Santa Monica Nativity Scenes To Return December 15 With New Location

Saturday, 7 Dec 2013, 9:43:00 AM

Brenton Garen

The 60th anniversary display of the Santa Monica Nativity Scenes will start Sunday, Dec. 15.
Courtesy Photo
The 60th anniversary display of the Santa Monica Nativity Scenes will start Sunday, Dec. 15.

Life-size scenes depicting events surrounding the birth of Jesus

Christ will go on display Sunday, Dec. 15 as the Santa Monica Nativity

Scenes marks its 60th anniversary year with a new location and a large

new scriptural banner telling the Christmas story.

The new location is Mount Olive Lutheran Church along Maple Street,

one block north of Ocean Park Boulevard, west of 14th Street and also

along 14th Street.

The scenes will remain on display through Jan. 2.

Nativity Scenes Committee Chairman Hunter Jameson noted that the

church parking lot off 14th Street offers ample space for motorists

wanting to park and walk past the scenes.

“We are deeply grateful to the people of Mount Olive Lutheran Church

and their interim pastor, the Rev. Stephen Fiechter, for providing this

site to allow Santa Monica’s distinctive Christmas Story to continue to

spread the message of love, joy, hope, and peace found in the Christ

child’s birth to residents and visitors,” Jameson said.

Although the scenes will be displayed at Mount Olive Lutheran Church,

the opening ceremony for this year’s event will be at Palisades Park,

longtime home of the scenes through 2011.

The opening gathering will be at 3 pm Sunday, Dec. 15, along Ocean Avenue in the vicinity of Arizona Avenue.

The ceremony will feature Christmas carols from community choirs,

recital of the Christmas Story, and unfurling of a new 24-foot-long

scriptural banner, “The Christmas Story.”

The specially commissioned banner, nearly five feet tall, displays

scriptures narrating events surrounding Christ’s birth with photos of

many of the Nativity Scenes.

After its introduction Sunday, it will be displayed periodically at

Palisades Park throughout the Christmas season as an attended display.

The original Nativity Scenes and any overnight displays were banned

from the park by the city of Santa Monica in 2012, an action under legal

challenge in the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

On a lighter note, Jameson said the Committee is welcoming a new member this Christmas.

"Resplendent Light Community Church, a young Westside congregation,

and its pastor, the Rev. Clifford Asai, will mount the first scene in

the Nativity series, 'The Annunciation,' formerly overseen by the Santa

Monica Police Officers’ Association," Jameson said. "The Police

Officers’ Association, which retired from the committee this year, has

been a faithful and devoted member of the committee, and we thank the

officers for their many years of playing a vital role in continuing this

community tradition."

“No Room at the Inn,” usually mounted by the Church of the Nazarene,

will be overseen this year by continuing member Metro Church Calvary

Chapel, which will combine it with its usual scene, “Rest Along the

Road.”

“We appreciate Metro’s stepping up in this way as Church of the

Nazarene takes a sabbatical this year,” Jameson said. "As a result there

will be 13 scenes this year instead of 14."

Individuals, churches and businesses help sponsor the Scenes through the nonprofit Santa Monica Nativity Scenes Committee.

Donations defray the $18,000 annual cost, which includes assembly,

removal and storage of the booths; mailing; advertising; and insurance.

Donations may be sent to the Nativity Scenes Committee at P.O. Box

0648, Santa Monica 90406, or made through the Committee’s website, www.SantaMonicaNativityScenes.org.

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