or choirs are still available in the performance schedule. More information is available on the website or by emailing coordinator@ashevillenativity.org. First Baptist Church of Asheville is located at 5 Oak Street in downtown Asheville.

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