Christmas is right around the corner and Lamb of God Lutheran Church in Ahwatukee will put together its annual live nativity scene to further the holiday spirit for the entire Ahwatukee Foothills community.

The church has been putting on the production for nearly a decade, with the idea coming together by accident.

“It was discovered by accident by my then fifth-grade son that our LCD projector could project pretty amazing images upon the rock cliffs encompassing our property and building. In 2002 we had a very small scale living nativity as our display at the Festival of Lights, and in 2003 we decided to do a much larger scale nativity in our own property using our own actors and projecting images of camels, sheep, and angels onto the foothills,” said Pastor Scott Martz. “Our goal is to bring the true Christmas story to life using our natural setting.”

Preparation for hosting the live nativity begins as early as two weeks after the event, having nearly 85 percent of the congregation volunteering with the hopes of improving it each year.

Individuals will be guided through walkways, viewing four different sites from Bethlehem to the birth of Jesus, which will include narration from the church’s projection screen.

“It is great to see the faces of both children and adults light up when they see the Christmas story come to life. God has blessed us with a pretty amazing piece of property that looks strikingly like the real Bethlehem,” Martz said. “Our luminary lit path, together with the smell of a couple of camp fires, the sound of sheep, and the sights of camels, wise men, shepherds, sheep, angels, and Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus make it a special night.”

Kanterine Bogushefsky-Reamer, costume coordinator, said all the costumes each actor wears during the night are all handmade, and each year they have been getting a nice steady flow of attendees.

She added that the live nativity scene production is a way to let individuals unfamiliar with the story have a chance to witness it and to enjoy the true meaning of the Christian holiday season.

The live nativity scene will take place on Saturday, Dec. 7 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Lamb of God Lutheran Church in Ahwatukee, 599 E. Chandler Blvd.

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