Santa Rosa church creates outdoor nativity to celebrate holiday safely

Traditional Christmas nativity scenes include a manger, baby Jesus and take place inside. Due to COVID-19, St. Mark Lutheran Church switched one thing up.

“I wanted that opportunity to connect to the community,” said Sina Williams, who thought of the idea to plan an outdoor nativity walk through.

The Santa Rosa church was unable to conduct any Christmas programming indoors. So, they had to get creative.

St. Mark Lutheran Church is accepting reservations for the nativity tour between 5:45 p.m and 6:45 p.m. on Saturday night only. Tours run every five minutes and last 25 minutes.

“This community is going through so much, with everything that’s happened in the past year. The fires, the shutdowns, people being out of work,” said Deborah Haeffele, a member of the church.

The nativity tells the story of the birth of Jesus in different stations, where tour guides will lead visitors around in the church parking lot. Church members will act out the nativity story.

Masks are required and social distancing will be enforced between households.

“We’re looking for hope at this time of the year. And this is a way for this church and this community to reconnect with each other in a safe manner but in a very visually beautiful and joyful manner,” Haeffele said.

Reserve spots for the tour at The tours will take place Saturday night in the St. Mark parking lot at 4325 Mayette Ave. in Santa Rosa.

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