Church announces date change for Festival of the Nativities

Grace Presbyterian Church (ECO) in Conway has a special event for those in the 501 who are looking to observe Advent, get into the real spirit of Christmas and help those less fortunate.

The church will hold its fourth Festival of Nativities on the afternoon of Sunday, Dec. 8, and not Dec. 1 as previously reported.

The festival will include a display of Nativity sets owned by members and friends of the church.

In conjunction with the festival, a chili supper will be held to benefit Bethlehem House’s “Empty Bowls” program, in which various churches provide soup meals throughout the year to raise money to support its mission to help the homeless to change their life situations and break the cycle of poverty.

In the past, more than 100 nativity displays have been displayed, ranging from the very ornate to the whimsical. They represent various cultures and parts of the world. Some have been small enough to fit in the palm of a hand; others have taken up an entire table and have included not just the stable, but also the shepherds, sheep, and even the wise men and camels. 

Nativity sets of all shapes and sizes will be on display at Grace Presbyterian Church in Conway on Sunday, Dec. 8. (Sonja J. Keith photo)

There have even been one or two displays aimed at appealing especially to children, who can touch the figures.

This year, Grace hopes to add participants and include some scenes that have never before been displayed except in homes.

As an added treat, members of the public are invited to participate in the festival by offering to display Nativities of their own. To do so, call the church at 501.504.6899 between 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on any Monday, Wednesday or Friday in November to get information about when to bring the set to the church.

The church doors will open from 3 to 6 p.m. Dec. 1 for viewing displays, and there is no charge. The chili supper will be served from 4 to 5:30 p.m., and a donation of $5 is suggested for the meal. The church is located at 1010 Hogan Lane in Conway.