Nativity scene event returns 3 years later after COVID, church fire

Nativities return after fire burns down church
Published: Nov. 28, 2022 at 5:01 PM CST
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - A Cape Girardeau church is returning their nativity event after setbacks in previous years.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are bringing back hundreds of nativities from around the world for people to walk through and view at their temporary location later this week.

This is their eighth year for the event, skipping the past two years due to COVID and a fire that burned down the church.

Church members are thankful they can resume this unique event.

“This gives us a sense of normality,” Event Chairperson Claudia Mueller said. “The last 6 months as we’ve got into this building and started to return to normal like we all are. It has been that good feeling of this is life and this is what we love.”

As the days near the event, people are pulling the nativity figurines that are packed away and staging them throughout the church.

“When we pull it out of the storage unit and pulled the stuff out, it’s like old friends,” Mueller said. “‘Oh, I remember this. This is great.’ We do enjoy this time.”

The fire occurred in 2021 burning most everything inside along with the building itself. It was considered a total loss. However, some things were saved which made this event possible to continue once again.

“We did lose some things,” Mueller said. “We lost all of our tablecloths and a lot of our lights that we have stored in the building. But the nativities and most of the things were in the storage unit. So, it was saved.”

Mueller said she is excited to be able to bring people back to enjoy the variety of nativity figurines.

“Everyone’s excited,” Mueller said. ‘We’ve had work parties with 20 people, 30 people. We had a bunch of men here this morning moving things around for me. It’s unifying and it’s also fun for our friends in the community to check in. The excitement is really building.”

They are planning for roughly 300 different and unique nativity scenes from more than 30 different countries.

“We have them from Africa, from the Philippines, and from everywhere in the world that you can imagine,” Mueller said.

This will be a three-day event starting from Thursday, December 1, at 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at their location at 1732 North Kingshighway. Other times are December 2, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and on December 3, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information, you can visit their Facebook page here.