Nativity Festival community concert line-up told

Nativities were displayed in the church basement.
GCNO file photo

Displaying a Nativity scene in your home is a beloved Christmas tradition for many families. These treasured works will be the center attraction as the Nativity Festival returns to Greene County on Sunday, Dec. 11, at the First United Methodist Church in Jefferson.

In addition to celebrating the Christmas story, this multi-faceted event will be an opportunity for the community to support Habitat for Humanity and ongoing efforts to repair and replace substandard low-income housing across Greene County.

Center to this event is the display of all types of nativity sets donated for viewing by local collectors.

Public viewing of the nativity set displays will begin at 3 pm. There is still time for anyone to reserve a spot and share their sets with others. Call Jill Lamoureux, 515-370-4785 for more details and to reserve space. There will also be a silent auction of Nativity sets, along with a one-of-of-kind children’s rocking chair. Those wishing to donate a set for this cause are also asked to contact Lamoureux.

The 4 pm community concert will actually begin at 3:30 pm with gathering music from a brass ensemble made up of players from the Town & Country Band and the brass group from Central Christian Church in Jefferson, and there will also be seasonal numbers by a couple of pianists.

Massed community choir, directed by Sheilah Pound and accompanied by Becky Greiner
GCNO file photo

The featured performer in the concert this year is the Greene County Singers community chorus, which got its start from the massed choir that concluded the 2015 Nativity Festival concert. The choir, which has grown to about 35 members, is directed by Sheilah McGregor-Pound and is accompanied by Cheryl Nailor and Chad Schmertmann. McGregor-Pound and Nailor are both well-known among local music fans. Schmertmann is a new band director at Greene County middle school.

The choir will perform five or six seasonal numbers, and its opening song will also include ballet dancers from Nicole Bennett Tuel’s Prairie Blue Creative Arts program in Jefferson.

Other performers in the concert will include the Praise Powered Trio from Rippey; the St. Joseph Guitars from the Catholic Church in Jefferson; the Joyful Noise women’s choir of the First Presbyterian Church in Jefferson; the Central Christian Church adult choir; a classical piano solo by Schmertmann; a duet by Greene County High School students Michael Kennedy and Nadia Fisher, and the brass ensemble.

Tori Riley of Jefferson has again written an original poem for the event, and she’ll read “Newborn Grace” during the program.

The concert will again close with a massed choir performing, directed by McGregor-Pound. All those who’ve performed earlier in the concert will join together, and anyone else who wants to sing with the big group is welcome, too. All who want to sing then should attend a 3 pm rehearsal in the sanctuary. For more information about the massed choir, contact concert coordinator Chuck Offenburger at 515-370-2659.

Master of ceremonies for the concert will be Harry Ahrenholtz, a member of the local Habitat board.

Following the concert will be a soup supper prepared and served by Greene County church congregations who regularly support Habitat for Humanity in eliminating substandard housing for local low-income families. Members of the Greene County High School Interact Club will assist with serving the meal. Homemade chili, chicken noodle soup, and dessert will be served.

Teresa Mobly and auctioneer Dale Higgins
GCNO file photo

During the supper, a fun-filled pie auction featuring the very best bakers in Greene County will take place. Professional auctioneer Dale Higgins of Grand Junction will be joined by the always energetic Teresa Mobley and Angie Jewett in pulling the highest bids for incredible home-baked pies.

The Nativity Festival is the sole annual fundraising event benefitting Habitat for Humanity in Greene County and is relied upon to help more local families in their search for healthy, decent, and affordable housing. There is not an entrance fee for the Nativity Festival, though opportunities to contribute through freewill offerings will be available. The most fun and tasty way is through the pie auction.

“Plan now to attend the Nativity Festival, where hearts will be lifted, voices will be raised, and all will gather to support Habitat for Humanity’s belief that ‘everyone deserves a stable home’,” a spokesperson said.

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