Pittsburg Church hosts community nativity festival

PITTSBURG, Kan.–Over three hundred nativity scenes from all over the world were on display in Pittsburg Saturday morning. It was all a part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ effort to tell the story behind Christmas.

“We want to display his birth. And that’s what Christmas is, for celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. And normally there’s heaven,  shepherds were in the scriptures., the shepherds were told by angels that he was going to be born,” said Margie Smith.

Margie Smith is the president of the relief society, a women’s organization within the church. For the past five years, she’s helped organize the Pittsburg nativity festival.

“Many of our churches do this in other cities, and this is a labor of love. We just absolutely love showing our nativity and not just our nativity, but the nativity of anyone in the community that would like to share their nativity with us.”

Over three hundred nativity scenes were on display, from all over the country. Some are bought by the church, while others are donated by members.

“The nativity scene is the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ, with his family. and there’s a variety of different ones from different countries.”

The display attracted many from the area, who say they came out for what they call the reason, for the season.

“The birth of Jesus is that what’s all about,” said Shirly Phillips, a Pittsburg resident. “That’s what Christmas is all about, the birth of Jesus, and everyone needs to come and see it.”

Another Pittsburg resident, Mary Wintle, expresses gratitude to the church for putting an event like this on.

“The church here has done well to work together to get this for the community, and that’s that means a lot to really does.”

The display’s impact was clear to Smith over the two days it’s been up.

“I had a couple of people that said to me it took my breath away when I walked in and, you know, and I hadn’t thought about it that way. But it’s just it’s a calm, peaceful time to just walk around and enjoy the fulfillment of our Savior and his birth and what it means to us and our whole life.”

Wintle also told us that the church doesn’t accept any offerings or donations for the display, they only use it as a way to uplift the community.