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Night of Nativities

Updated: Nov 13, 2023

A Christmastime community centered on Jesus Christ By Christian Weaner

When Melissa Bateman was asked to head up the committee in charge of running the annual Night of Nativities event, a memory came to her mind.

"When my boys were little, on our way to church, we would pass a church in town that had a parking lot full of vehicles," Melissa recalled. "One Sunday, I noticed that my son looked concerned that so many people were attending 'another church.' I took the opportunity to remind him how blessed we are to live in a community full of people who believe just like us that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the World."

For Melissa, Night of Nativities is about bringing people together, regardless of their religious affiliation, to remember and appreciate the true meaning of the Christmas season.

Night of Nativities first started in 2014 when Lisa Carle decided to bring a Christmastime tradition from her hometown to Bonners Ferry.

From the outset, Lisa sought to make the event nondenominational, reaching out to the local ministerial association and recruiting volunteers from around the community. The LDS church offered to host the event, as they had space big enough for Lisa’s vision.

The purpose of Night of Nativities, Melissa explained, is to unify people in Bonners Ferry, "spreading the message of love, hope, and the birth of Christ during the holiday season."

"Night of Nativities serves as an opportunity for the entire community to come together and reflect on the spiritual significance of Christmas," Melissa noted. "The event often features a display of various Nativity scenes from different cultures and artistic interpretations. It also includes music and activities for all ages, fostering a sense of unity, joy and goodwill among attendees."

Ultimately, Melissa's hope is that attendees will leave encouraged not only by the holiday festivities but more importantly by the overwhelming sense of community that stems from a renewed focus on the spiritual significance of Christmas.

"Through the enchanting Nativity displays, live performances and warm interactions with fellow attendees, we hope to foster a sense of togetherness and the understanding that Christmas is a time for coming together, sharing love and remembering the humble origins of this special occasion," Melissa emphasized.

"In an increasingly divided world, we are setting aside a weekend dedicated to celebrating our common bonds rather than our differences. Night of Nativities offers a meaningful opportunity to achieve just that,” Melissa concluded.

Night of Nativities will be held 4 to 8pm Friday, December 1, and noon to 6pm Saturday, December 2, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.. Any community members who would like to share their musical or other artistic talents focused on Jesus Christ at the event, or get more information about the event, visit Boundary County Night of Nativities 2023 Facebook page.

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