Pastor Jerry Luengen, left, practices his role as Josaiah in a Nov. 20 dress rehearsal for the Sequim Valley Nazarene Church living Nativity performance. The Nativity will be performed four times each night at the church Dec. 6-8. (Conor Dowley/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Pastor Jerry Luengen, left, practices his role as Josaiah in a Nov. 20 dress rehearsal for the Sequim Valley Nazarene Church living Nativity performance. The Nativity will be performed four times each night at the church Dec. 6-8. (Conor Dowley/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Living Nativity returns to Sequim Valley Nazarene

Local church hosts event for third year

CARLSBORG — A budding holiday tradition is forming in Carlsborg, where for the third year the Sequim Valley Nazarene Church, 481 Carlsborg Road, will host a living Nativity performance on the nights of Dec. 6-8.

“This is the only living Nativity on the upper [Olympic] Peninsula,” said pastor Jerry Luengen, who portrays Josaiah, the main narrator of the Nativity performance.

“It’s already becoming a tradition for some families in the area because of how important the message is for the community.”

The Nativity performance tells the story of the birth of Jesus Christ and the journey that his mother, Mary, and her fiance Joseph had to go on to get to his birthplace of Bethlehem, as well as the prophets and others who had learned that Jesus was being born.

“It’s an important story to tell, with a lot of positive messages for the community that very much apply to today,” Luengen said.

Dave Stoeckel, who portrays Isaiah during the performance, noted that this Nativity is unique because there are more participants and helpers than actual members of the church’s congregation.

“This really is about a community coming together,” Stoeckel said.

The origin of the Sequim Valley Nazarene hosting these Nativity performances is about community as well — Stoeckel noted that after the Little Brown Church in Blyn stopped hosting their own Nativity several years ago, they donated their costumes to the Nazarene Church.

“We couldn’t have done this without them,” he said.

Four free performances of the Nativity are set for each night, at 4 p.m., 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. Each performance is expected to last about 40 minutes, and takes guests all over the church property to different stations that each tell part of the Nativity story.

Parking will be at Greywolf Elementary School, 171 Carlsborg Road, with a shuttle taking people back and forth between the school and church.

In case of rain, Stoeckl said that the church has several canopies they can set up at the stations, and will have about 50 umbrellas on hand if needed.

________

Conor Dowley is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at cdowley@sequimgazette.com.

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