NORWAY — In an effort to return a Christmas tradition to the community, the Second Congregation United Church of Christ of Norway hosted a live nativity on the evening of Dec. 18.

The performance was scaled back somewhat due to rising COVID cases and the season’s first real snowstorm, holding one event at 5 p.m. but calling off a second that would have taken place at 6 p.m.

“Last year we couldn’t have Christmas Eve services and we wanted to do something,” explained Pam Davison, one of the nativity’s performers, last Friday. “We held a drive-by nativity that did not include a choir.”

This year a stable scene was built in the church parking lot. But plans for choir singers from other local churches to participate were scuttled at the last minute due to weather and concerns about singing while in close contact.

Davison said that regular services have resumed as in-person, with about half of the church’s members attending in person from week to week and others continuing to participate through online broadcasts.

“Thank goodness for technology so we can do that,” Davison said. “Before the pandemic we had never done anything technology-wise. We’ve come a long way.”


Shirli Allen-Heald, the church’s theater and music director, oversaw the production.

“This is our gift to the community,” Allen-Heald explained Saturday evening between final rehearsal and the 5 p.m. performance. “It’s been a real heart piece. With COVID for the last two years we haven’t been able to do it. This is our opportunity to try and at least give a little bit of the holidays back to our community.

“Normally there are about 25 different singers who join us, and we’re pretty doggone good for ordinary folks. This year we had hoped to bring the singing back, but COVID is on the rise again. It was not to be” she said, noting that she is on the mend after being infected with the virus recently.

The Second Congregational United Church of Christ hosted a live nativity on Saturday night. Performers included, from left, Pam Davison (Mary), Susan Prindall (Joseph) and Michelle Johnson (the angel who guided them to the stable). Nicole Carter / Advertiser Democrat

Performers of the nativity scene were Michelle Johnson, Pam Davison, Susan Prindall, Jody Deegan, Deb Ladner, Beth Kane, Elaine Emery, Kate Wood, Laura Gouin, Chad Pendexter, Ed Baldridge and Stephanie Emery.



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