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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Nativity scene at SonRise Church and MBS

By Ally Lanasa, Staff Writer

*Update: The live Nativity scene at SonRise Church has been rescheduled for Monday from 6-8 p.m. due to inclement weather on Sunday.*

(Dec. 17, 2020) The Berlin campus of SonRise Church has incorporated covid-19 safety protocols in its live Nativity this year by making the Sunday, 6-8 p.m. presentation a drive-through event.

“This is the third year we’ve done the live Nativity,” Pastor Tim Robinson said. “Normally people get out of the car and they can stand in front of the live Nativity and enjoy it that way. Then, as they exit, we have refreshments and we invite people to our Christmas Eve services.”

The Berlin Campus of SonRise Church, 10026 Main Street, has adapted its annual live Nativity with stable animals and actors from the church to be a free drive-through event on Dec. 20 from 6-8 p.m. because of covid-19 concerns. Pictured is the 2019 Nativity production on the church’s property.

Robinson said the Nativity scene will be staged in the back of the property on 10026 Main Street, behind the main building in a grass parking area.

“That way it will take a while to get there. When people pull in, they’re not going to see it right away,” he said. “We’ll have socially distanced stations.”

As drivers enter the property, they will pass a few stations.

“Then, they’re going to hit a shepherd area,” Robinson said. “It’s going to be lit up.”

He added that drivers will be encouraged to turn off car lights when approaching the Nativity in the back of the property.

Near the Nativity scene, five bagpipe players and two drummers from Ocean City Pipes and Drums will provide music.

Marshall Creek Farms, which is owned by Angela Smithhisler, will provide sheep and goats for the event.

Last year, the church had three camels for the live Nativity.

SonRise Church parishioners will act out the Nativity story in Biblical costumes.

“We’ll also have a live baby Jesus,” Robinson said.

Logan Adams will portray baby Jesus.

SonRise Church also has an FM transmitter, so, as drivers enter the property, they can set their FM car radios to 93.3 to hear a welcome and the Christmas story.

After driving through the display, traffic will be directed to exit right toward Route 113. Drivers will be notified to stay in a single file.

Robinson said that the church will consider the drive-through option for the future as well.

“For this first year, we’re going to just keep it simple and have a few different stations, some music playing and a time where they can park in front of the live Nativity, coming in through Route 50 [and] exiting out toward [Route] 113,” he said.

Robinson added that during the novel coronavirus pandemic, people are searching for peace and comfort.

“The birth of Christ reminds us that the Savior is coming to the world to be the light of the world,” he said. “This time of year, people are seeking peace, and Christ can bring that peace.”

Most Blessed Sacrament Catholic School, 11242 Racetrack Road in Berlin, is also hosting a drive-through live Nativity on Thursday and Friday from 6-8 p.m., weather permitting.

“It will be located at our entrance on the west side of the building,” said Amanda Evans, the director of admissions and advancement at the school. “Cars will simply drive past, pause to see and proceed forward. We are asking that no one gets out of their vehicles.”

Traffic will be monitored by staff.

“This year, it will simply be the students in character in the manger but not acting out the Nativity play,” Evans added. “Next year, we hope to have it set up like a walking tour of Bethlehem.”

Little Farm in Berlin will lend animals for the drive-through event. A donkey will be present on Thursday and more animals on Friday.

For more information, call Most Blessed Sacrament Catholic School at 410-208-1600.